Why Do Periods Stop During Pregnancy
Each month, your body goes through a cycle of changes to prepare for a potential pregnancy. One of your ovaries releases an egg, hormones prepare the vagina and cervix to support possible sperm, and your uterus thickens to nurture a possible baby. If you dont become pregnant, on day 28 the cycle ends and the lining of your uterus sheds this blood is your period. If you have sex during a cycle and your egg meets a sperm, you can become pregnant. Throughout your pregnancy, your body retains the lining of your uterus, which is why you stop getting your period during this time.
Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy
Although you cant have an actual period while pregnant, you can experience vaginal bleedingwhich is often mistaken for a period. Bleeding in pregnancy may be dark brown discharge, spotting light pink, or heavy and bright red similar to or more than a period, says Dr. Steve Rad, MD, FACOG, of the Los Angeles Fetal & Maternal Care Center. It may or may not be accompanied by pain, but painless bleeding can still be equally dangerous!
How Soon Will A Pregnancy Test Read Positive
It depends on the sensitivity of the test and when implantation occurred.
Some sensitive tests claim to yield positive results as early as four days before your missed period .
While this may work for some, even with the most sensitive pregnancy tests, theres still a chance of getting a false-negative result.
Lets say your implantation day happened late . You would still get a negative result no matter how sensitive the test is!
So while its tempting to take a pregnancy test early, testing on the first day of your missed period is the safest bet.
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What Is The Last Menstrual Period
The LMP is the date of the first day of the last menstrual period you had before conceiving. It is the first day that your last menstrual cycle begins when you see bright red blood, not just a little brown spotting. You should keep track of your LMP each month, either with an online calculator or just by recording it on a calendar each month. That is the date you use when entering the LMP on an online period calculator.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not trying to get pregnant, keeping track of your menstrual periods is vital. Besides pregnancy, missing a menstrual period could also be a sign of other issues like missed ovulation.
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Signs You Need To Take A Pregnancy Test
4 min Read Time
Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 99% effective when you take them after a missed period. But how do you know when its time to pee on a stick?
Pregnancy symptoms are different for everyone, and as the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin rise, your symptoms may increase, says OBGYN Jessica Brown, MD. At four weeks, you may have a little bit of cramping, but classic symptoms like sore breasts, nausea and fatigue may not begin for six or seven weeks, she says.
So, how do you know if your symptoms point to pregnancy? Brown discusses some of the very first symptoms, along with how to ease the discomfort and the best time to take a pregnancy test.
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Why Is My Period Late
Every woman in their reproductive years and at puberty will notice cyclical bleeding called period or menstruation.
Normal period in girls last about 2-7 days with normal flow of 40 60 mls. Between 2 of your period is ovulation cycle or menstrual cycle.
The normal cycle is between 21 35 days and can vary due to stress, anxiety, illnesses or due to medical conditions.
That Said There Are A Couple Of Other Clues That May Suggest Youre Pregnant:
Early pregnancy symptoms
Some women feel signs of pregnancy even before a missed period.
If youre one of them, here are some symptoms you may notice:
- Implantation bleeding: When an egg implants, you might notice some light bleeding or spotting. Implantation bleeding usually happens around 10-14 DPO or a few days before your period is due.
- Cramping: Implantation can cause abdominal cramps as the egg attaches to your uterine wall. These tend to be milder than menstrual cramps.
- Tender breasts: Hormonal changes of early pregnancy can cause breast tenderness and swelling. Your nipples may also appear darker.
- Fatigue: Rising progesterone levels may make you feel sleepy or even flat-out exhausted.
- Nausea: One of the telltale signs of early pregnancy is nausea and vomiting. Although nicknamed morning sickness, this symptom can linger the entire day.
- Frequent urination: Feel like youre running to the bathroom non-stop? Your body needs extra fluids to grow a new life, making your kidneys work overtime.
- Mood swings: Early pregnancy can take your hormones on a roller-coaster ride, along with your mood.
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Can You Be Fertile On Your Period
While its extremely unlikely, the simple answer is yes. Women are not able to conceive whilst on their period, but sperm survives within the female reproductive system for up to five days. This means that a tiny fraction of women do have a small chance of becoming pregnant from unprotected sex during their period. It all depends on the length of your menstrual cycle simple, right?
Lets take an example, say you have a menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days. You have sex towards the end of your six-day-long period and ovulate shortly after, then there is a chance that some of the sperm survive and you could get pregnant. So while getting pregnant is unlikely, its technically possible if you dont know your fertile window.
The Denial Of Pregnancy
Another reason that can explain getting your period during pregnancy is the denial of pregnancy. This is an unusual phenomenon in which women consciously or unconsciously refuse to believe they are pregnant. Their psychological refusal is so strong that their physical body is also denying any form of pregnancy. There is no nausea, the belly doesnt grow as much, and the period continues as though the cycle never stopped. In these cases, sometimes the only thing that confirms the pregnancy is the birth of the child!
For the most part, its shocking to imagine being completely unaware of such an advanced pregnancy, but its a very real phenomenon!
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It’s Physically Impossible To Have A Period While Pregnant But There Are Reasons For Bleeding During The First Second And Third Trimesters
Can you get your period while pregnant? The short answer is no. “Pregnant people can certainly have vaginal bleeding during a pregnancy, but when they bleed, they are not having a ‘period,'” explains Michele Hakakha, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist based in Los Angeles and co-author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy.
Keep reading to learn why menstruation stops during pregnancy, as well as other possible causes of vaginal bleeding and spotting during the first, second, or third trimester.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant While On Your Period
Its very unlikely you will get pregnant in the days immediately before your period. However, we are all unique and our cycles are not the same and so our peak fertility varies. This means for some women the days before menstruation are fertile. Getting pregnant 5 days before your period is a possibility for some women, if they ovulate close to the end of their menstrual cycle, but typically peak fertility occurs earlier in the menstrual cycle.
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Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period
You are moving into your fertility window, so yes, you can get pregnant right after your period. On a typical cycle that occurs every 28 to 30 days, the fertility window is usually between Day 11 and Day 21. Remember, sperm can live up to 5 days. If your period lasts for 5 to 7 days, and you have sex right after that, you are approaching your fertility window.
Implantation Bleeding Could Be Mistaken For A Light Period
Many women also mistake implantation bleeding for a period while pregnant. Following the same example above, if you often have a light period, and had spotting on day 23, you might mistake that spotting as your period a day or two early.
Bleeding varies from woman to woman, but a heavy flow is almost never implantation bleeding. You can read a full article or try our quiz on telling the difference between implantation and your period here.
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What About Right After Your Period
Its unlikely though slightly more likely than if you have sex during your period.
If you have sex right after your period and you ovulate early that month, its possible to get pregnant.
This is more likely with people who have a shorter-than-average cycle, because ovulation occurs more frequently.
Your period will only start if the egg isnt fertilized and the cells are reabsorbed.
This causes estrogen and progesterone levels to fall and menstruation to begin.
However, you may experience some spotting during early pregnancy.
One study found that 14 out of 151 participants experienced one day of vaginal bleeding in the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
Furthermore, 15 percent to 25 percent of people may experience spotting during the first three months of pregnancy.
Taking note of the timing and any other symptoms present can help you differentiate between typical menstruation and pregnancy-related spotting.
Implantation bleeding usually occurs 6 to 12 days after conception. Its caused by the fertilized egg attaching to your uterus lining.
This light spotting usually only lasts 24 to 48 hours and is generally much lighter than the average period.
If youre experiencing unexpected bleeding, see a doctor or other healthcare provider.
You Can Be Pregnant And Still Think You’re Getting A Period
OK, so maybe you didn’t bother to listen to the previous section of this article AT ALL. You had sex without protection, spent the rest of your cycle quietly praying to the deity of your choice, and when you finally got your period, you publicly rejoiced, throwing a tiny parade in honor of your empty womb .
But don’t start that dance party yet, cowboy. While you can’t get your actual period while pregnant, according to Dr. Janelle Luk, MD, reproductive endocrinologist and medical director/co-founder of Generation Next Facility, you can experience bleeding that may look extremely similar. A “common and harmless reason for vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is implantation bleeding, when an embryo is implanting into the endometrium,” Luk tells Bustle. According to the American Pregnancy Association, though this bleeding may be lighter than your average period, it may occur around when you normally experience your period, leading many pregnant folks to get confused and mistake it for a period/ confirmation that they’re not pregnant.
I don’t say all of this to scare you OK, that’s actually a total lie, I am definitely telling you this to scare you. Because accidental pregnancy is scary as hell! Getting knocked up even though you thought you were kinda, sorta taking precautions is a terrible, terrible feeling. And I’m sure you already have enough things in this life to feel terrible about .
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Other Causes Of Bleeding In Early Pregnancy
Light bleeding in early pregnancy is relatively common1, and while implantation bleeding is the most common cause, there are other causes. In pregnancy, the hormonal changes can cause the cervix to become thinner and more vascular. This may cause it to bleed more easily on trauma, such as just after penetrative sex, for example. This type of bleeding is very light, lasts less than a day, is harmless, and has no other associated symptoms.
Heavier bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be due to miscarriage2, which is very common in early pregnancy compared with later on in pregnancy, and is normally not something that could have been prevented. Unfortunately, it can happen when there is a genetic or developmental abnormality in the growing foetus.3
In pregnancy, the hormonal changes can cause the cervix to become thinner and more vascular. This may cause it to bleed more easily on trauma, such as just after penetrative sex, for example.
Having a miscarriage does not necessarily mean unsuccessful pregnancies in the future. Other symptoms that may accompany bleeding in miscarriages include severe lower abdominal pain, vaginal discharge of fluid or tissue and the disappearance of pregnancy symptoms such as nausea or breast tenderness.
Why Did I Not Bleed When I Lost My Virginity
It’s normal to have bleeding the first time you have sex, but it’s also normal not to. Vaginas have a thin tissue that stretches across part of the opening. This is called a hymen. Sometimes when a person has vaginal sex for the first time, their hymen gets stretched open, which can cause pain or bleeding.
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Not Pregnant 10 Reasons For Your Missed Period
No period? Sounds kind of nice. Less worry, less planning, and a nice break from the years of month-to-month fatigue, cramping, and hunger cues. Sounds pretty convenient, right?
But not quite. Having a period is natural and ensures the bodys reproductive system is operating properly.
Although irregular menstrual cycles can kind of be normal, an entire lack of a menstruation can be a concern. For women who are 16 and older, and never had a period, this is called primary amenorrhea. If they have had a period but have missed several in six months time, that is called secondary amenorrhea.
There are many reasons you may have amenorrhea. If youre not pregnant or breastfeeding, a lack of a period could be a sign for other underlying issues. A complete missed period may be one amongst many symptoms for a condition. Underlying conditions that also lead to headaches, cramping without bleeding, and changes in vision.
In addition, other causes of amenorrhea could be:
Birth Control: birth control pills inhibit ovulation. This also happens with the birth control injections. IUD devices may also be the cause for light or no periods at all. And other medicines like antidepressants may be the cause for missed periods. Normally, with discontinued use of any of these, the period should resume.
Premature Menopause: if this occurs, doctors can treat you by replacing the hormones lost, especially for heart and bone health.
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Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation , which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just after your period, although it can happen. It’s important to remember that sperm can sometimes survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.
This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.
You should always use contraception when you have sex if you don’t want to become pregnant.
You Have An Ectopic Pregnancy
Do you have severe abdominal pain, light brown discharge and pregnancy symptoms? Then its possible you have an ectopic pregnancy.
What does ectopic pregnancy mean?
In normal pregnancies, fertilization occurs inside the Fallopian tube, which is a 10cm tube attached to the body of the uterus. After fertilization, the embryo or fertilized ovum is transported back to the uterus for implantation.
However, in ectopic pregnancies, this process fails to result in implantation outside the uterus, or in the fallopian tubes. Implantation inside the Fallopian tube will cause bleeding into the abdomen with symptoms like
- Pain especially in the right or left side of the abdomen
- Heavy vaginal bleeding, though it may be light bleeding or no bleeding at all.
- Dizziness or fainting attack
- Severe pain in the abdomen that gets worse with time
Who are at risk of an ectopic pregnancy?
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea infection
- Pelvic inflammation disease
- Drugs like Clomiphene citrate used to stimulate ovulation
- Previous history of an abortion
What to do?
You should inform your doctor ASAP about your symptoms. Ectopic pregnancy is an emergency worldwide and may cause death in young women if not treated early.
Can You Have A Period While Pregnant
Technically, its biologically impossible to get your period while pregnant, according to doctors. Getting your period, or menstruating, is by definition, the shedding of the uterine lining which happens when there is not a fertilized egg in the uterus, says Dr. Amy Roskin, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Favor.Being pregnant means that you would need your uterine lining to sustain a pregnancy, so menstruation does not occur.
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