Can you be pregnant and still have your period?
Any spotting in a woman’s cycle tends to be initially considered as menstrual flow. However, there isn’t always a direct correlation, and the causes of bleeding can be varied.
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If you’re expecting a child, have experienced some bleeding, and wonder if you can be pregnant while still having your period, we’ll provide an answer. Fertilab Barcelona, a fertility clinic with over 25 years of experience, explains the main types of bleeding a woman can experience, to address any doubts you may have on this matter.
Being pregnant and having a period: differences between menstruation and bleeding.
When a woman becomes pregnant, she stops having her period. In fact, the first and primary symptom of pregnancy is the absence of menstruation.
Every month, a woman’s uterus prepares to receive a pregnancy, and when this doesn’t happen, the menstrual phase begins. For this to occur, the woman must have previously released an ovum that hasn’t been fertilized by a sperm cell, which means it’s not possible to be pregnant and continue having a period. However, sometimes lighter bleeding can occur that might be confused with menstrual flow, but it has nothing to do with it.
In fact, a pregnant woman will not have her period again until after giving birth. Yet many interpret any possible bleeding as menstrual flow, even when it actually isn’t.
For bleeding to be classified as menstruation, the discharge must be regular, neither arriving early nor late, and have the usual characteristics of a cycle in terms of quantity and duration.
What is implantation bleeding?
Many women confuse implantation bleeding with their menstrual period. When the embryo attaches to the inner wall of the uterus, it breaks small veins and arteries in the endometrium, which can lead to bleeding. This is a phenomenon that usually occurs in the early weeks of pregnancy, i.e., when the woman would be having her period, which makes it possible to confuse the two events.
The blood lost in this situation is slightly different from that of menstruation; it is almost black with a dark red color and can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. This can happen in about 3 out of 10 women.
Other causes of bleeding during pregnancy
Although not every woman will experience this, vaginal bleeding can occur at any stage of pregnancy and for various reasons. The most common is still implantation bleeding, but it is not the only one.
- Having sex: Sometimes, if a woman is pregnant and has intercourse, there can be a small amount of bleeding.
- Threatened miscarriage: These typically occur in the first trimester and can lead to heavy bleeding and, in some cases, even clots and abdominal pain.
- Ectopic pregnancy: This happens when the pregnancy progresses outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. These types of pregnancies cannot continue normally.
- Placenta previa: The position of the placenta can sometimes be low, covering the internal cervical opening or reaching its edge. If this happens, there are minor bleeds in the placenta that go directly outside through the vagina.
Now you know that it’s not possible to be pregnant and have your period, but various types of bleeding can still occur. These might be insignificant or represent a more severe problem. If you want to become pregnant and are having difficulties, at the Fertilab Barcelona center, we offer all types of fertility treatments with the highest success rates.