Be Prepared For These Questions
If you experience bleeding during pregnancy, be ready to answer these questions when you call or visit your doctor:
- How far along are you?
- When did you first have a positive pregnancy test?
- Have you had an ultrasound, and if so, what did it show?
- When did the bleeding start?
- Were there any obvious causes? For example, have you recently had intercourse or a vaginal exam?
- How heavy has the bleeding been?
- Have you had any pain or other symptoms with the bleeding?
If you are asked to make an appointment, your doctor is likely to check your cervix with a speculum. You might have an ultrasound or other testing to help learn the cause of the bleeding.
Many factors can cause spotting and bleeding during pregnancy. Because of that, its best to talk with your doctor if you have any bleeding. The bottom line is, if youre thinking about it, call your doctor.Thats what were here for, says Dr. McKenna.
What You Should Do In The First Month Of Pregnancy
What You Should Do in the First Month of Pregnancy Think about daycare. We know it sounds crazy to think about daycare when you dont even have a bump yet. Take folic acid/folate. If you werent taking folic acid or folate before you conceived, its not too late to start now. Understand your health insurance. Schedule a prenatal appointment. Calculate your due date. Take photos. Curl up with a good book.
What Causes Bleeding During Early Pregnancy
Occasionally, there is a clear cause for spotting or bleeding during early pregnancy:
But much of the time, no clear cause can be found for episodes of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy.
It has been theorized that early pregnancy bleeding may have something to do with the formation of the placenta. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the corpus luteum is responsible for producing the progesterone necessary to maintain the pregnancy. But progesterone production shifts to the placenta around week 7.
The authors of the study in Obstetrics & Gynecology note that this coincides with when bleeding is most commonly observed, during gestational weeks 5 8. They surmise that heavy bleeding during this time may signal a problem with development of the placenta.
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Having Your Period When You’re Pregnant Is Pretty Darn Unlikely
I have heard from some women who say they had periods throughout their first trimester, Jonathan Schaffir, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. But in reality, physiologically its pretty impossible to have actual periods during pregnancy.
Just a little refresher: Every month , the lining of your uterus thickens and an egg makes its way from one of your ovaries through the fallopian tubes. If it comes in contact with sperm, the sperm can fertilize the egg. If fertilization happens, the egg will continue its journey to the uterus and can implant on that lining. If things continue from there, the fertilized egg becomes an embryo and the placenta will develop from the uterine lining.
But, if the egg doesn’t get fertilized, your body sheds that built-up uterine lining through your vagina, causing a period. And, as you can probably guess, it’s kind of an either/or situationeither the egg is fertilized and the process of pregnancy begins, or it isn’t and the process of your period begins instead.
Getting Pregnant With An Iud
IUDs are a very effective method of birth control, says Costescu. The copper IUDs failure rate is a mere 0.8 percent, while a hormonal IUD has a failure rate of just 0.2 percent. A copper IUD is immediately effective when placed, and the hormonal type is effective within five days after being placed, he explains. And, since you dont have to do anything after its in place, and youve had a follow-up to make sure it was inserted properly, theres no chance for user error.
The one risk is that over the five-year life of your IUD, there is a three to five percent chance it may be expelled by your body. If someone does notice they suddenly have heavy bleeding with clots with an IUD inside, that could be a sign that the IUDs been expelled, Black explains. If this happens, do a string check to make sure the IUD is still in place if you cant find the string, make an appointment with your health-care provider so they can make sure everything is where it should be and, in the meantime, use backup birth control, such as condoms.
If you suspect youre pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If its positive, its important to see a health-care provider as soon as possible to get an ultrasound. Its an urgent matter because if you get pregnant with an IUD there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo has implanted in one of your fallopian tubes rather than in your uterus, which can be dangerous, and needs to be treated right away.
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When Should You Call Your Healthcare Provider About First
Unfortunately, there really isnt any surefire way to tell whether your early-pregnancy bleeding whether its just light spotting or heavier bleeding with clots is harmless or a sign of a more concerning issue.
Though vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can indicate an underlying medical condition, it doesnt mean that you should fear the worst. Yes, bleeding during pregnancy could be a miscarriage symptom, but it could also be caused by any of the above factors. The only way to diagnose the cause of the bleeding is to go to your healthcare provider for further testing.
If your bleeding is accompanied by dizziness or pain on only one side of your body, it may be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy, a serious medical condition. If you notice those symptoms, you should call your physician immediately.
If you are concerned about any bleeding during your pregnancy, even if you arent experiencing any additional symptoms, dont hesitate to contact your doctor to discuss what it means.
Is Bleeding During Pregnancy A Symptom Of Miscarriage
Light bleeding is usually nothing to worry aboutâresearch has shown that people with spotting are not more likely to have a miscarriage than people who donât have spotting . However, heavy bleeding may be more of a concern. If youâre pregnant and bleeding, call your healthcare provider to check in, just so they know whatâs going on.
Also Check: How To Know When Your Period Is Coming Again
How Can A Woman Get Pregnant On Her Period
Its easy to mistake vaginal bleeding for the beginning of a period. Its possible you could bleed during ovulation when youre most fertile. This could easily be mistaken for a period. Having unprotected sex at this time dramatically increases your chances of becoming pregnant.
For the average woman, the ovulation cycle is somewhere between 28 and 30 days. This means that if you have sex while on your period, you wont likely ovulate until several days later.
But women with a shorter cycle wouldnt have the same amount of time between having their periods and ovulating.
Another consideration is that a mans sperm can live inside a woman for up to 72 hours after ejaculation. Toward the end of your period, your chances of becoming pregnant will increase.
If youre curious about your ovulation patterns, you can track the number of days between your periods. This includes when you start your period, and then when you start your period again.
Over several months, you can identify a pattern to determine roughly when your ovulation cycle occurs.
If You Get Your Period Does That Mean Youre Not Pregnant
If you thought you were pregnant and you got your normal, heavy period are you safe to say you arent pregnant for sure?
Getting your normal, heavy period is a really strong sign that youre not pregnant. Its actually impossible to get a period while pregnant. You can always take a pregnancy test if itll help ease your mind.
Unprotected vaginal sex can lead to both pregnancy and STDs. If you want to avoid pregnancy while having sex, your best bet is to use birth control, like the IUD, shot, and pill . Its also a good idea to use condoms too, since they can help prevent STDs along with some bonus pregnancy prevention powers.
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We Know You’re Wondering: Is It Possible To Be Pregnant And Still Have A Period
Nope, experts say. Some people may experience bleeding or spotting, but those are different bleeding patterns from the cyclical menses your body experiences in absence of a pregnancy.
Dr. Michele Hakakha, an OB-GYN and author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy, told Parents that people definitely can experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, but that “when they bleed, they are not having a ‘period.'” That’s because your body needs to reserve the uterine lining as nourishment for the growing pregnancy.
Although bleeding during pregnancy doesn’t always mean cause for concern, it can indicate something more serious like a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In the earliest stage of pregnancy, however, some very light bleeding is totally normal and leads us to our first pregnancy clue: implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days, and it’s much lighter than most people’s periods .
Ovulation And Fertility: How Do I Know
Because periods can be different lengths and not all bleeding is a period, it can be confusing to track your ovulation. The best way to track your ovulatory cycle is by watching it for three to four months, Harper said. To track, Harper recommends determining the average time between the start of one period to the start of the next. Because this is an average number, it does not have to be exactly the same every month. If this average number is between 21 and 35 days, then you can divide that number in half, which is MOST LIKELY, but not guaranteed, to be the time of ovulation.
Once you have monitored a few cycles and think you know when you are ovulating, check on your vaginal discharge. Around the time of ovulation, discharge becomes thick and stretchyjust like an uncooked egg white, Harper mentioned. This is the best way to verify that you are on track when it comes to predicting ovulation. If you take a birth control pill, then you do not ovulate at all and do not need to pay attention to discharge.
Cervical mucus accepts, filters, prepares and releases sperm for the successful fertilization of an egg. If you do not want to become pregnant and are not using another birth control, Harper says it is best to avoid intercourse the week you notice the mucus.
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Can A Girl Get Pregnant If She Has Sex During Her Period
Can a girl get pregnant if she has sex during her period?Jamie*
Yes. A lot of people think that if a girl has sex during her period, she cant get pregnant. But it is possible for a girl to get pregnant while she is bleeding. This can happen for a couple of reasons:
- Not all vaginal bleeding is a menstrual period. Sometimes a girl will have a small amount of vaginal bleeding at the time of ovulation the time when she is most fertile. Girls who are ovulating sometimes have some vaginal bleeding that can be mistaken for a period.
- Sometimes ovulation can happen before the bleeding from a girls period has stopped or within a few days after her period is over. All girls can ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle, making it impossible for a girl to know exactly when she is most fertile. Because sperm can fertilize an egg for 72 hours after ejaculation, having sex during a girls period is risky.
Having unprotected sex at any time is risky: Along with the chance of getting pregnant, you can also get a sexually transmitted disease , such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence. If you do have sex, use a condom every time to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. And talk to your doctor about additional forms of contraception.
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Your Period Changes Throughout Your Life
Just when you start to feel like you can predict exactly when your period is going to show, everything can change. For that, you can thank the hormone shifts that happen throughout your lifetime.
Once you get your very first period, your cycles may be longer, meaning more time may pass between when one period starts to the next. A typical cycle for a teenage girl may be 21 to 45 days. Over time, they get shorter and more predictable, averaging about 21 to 35 days.
Hormone changes that happen during perimenopause — the years before menopause when your body starts to make less estrogen — can throw you for a loop. The time from one period to the next may get shorter or longer, and you may have heavier or lighter bleeding during your period. This phase can last up to 10 years before you start menopause and stop getting your period for good.
Gradual life changes are normal, but sudden, unusual issues like very heavy bleeding or missed periods are not. Talk with your doctor if you notice that something seems off.
Read Also: Signs To Know Your Period Is Coming
What Are The Signs Of A Miscarriage
Call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately if you have any of these signs of miscarriage:
- Severe pain or cramps low in the abdomen
- Severe bleeding, with or without pain
- Vaginal discharge containing tissue
- Fever higher than 100.4° F
If you have heavy bleeding during pregnancy, dont use a tampon. Wear a pad and dont change it before heading to the emergency room, says Dr. Svokos. Doctors need to know how much youre bleeding whether the blood is pink, brown or red and if its smooth or full of clots. Be sure to bring any tissue that passes through your vagina in for testing, too.
Your doctor will use vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds to determine the cause of your bleeding. If a miscarriage does occur, it often means the baby wasnt developing normally.
Most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies, but having a miscarriage is one of the most challenging things a woman and her partner can go through. Dont rush the grieving process. Finding a support group or counselor can help a lot.