The rumor that someone has had a period while they were pregnant is a common myth. Some women will experience vaginal bleeding during their pregnancy, and some even report that they appear to have bleeding that mimics a regular period. But this type of bleeding is not the same as menstruation. It is common for women to mistake vaginal bleeding for their period because this is the type of bleeding that occurs most often. What causes vaginal bleeding that resembles a period?
Can You Be Pregnant and Still Get Your Period?
It is possible to get pregnant during your period, but it is not very likely. Once the body begins to produce human chorionic gondaotrophin (hCG) during pregnancy, you will no longer have periods. Around 25-30 percent of women who are pregnant experience bleeding or spotting early on in the pregnancy. There are a few causes that commonly lead to first-trimester bleeding, but none of these are signs that there is something wrong.
1. Implantation Bleeding
This bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. This commonly occurs 2-5 days after conception. This bleeding should be slight and only last for about 5-10 days after conception.
2. Hormonal Changes
This bleeding should be quite slight, but it may resemble your normal period. In some cases women will bleed throughout their pregnancy, but this is not their normal period. This is often caused by hormonal changes that occur when your body is getting used to the pregnancy.
3. Other Causes
You may experience bleeding after a vaginal exam, Pap smear or zed because there is an increase in the amount of blood going to the cervix when you are pregnant. Bleeding can also be a sign of troublesome symptoms such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage which could be life threatening.
If you notice bleeding that is not slight during your pregnancy, call your midwife or doctor right away, even if the bleeding stops. Many women who bleed during pregnancy do not have complications but it is always best to rule out a serious problem. If you are experiencing active bleeding or pain and cannot reach your regular doctor, go to the emergency room.
What If I Have Symptoms of Pregnancy Followed by a Heavy Period?
If you are having unusual symptoms that make you think you are pregnant, but are also experiencing heavy bleeding, you should talk to your doctor about what may be happening. These symptoms may be caused by a hormone imbalance, miscarriage or infection, but a medical examination is the only way to know for sure so you can receive the right care.
What If I Have a Negative Pregnancy Test and a Missed Period?
Negative pregnancy test can indicate that you are really not pregnant, but you may have taken the test incorrectly or too early. Pregnancy tests have varying sensitivity on when they can detect hCG hormones, so you may not have given your body time to produce enough hCG at a level that can be detected by your test. Pregnancy tests can also expire, rendering the results invalid. You should make sure you follow all of the instructions on the packaging to make sure you are likely to get an accurate result from your pregnancy tests.
Some women can get accurate results from a pregnancy test the day their missed period occurs, while others will not get a result until 3-4 weeks later. You should take a pregnancy test after you have missed a period, but if it comes back negative you should take another a week later if your period has still not started.
Can I Get Pregnant Right before Period?
It is hard to get pregnant right before your period because ovulation takes place around 2 weeks before this point in your menstrual cycle. If a woman has an irregular cycle it is possible to ovulate closer to your period, making it possible for fertilization or implantation to take place. In some cases people are actually experiencing other types of bleeding that is mistaken for a period. So if you are bleeding when you are not due for your period it may actually be a symptom of pregnancy.