Is It Normal To Have A Period While Pregnant?
How common is it to have a period during pregnancy? We know you want answers, but despite all the claims, you can't have a period during pregnancy.
Some women experience vaginal bleeding while they are pregnant. But it isn’t possible to have a period. Menstruation only takes place in the absence of pregnancy. Each month, ovulation occurs when your ovary releases an egg to be fertilized by the sperm. The uterine lining thickens in anticipation of a fertilized egg being implanted, which results in pregnancy. If an egg isn’t fertilized, both the egg and the uterine lining are shed through your vagina as menstrual blood.
So, can you have a period during pregnancy? The short answer is no. Since women don’t ovulate — or release an egg — during pregnancy. They will not get their monthly period.
Why You Might Experience A “Period” During Your First Trimester
It’s possible that you may still experience some bleeding during pregnancy. This bleeding does not necessarily indicate an underlying issue. But it’s important to understand the cause of it — and whether you should see a doctor.
Bleeding tends to occur more often during the first trimester of pregnancy than the second or third. Research suggests that about 25 to 30 percent of pregnant women experience spotting at some point during their first trimester. There are a number of reasons for this bleeding:
It is the light spotting that occurs about 10 to 12 days after conception. You know, around the time when your period is due. Many women haven’t yet taken a pregnancy test at this point, so it’s easy to mistake the spotting for a period. This bleeding is lighter than a normal period, however, and only lasts for a couple of days. It occurs due to the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine lining.
Spotting can occur shortly after you get pregnant due to cervical changes. Particularly after having sexual intercourse. As long as no infection is present, there’s no need to be concerned about this.
Heavier bleeding that more closely resembled a period during the first trimester of pregnancy can indicate something more serious, such as:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Molar pregnancy
- Subchorionic hemorrhage, also known as subchorionic hematoma (bleeding between the placenta and the wall of the uterus)
- Gestational trophoblast disease (GTD), a rare group of tumors that arise from the cells that normally develop into the placenta
These are all medical emergencies, and it’s important to see a health care professional immediately. They are often accompanied by symptoms other than bleeding.
Bleeding Later In Your Pregnancy: Why It Happens
Bleeding during the second and third trimesters is possible, though not common, and it may be an indicator that something else is going on. If you experience bleeding later in your pregnancy, it’s important to see your doctor.
- Sexual intercourse
- Preterm or term labour
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
Bleeding in the second and third trimesters can also lead to termination of pregnancy or, more rarely, be a sign of vasa previa.
When You Should See Your Doctor
Since you can’t get your period while pregnant, it’s important to be mindful of any bleeding you do experience during this time. While light bleeding or spotting during the first trimester is usually nothing to worry about, bleeding that is accompanied by other symptoms may indicate something more serious, and you should see a doctor immediately. These symptoms include:
- Cramping and pain
- Fainting or dizziness
- Passing clots or heavy bleeding
- Severe pain in your pelvis and stomach
You should also visit your doctor if your bleeding is bright red in colour and is heavy enough to soak through a pad. Pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy may indicate an ectopic pregnancy. If you suspect this, see your doctor as soon as possible.