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Can U Be Pregnant And Still Have Your Period
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I’m Pregnant! Why Am I Bleeding?
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This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness. For more information, visit our medical review board.
No, you cannot have your period while pregnant. However, there may be light bleeding or other period-like symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, and spotting.
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“Bleeding during early pregnancy can be quite common—in fact, it occurs in 15 to 25% of pregnancies in the first trimester (less than 13 weeks),” says Lauren Demosthenes, MD, senior medical director on Babyscripts. “In addition to bleeding that may be mistaken for a period, some women may experience pelvic heaviness or mild cramping that may feel like a period.”
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be common and does not necessarily mean that something is wrong. However, bleeding can be a warning sign of something serious such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
In this article, we will discuss why you may have vaginal bleeding during pregnancy and what it may indicate.
During the month, your body prepares for pregnancy. It does this by building up the endometrium, or uterine lining. If you do become pregnant, this lining helps to nourish the fertilized egg in the very early stages of pregnancy. If you don’t get pregnant, your body sheds the endometrium, through your period. Therefore, it is impossible to get pregnant and have a period, because you do not shed your endometrium when you are pregnant.
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“Period signs and early pregnancy symptoms are very similar and can be very confusing and difficult to differentiate,” says Dori Gelfman, registered nurse with Fertility Outcomes. “Stomach cramps, sore or tender breasts, and backs can occur in both cases.”
“It is also common to have some mild cramping – without bleeding – during pregnancy,” says Demosthenes. “If this happens it may indicate that your ligaments are stretching or your pubic bone is loosening, which is completely normal. Some women turn to maternity support belts for this – or set a period to push to ease.”
According to a study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, 25% of pregnant women may experience spotting during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
There are various causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Causes of vaginal bleeding often depend on the trimester you are in. The table below classifies what bleeding may mean during different periods.
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“In the first trimester, bleeding can occur about one week and two weeks after fertilization when the pregnancy is implanted into the uterus,” says Demosthenes. “There are also some changes to the cervix during pregnancy that can lead to a little bleeding after intercourse, a pap smear, or a pelvic exam. All of this bleeding is scary but harmless.”
While light vaginal bleeding may not be a cause for concern in the first trimester, spotting or bleeding during your second trimester may be a sign of a medical emergency.
“During the second half of pregnancy, bleeding could mean something serious so it should always be checked,” says Demosthenes. “Bleeding, pelvic pressure and mucous discharge can indicate what is known as an ‘incompetent cervix’ – this is more common in the second trimester.”
If you experience any type of vaginal bleeding while pregnant, you should seek medical attention immediately as it could indicate something more serious such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
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“Always call your doctor if you have bright red bleeding — continuous bleeding or sudden bleeding,” says Gelfman. If you are bleeding and find that the bleeding is profuse (ie completely soaking a panty liner or underwear in blood) or if you have severe, stabbing pain on one side of your body, seek medical attention immediately , says Gelfman. These can be signs of something more serious and need immediate attention.”
Although vaginal bleeding early in pregnancy, or even during pregnancy, can be alarming, it is quite common and not always a sign of a serious condition.
“You should always ask your doctor if you’re questioning what’s going on with you or if something doesn’t feel right,” says Gelfman. “Trust your instincts. It’s better to call and tell it’s nothing rather than worry about what it could be.”
Tabitha Brittis is a freelance writer and editor based in New York. When she is not glued to her computer screen, she can be found walking her beloved pooch, Biscuits. In addition to writing for , Tabitha is the founding editor-in-chief of DO YOU ENDO – America’s first no-BS endometriosis magazine (by individuals with endometriosis, for individuals with endometriosis). She obtained a Masters degree in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism from the New School for Social Research. You may not have your period when you are pregnant, although some women experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some even report intermittent bleeding that feels like a regular period to them. But vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is not the same as menstruation.
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Find out why spotting may be normal during pregnancy, and why it’s important to let your provider know if you have any bleeding or spotting while you’re pregnant.
Pregnant. Every month, your uterus grows a thick, blood-rich lining in preparation for an egg to implant in it. If you don’t get pregnant that month, you discard this tissue and blood, and this is your period.
But when an egg implants in the uterine lining, hormones tell the blood-rich tissue to stay intact to support the growing baby. And you won’t lose it and start your period again until your pregnancy is over.
Non-period bleeding occurs during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. It is important to know the difference between spotting and bleeding. Spotting a few drops of blood every now and then on your underwear is fine, but not enough to cover a panty liner. Bleeding, on the other hand, is a heavier flow of blood and you will need a liner or pad to prevent the blood from soaking your clothes.
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Some spotting in early pregnancy is normal, and occurs in 15 to 25 percent of pregnancies. The cervix may bleed more easily during pregnancy because more blood vessels are developing there. Spotting may occur in the 10 to 14 days after conception when the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus. This is called “implantation bleeding.”
Always call your provider if you experience bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. It could be a sign of something more serious, such as an infection, placental problems, an impending miscarriage, or an ectopic pregnancy, which could be life-threatening. (See our article on vaginal bleeding during pregnancy for a full breakdown of possible causes.)
Unlike your menstrual period, spotting during pregnancy only lasts about 1 to 2 days. If this spotting is implantation bleeding, it is likely to occur a few days earlier than your next expected period. It will be much lighter and you don’t need to change a pad. Implantation bleeding does not require treatment and stops on its own. Even if you think you are experiencing implantation bleeding, be sure to call your healthcare provider to let them know.
Call your doctor or midwife immediately at the sign of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy – even if the bleeding has stopped. Many women who bleed lightly during pregnancy go on to deliver without complications, but you may need an evaluation to rule out any serious problems. Look out for other signs too:
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Go to the nearest emergency room if your doctor’s office is closed and you can’t reach your provider. If they determine that your bleeding is not serious, possible treatments may include things like resting and avoiding sex, travel and strenuous exercise. It is important that you follow your provider’s recommendations, to keep you and your baby healthy.
The editorial team is dedicated to providing the world’s most helpful and reliable pregnancy and parenting information. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and studies published in peer-reviewed journals. We believe that you should always know the source of the information you are viewing. Learn more about our editorial and
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