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Can I Be Pregnant And Still Menstruate?

This is one of the questions that many women tend to ask from time to time. But to put it simply the answer is NO! It is not possible to have a period and still be pregnant. Yes, you might have some light spotting during early pregnancy, which is usually light pink or dark brown in colour but that’s still not a period. As long as the bleeding does not fill a pad or tampon, it’s a sign that you’re probably pregnant. If you’ve had a positive pregnancy test and are bleeding heavily, seek medical care. So then why might you be bleeding yet you know you are pregnant? Let’s find out




Why You Can't Have a Period While Pregnant?

Once your body starts producing the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), your periods will stop. The menstrual cycle occurs to facilitate pregnancy. The cycle begins on the first day of a person’s period and ends on the first day of the following period. An actual period happens when the uterine lining sheds at the end of a menstrual cycle. When an egg goes unfertilized, levels of the hormones that control the egg's release drop and cause your uterine lining, which has thickened in the first half of your cycle as it awaited a fertilized egg, to shed in what we refer to as a period. That’s why a missed period is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy (though you may have light implantation bleeding for a few days).


Then what are other reasons for bleeding during pregnancy?

Bleeding while expecting (especially in the first trimester) Is not uncommon. People can bleed during pregnancy for various reasons. Here are a few common ones.


After penetrative vaginal sex

There's also the possibility of bleeding after sexual intercourse or any vaginal penetration. Remember that the cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy, in order to increase the chances that stimulation such as contact with a penis, sex toy, or finger might lead to light bleeding. Sometimes, you may also experience some bleeding after a pelvic exam.


Implantation bleeding

This occurs at the time the fertilized egg, known as the embryo, reaches the uterus and attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. Implantation bleeding is seen as light pinkish or brownish spotting, occurring 10 to 14 days after conception. The bleeding may look like the start of your period but remains light and does not progressively get heavier.


Ectopic pregnancy

This happens in the first trimester when the fetus starts to grow outside of the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. The amount of bleeding with an ectopic pregnancy may vary. It's also associated with unilateral pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Since ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening if untreated, seek medical attention if you have bleeding with any symptoms such as dizziness or sudden pain.


Miscarriage

Unfortunately, most pregnancy losses occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. A miscarriage (or a threatened miscarriage) usually presents itself as bleeding associated with uterine cramping. Some women also report experiencing the passage of large blood clots from the vagina. If you have these symptoms, alert a doctor right away.


Pregnancy complications

Some other reasons why you might see bleeding during the first trimester include a subchorionic haemorrhage (a blood clot that forms behind the developing placenta), a cervical infection, placenta previa (when the placenta implants and grows over the cervix), or benign cervical polyps. Not all of these are dangerous, but in general, anytime you have bleeding during pregnancy, you'll want to call your prenatal health care provider.

This is not to say that bleeding cannot occur in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters. Bleeding can also result from vasa previa (where the blood vessels of the placenta are in an abnormal location and cross over the cervix), a placental abruption (where the placenta begins to pull away from the wall of the uterus prematurely), or even labour.


The takeaway

Although bleeding in pregnancy is common, it’s not possible to get your period while pregnant. It's crucial to always get it assessed because some causes of bleeding during pregnancy could be dangerous. Pain or no pain, if you’re pregnant and bleeding call a health care provider for further instruction.


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