Can You Be Pregnant And Have A Period
Experts share why it’s physically impossible to have a period while pregnant, and they give alternative reasons for bleeding during the first, second, and third trimesters.
Can you get your period while pregnant? The short answer is no. “Women 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 spotting during the first, second, or third trimester.
When To See Your Health Care Provider
Because it isnt possible to get your period while pregnant, its important to be mindful of any bleeding you do experience during this time. While light bleeding or spotting during the first trimester is usually normal, bleeding that is accompanied by other symptoms may indicate something more serious, and its important to see a health care provider immediately. These symptoms include:
- Cramping and pain
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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Can You Ovulate On Your Period
You cannot ovulate on your period. If you are trying to plan a pregnancy, the best time to conceive is on the day of ovulation and 24 hours before – so the chances of being fertile on your period are extremely low. Its also worth knowing that some women may experience spotting around ovulation – this is a much smaller amount of blood than you get with period bleeding. If you are spotting, you may be fertile.
What Are The Chances I Can Get Pregnant On My Period
The chances of getting pregnant if you have sex during your period are very low. However, if youve had unprotected sex, it is still possible to get pregnant during your period.
To understand how this can happen, you need to know how your menstrual cycle works.
- Your cycle starts on the first day of your period and lasts until the first day of your next period.
- About 10 to 16 days before the start of your next period, you will ovulate, which is when one of your ovaries releases an egg.
- Once youve ovulated, you enter the Luteal phase, when the now empty follicle develops the corpus luteum, which produces the hormone progesterone.
- The lining on your uterus thickens in preparation for a fertilised egg to implant.
- If you have not conceived, then the egg passes into the uterus, hormone levels drop, and the womb lining sheds as you begin your next period.
You are at your most fertile around the time you ovulate. Although the egg lives only for 12 to 24 hours after being released, you can get pregnant even if you have sex days before you ovulate as sperm can live up to five days in your body.
So how likely are you to get pregnant during your period? Well, it depends on a few factors like:
- whether you used contraception or not
- the length of your menstrual cycle
- the length of your period
- when you had sex
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How Could Bleeding Mimic A Period
Some bleeding during pregnancy is actually quite common, especially during the first trimester. The menstrual cycle also varies among women. Some women have lighter periods, and therefore a bit of spotting could be confused with a regular cycle.
One study found that 25% of participants reported bleeding during their first trimester, and 8% reported heavy bleeding, similar to a period flow.
How Does Conception Occur
The ability to conceive is miraculous. It requires the meeting of a males sperm with a females egg. Once a womans ovary releases an egg, the egg lives for only between 12 and 24 hours. The male sperm can live for about three days.
The typical female cycle is 28 days. Day 1 is when she starts her period. A woman typically ovulates around day 14 .
Ovulation is when a womans ovary releases an egg for fertilization. If a sperm is available in the uterus, pregnancy can occur.
Ovulation can vary based on a womans cycle. Some women have a longer cycle of around 35 days between periods. Ovulation would then happen around day 21. Women with a shorter cycle of 21 days ovulate around day 7.
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What Should I Do If I Suspect Pregnancy And Im Bleeding
If you suspect, or know, you are pregnant, and you experience any bleeding or spotting, you should contact your healthcare provider. Bleeding during pregnancy can occur in healthy pregnancies that will continue to term. However, bleeding during pregnancy is sometimes indicative of complications, including pregnancy loss.
If youre having what appears to be a regular period, it is unlikely that youre pregnant. However, any time you think you could be pregnant, its good to be in contact with your care provider.
If youre unsure about whether or not you might be pregnant, check out BellyBellys article, Am I Pregnant?
Tampons And Pads Arent Your Only Choices
You have more options to help you manage that time of the month.
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that fits inside your vagina and collects blood during your period. Period panties are super-absorbent, and you can wear them on their own on your lighter days or with a tampon during heavier times. Reusable cloth pads can be washed and worn again.
These products can be cost-savers, since you can reuse them, and they also create less waste. In some cases, they give you more time between changes. For example, you need to change a tampon every 4 to 8 hours, but you may be able to go up to 12 hours with a menstrual cup before you empty it.
There are pros and cons to all these options, just as there are with tampons and pads. But you can find one that works best for you with some trial and error.
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Serena Williams Says She Had A Period While She Was Pregnant
Whether you’re trying to become pregnant or trying your hardest to avoid it, you can usually take your period as a sign that you don’t have to think about a baby anytime soon. But, in a new interview with InStyle, Serena Williams says she actually got a period during the early stages of her pregnancyand she was completely floored to find out that she was actually pregnant.
In the interview, Williams says that she didnt think it was even possible that she could be pregnant. She hadnt seen her now-husband Alexis Ohanian in like four weeks and literally had a cycle just before. Williams says she took the test just to shut my friend up and was completely surprised when it was positive. She was even more shocked when her doctor told her she was seven weeks along. Oh, and she was playing in the Australian Open at the time.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Sex During Your Period
Most likely you will not get pregnant having sex while on your period. Thats because your ovulation time is several days away decreasing any chances of getting pregnant during this time. However, there are exceptions. This applies to women who have a typical 28 to 30 day or longer cycle. If you have a shorter cycle, say every 21 to 24 days, that means you are ovulating earlier in the cycle. Because sperm can live inside you for up to 5 days, you could have sex towards the end of your period and then conceive 4 or 5 days later with your early ovulation. To verify, inexpensive, early detection pregnancy and ovulation tests can be purchased online from our corporate sponsor Fairhaven Health.
The probabilities of getting pregnant during your period are low, but the possibilities are there. This is not the time to have sex if you are trying to get pregnant.
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When Can You Get Pregnant After Your Period
Understanding your menstrual cycle is crucial to defining when you ovulate and calculating when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Women should be aware that if they have an irregular period, it can make the ovulation days difficult to determine. Said Dr. Martinelli. When examining fertility, its important to realize that an egg can survive for about 24 hours after ovulation, and sperm can live inside a womans body for three daysthough sometimes its possible for them to survive for five days.
In Some Cases Bleeding During Pregnancy Can Be A Sign Of A Serious Issue So If You’re Not Sure What’s Causing It Definitely Check In With Your Doctor
As SELF reported previously, if your bleeding is particularly heavy, comes with abdominal pain, or lasts for more than a few days, that’s a sign something more serious may be going on. You might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should tell your doctor at your next regular appointment if you have any light spotting that goes away within a day. But if you have bleeding that lasts for more than a day, you should contact them within 24 hours. And if you pass any tissue from your vagina, experience moderate to heavy bleeding, or have bleeding along with abdominal pain, chills, or cramping, you should get in touch with them immediately. But, again, many cases of bleeding during early pregnancy aren’t serious.
And, on the other hand, if you’re not sure if you’re pregnant and notice youre having a period that comes at a weird time, isn’t as heavy as usual, doesnt last as long as usual, and comes with any other pregnancy symptoms, its worth taking a test, just in case.
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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.
Pregnancy With A Period: Is It Possible
While some people may experience intermittent vaginal bleeding while they are pregnant, it isnt possible to have a period. Menstruation only takes place in the absence of pregnancy.
Each month, ovulation occurs when your ovary releases an egg to be fertilized by the sperm. The uterine lining thickens in anticipation of a fertilized egg being implanted, which then results in pregnancy. If an egg isnt fertilized and implanted, both the egg and the uterine lining are shed through the vagina as menstrual blood.
So, can you have a period while youre pregnant? The short answer is no. Since you dont ovulate or release an egg during pregnancy, you will not get your monthly period.
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The Ins And Outs Of Period Sex
So now we know it is possible to get pregnant on your period, its important you take the right precautions. When used correctly, barrier methods such as the condom are very effective at preventing pregnancy and also offer protection against STIs.
While many may think its gross or messy, having sex on your period is perfectly healthy and lots of women swear by it for a number of reasons. Due to a dip in progesterone, you may find your sex drive increases around menstruation. On top of this, orgasms can alleviate period cramps and cause the uterus to contract more, which in the end can mean shorter periods too.
Before you get into the swing of things, make sure you remove any tampons or menstrual cups before sex. These block the vaginal passage and it can be dangerous if they are misused or left too long inside the vagina.
While you might be expecting a Stephen King-style horror scene, you may actually be surprised by how little menstrual blood there is. The heaviness of your period is a very personal thing that varies from cycle to cycle, however, the average woman will only produce 6-8 teaspoons worth of blood during her entire period. That being said, you might want to have an extra towel on hand, or suggest things get steamy in the shower.
What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine , IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.
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