Can Bleeding Indicate A Miscarriage
Not all bleeding in pregnancy is harmless, and it can be the first sign of a miscarriage. As many as 1 in 5 pregnancies are thought to end in miscarriage. The cause of miscarriage is not always known, but researchers have shown that in some cases there is a problem with the developing pregnancy, which means it is unable to develop normally. For most women, miscarriage is a very sad and upsetting experience.
Experiences of miscarriage vary. In some cases there may be only very slight spotting, in other cases bleeding may stop and start or heavier bleeding with clots and cramping period type pains can occur. Sometimes there may be no bleeding at all.
For further information relating to miscarriage, please ask your nurse for further details.
What About Right Before Your Period
The likelihood of getting pregnant right before your period is extremely low. For women with a typical 28- to 30-day cycle or longer and their cycles are regular, it is fairly safe to say your ovulation occurred between Day 11 and Day 21. The egg is only available for 12 to 24 hours for conception.
This means the days right before your period are the safest to have sex without the expectation of getting pregnant. The number of safe days right before your period go up with longer cycles and lessen with shorter cycles.
If you wait 36 to 48 hours after ovulation, you should be beyond the possibilities of conception. The further you are from ovulation, the less likely your chance for conceiving. This is not the time to have sex if you are trying to conceive. Its still a good time to enjoy intimacy with your partner.
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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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Why You Can’t Have A Period While Pregnant
A true period is blood loss that occurs at the end of a menstrual cycle as a result of your egg not being fertilized by sperm. When an egg goes unfertilized, hormonesthe ones that control the release of the egg into your fallopian tubes and cause your womb lining to thickendrop in levels at the end of the month. Your womb lining then disintegrates and is shed in what we commonly refer to as a period.
If you’re pregnant, an egg has already been fertilized and is growing as an embryo within the walls of your uterus. Since your womb lining is not being discarded at the end of each month, you no longer have a period. This is why one of the early signs of pregnancy is a missed period.
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Reasons Your Period Is Late
During your usual morning routine, you open your cabinet, spot a box of tampons in the back, and you suddenly realize youre late. When was my last period? you think as you try to remember the last time you needed to reach for that box. Panic then takes over as your mind shoots straight to pregnancy.
While being pregnant is a possible reason for a missed period, there may be factors related to your health or lifestyle that are causing the delay, notes Shelley White-Corey, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Nursing and a womens health nurse practitioner.
Your period may not make an appearance after your baby is born, but dont be alarmed! If you are breastfeeding your little one, a lack of periods is completely normal. Referred to as lactational amenorrhea, this is a phase that disrupts the rhythm of your menstrual cycle. After a few months, your monthly period should be right back on track.
Weight loss or weight gain
Whether youre overweight or underweight, any change in pounds can affect your monthly cycle. Common health problems linked to weight and irregular menstruation include eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and uncontrolled diabetes. If you suspect this might be an issue for you, see your health care provider right away.
Sleep schedule changes
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Can You Get Pregnant Right Before Or After Your Period
Doctors generally agree that people are not likely to get pregnant in the days leading up to their period. This is especially true if their periods are regular and they have a 28-day menstrual cycle.
However, given the fluid nature of the fertile window, people who do not want to become pregnant should still use contraception at this time.
Sperm cells can only fertilize an egg within a 24-hour window after ovulation. If a person knows when they have ovulated and counts w days from ovulation, they should no longer be able to get pregnant before their next period.
It is, however, possible for a person to get pregnant immediately after their period. This is because sperm can still fertilize eggs for 35 days after sexual intercourse.
If a person with a short cycle has sexual intercourse right after their period and happens to ovulate early, they may ovulate quickly enough for the egg to connect with sperm cells.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects
The biggest downside to having sex during your period is the mess. Blood can get on you, your partner, and the sheets, especially if you have a heavy flow. Aside from dirtying the bed, bleeding may make you feel self-conscious. Anxiety over making a mess can take some or all of the fun out of sex.
Another worry about having sex during your period is the risk of passing on a sexually transmitted infection like HIV or hepatitis. These viruses live in blood, and they can spread through contact with infected menstrual blood. Using condoms every time you have sex can reduce your risk of spreading or catching an STI.
If you plan to have sex during your period and youre wearing a tampon, you need to remove it beforehand. A forgotten tampon can get pushed so far up into your vagina during sex that youll need to see a doctor to have it removed.
Can You Get Pregnant
If you arent actively trying to conceive, using protection is a good idea, no matter what part of your menstrual cycle youre in. Your odds of conceiving are lower during your period, but its still possible to become pregnant at this time.
Youre most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, which happens about 14 days before your period starts. Yet every womans cycle length is different, and your cycle length can change monthly. If you have a short menstrual cycle, your risk of getting pregnant during your period is higher.
Also consider that sperm can stay alive in your body for up to seven days. So, if you have a 22-day cycle and you ovulate soon after getting your period, theres a chance youll be releasing an egg while sperm are still in your reproductive tract.
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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.
Immediately Before Your Period
By and large, your likelihood of conceiving right before your period is low. During a typical 28- to 30-day cycle, ovulation will most likely occur between Day 11 and Day 14. When this happens, the egg will only be available for conception for 12 to 24 hours.
The days immediately before your period would be the “safest” if you want to have sex without the risk of pregnancy.
It’s important to remember, though, that this window of opportunity can vary. Longer cycles will usually have more “safe” days, while shorter cycles will have fewer. As such, you may risk pregnancy if you ovulate later in the cycle or simply miscalculate your “safe” days.
On the other hand, if you are trying to conceive, now would not be the best time to start. You can still enjoy sex but are more likely to conceive if you do so after your period.
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Why You Might Experience A Period During Your First Trimester
Though people stop getting their period during pregnancy, its possible that they may still experience some bleeding. This bleeding does not necessarily indicate an underlying issue, but its important to understand the cause of it and whether its time to see a health care provider.
Bleeding tends to occur more often during the first trimester of pregnancy than the second or third. Estimates suggest that about 25 to 30 percent of pregnant people experience spotting at some point during their first trimester. There are a number of reasons for this bleeding.
Implantation bleeding: This refers to the light spotting that occurs about 10 to 14 days after conception, around the time when your period is due. Many people havent yet taken a pregnancy test at this point, so its easy to mistake the spotting for a period. This bleeding is lighter than a normal period, however, and only lasts for a couple of days. It occurs due to the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine lining.
Cervical changes: Spotting can occur shortly after you get pregnant due to cervical changes, and particularly after having sexual intercourse. As long as no infection is present, theres no need to be concerned about this.
Other causes: Heavier bleeding that more closely resembles a period during the first trimester of pregnancy can indicate something more serious, including:
- Back pain
- Severe abdominal pain or cramps
- Loss of consciousness or faintness
Ive Been Using Contraception Will This Affect My Cycle
This depends on what type of contraception youve been using. If youve been taking the pill, your period may be irregular when you first come off it, so try to give yourself up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to get back to its normal routine.
The first period after stopping the pill is known as a withdrawal bleed. The next one after this is your first natural period.
The contraceptive injection can also affect your cycle. Your periods may change and become irregular, heavier, shorter, lighter or stop altogether. This can carry on for some months after you stop the injections.
If you use the contraceptive implant your fertility will return to normal as soon as it is taken out.
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Fertility Tracking For Women With Pcos And Irregular Periods
If women are not ovulating or ovulating irregularly, as in the case of polycystic ovary syndrome , they may experience irregular bleeding. Women with PCOS have bleeding that occurs randomly, not in response to a true cycle. As a result, women with PCOS cannot use their period to track their cycle. They would be better suited to discuss alternative methods of tracking fertility with their health care provider.
Similarly, women who experience irregular periods should not count on using their period to track their fertility. An average period cycle lasts 21 to 35 days from the start of one period to the start of the next period. If your periods fall out of this timeframe, then they may be irregular and not associated with ovulation.
Women may experience irregular periods for a variety of reasons like being underweight or constant and intense exercise, Harper said. However, irregular periods may be an indicator of an underlying health issue like PCOS. Speak with your provider if you believe you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period
A person can get pregnant during their period, but it is unlikely.
A person is most likely to become pregnant in the middle of their menstrual cycle, which is when the ovary releases an egg in a process called ovulation.
The egg then travels to the uterus, where a sperm cell can fertilize it.
According to the Office on Womens Health, the average menstrual cycle is 28 days. The menstrual cycle is the time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next period. Ovulation usually occurs 719 days after a persons period ends.
The egg can only survive for 1224 hours after ovulation. For this reason, it must meet a sperm cell in this time for pregnancy to occur.
A person is most likely to get pregnant if they have sexual intercourse in the 3 days before and up to the day of ovulation.
Since a person with 28-day cycles typically does not ovulate until around a week after they stop bleeding, they cannot usually get pregnant during their period.
However, it is not quite as simple as this due to three main factors:
- a persons menstrual cycle length
- monthly differences in the timing of ovulation
- how long sperm stays alive inside the female body
Menstrual cycles are still normal if the period comes every 2438 days, so cycle length varies significantly between people. People with shorter menstrual cycles may ovulate closer to their period than people with longer cycles.
So, although it is possible to become pregnant during the period, it is unlikely.
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