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
- Passing clots or heavy bleeding
- Severe pain in your pelvis and stomach
Its important to visit your health care provider if your bleeding is bright red in color and is heavy enough to soak through a pad. Pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy may indicate an ectopic pregnancy. If you suspect this, see your health care provider as soon as possible.
Theres a lot of discussion surrounding pregnancy and periods, and we want to clear things up. Can you have a period and be pregnant? No. Since your period stops after your body starts producing hCG also known as the pregnancy hormone it isnt possible to experience a true period during pregnancy.
During the early stages of pregnancy, however, some people experience spotting or light bleeding and its usually normal. This bleeding is called implantation bleeding, and it happens when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining.
- Analysis of period and cycle length
- Chances of getting pregnant and ovulation forecast
- Predictions of next period
Preparing For Your Doctors Appointment
Changes to your menstrual cycle can indicate a health problem, so its always important to discuss abnormal bleeding with your doctor. Your doctor will likely ask you a lot of questions about your symptoms.
- How long are your cycles? Is this normal for you?
- If your shorter cycle isnt normal for you, when did the changes to your bleeding start?
- How long does the bleeding last?
- What color is the blood?
- How heavy is the bleeding? How quickly does it fill a pad?
- Are there clots? If so, how big are they?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
To calculate the length of your cycle, start counting on the first day you bleed. This will be day one. Your cycle will end on the first day that you start bleeding again. Many smartphone apps are available to help you track your cycle.
If you have a history of irregular bleeding, tracking your cycles on an app can help you identify a problem more quickly. It can also make it easier to share your cycle information with your doctor.
You’ve Gained A Lot Of Weight
Rapid weight gain or loss and excessive amounts of exercise can also affect the hormones that stimulate ovulation, changing the typical pattern of your cycle.
Usually if you are doing extreme exercise or have gotten underweight, your body turns off the ovulatory processit thinks its in a famine situation, and thats not a great time to have a baby, Masterson explains. But if youve become extremely overweight, you might see irregular bleeding happening more or less frequently than normal.
What to do about it
If you think your weight might be to blame for your irregular periods, check in with your docits possible that there are external factors, like a medical condition or new medication, contributing to your weight gain that would be worth looking into.
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When To See A Doctor
If your periods suddenly become lighter and you think you may be pregnant, the only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test. If the light bleeding is due to implantation, taking the test from 2-3 days after the start of the bleeding may show a positive result depending on the sensitivity of the urine test and the amount of hormones present in the body. But if the test is negative, it may still be too early, so wait another week and test again. Every woman is different and while for some the pregnancy test may be positive on the first day of your missed period, for others it may not be positive until up to one month after.
If you are not pregnant, having a noticeably light period from time to time normally isnt the sign of any problem. Sometimes this may be due to temporary disregulation in the menstrual cycle, such as during periods of stress. However, you should see a doctor if you have persistent irregular periods , severe lower abdominal pain, or any other unusual symptoms such as excessive hair growth or weight loss, because these could be indicative of an underlying condition.
Featured image is of menstrual pads scattered against a blue background
One of the first signs of pregnancy can be a light period, and it can be difficult to tell whether it is due to pregnancy or not as the bleed can occur at around the same time of a normal period.
How Rare Is It To Be Pregnant And Have Your Period
Despite numerous claims, it isnt possible to get your period while pregnant. Once the body starts the production of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin , your periods stop.
I have never felt the need to write a review for any app, but this one deserves recognition. I never used to track my period and I ended up needing to have a blood transfusion because I was bleeding so much for so long. But when I downloaded Flo, It has helped me in so many ways. It has always been accurate, and gives me insight on the symptoms Ive been having on my period, and I can keep my symptoms logged so that I can show my doctor what was going on during my last period. Its a really useful and helpful app.
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What Causes Abnormal Menstruation
There are many causes of abnormal periods, ranging from stress to more serious underlying medical conditions:
Other causes of abnormal menstruation include:
- Uterine cancer or cervical cancer.
- Medications, such as steroids or anticoagulant drugs .
- Medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, an under- or overactive thyroid gland, or pituitary disorders that affect hormonal balance.
- Complications associated with pregnancy, including miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy .
You’re In The Early Stages Of Menopause
Perimenopause, which can start as early as your mid-thirties, can cause irregular periods, including ones that are more frequent and heavier than usual, says Dr. Masterson. Other symptoms to watch out for include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems.
What to do about it
Theres not much you can do here , but there are ways to ease the overall effects of perimenopause, like medications or other therapies, if your OB has confirmed thats whats happening. Hormone replacement therapy, which involves taking a pill to bump up your estrogen levels, can help ease the symptoms of perimenopause and reduce bone loss linked to menopause.
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Can A Girl Get Pregnant If Her Periods Are Irregular
I have irregular periods. Can I still get pregnant if I don’t get my period all the time? Kim*
Yes! Any time a girl has unprotected sex, she could get pregnant.
Getting pregnant is related to ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. It is the time when a girl is most likely to get pregnant. A girl with irregular periods usually still ovulates, just not on a regular, predictable schedule.
All girls, especially girls with irregular periods, can ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle. That makes it impossible for a girl to know when she is most fertile. Irregular periods also can make it hard for a girl to know if she is pregnant, since she doesn’t know when to expect her period.
Having unprotected sex at any time is risky. Along with the risk of getting pregnant, you could also get an STD, such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to completely prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence .
If you do have sex, use a condom every time to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. For added protection, many couples use condoms along with another method of birth control, like birth control pills or an IUD. Talk to your doctor about the best type of birth control for you.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Whats An Anovulatory Cycle
As its name suggests, an anovulatory cycle occurs when a women skips ovulation. During ovulation, the ovary releases an egg, or oocyte.
Its not uncommon for a woman in her prime conception years to experience an anovulatory cycle occasionally. In fact, you may have experienced one and not even noticed. Thats because when a woman experiences anovulation, she may still seem to menstruate normally.
In a normal cycle, the production of progesterone is stimulated by the release of an egg. Its this hormone that helps a womans body maintain regular periods. But during an anovulatory cycle, an insufficient level of progesterone can lead to heavy bleeding. A woman may mistake this bleeding for a real period.
This kind of bleeding may also be caused by a buildup in the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, which can no longer sustain itself. It can be caused by a drop in estrogen as well.
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Skipping Or Discontinuing Birth Control
Birth control pills suppress your normal menstrual cycle with hormones that prevent ovulation. The pills usually come in a three-week supply followed by a week of placebos , and the lack of hormones during the placebo week is what makes you have a period.
When you go off of the pill, or even miss just a pill or two, your body may react like it does during the placebo week and start shedding the uterine lining. This can happen even if it hasn’t been very long since your last period. A similar process happens if you make a mistake with a birth control patch or ring.
The proper way to resume your birth control after missing one or more doses varies by type, so be sure to read the information that comes with your contraceptive or ask your doctor or pharmacist what to do. And don’t forget that you may need a backup method of contraception or emergency contraception to avoid an unintended pregnancy.
Morning After Pill 3 Times
Guest over a year ago
I took the morning after pill 3 times in one cycle . I took it within 24 hours of the sex each time. I didn’t use condoms though. I still haven’t got my period though, it’s currently 2 weeks late. Should I be worried? I took two HPT and both were negative, I went to the doctor and he did a urine test and it as also negative. I’m so nervous though… I cannot afford to get pregnant. What do you think the chances of me being pregnant are? Also, does the morning after pill affect your cycle? I want to start on birth control but obviously can’t until I get my period.. frustrating waiting.Thanks any help would be appreciated.
jeremiaz164232 over a year ago
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What To Do When Your Period Is Late
If your period is more than a week late and you got a negative pregnancy test, you may want to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to be safe. Your doctor can do a blood test to confirm that youre not pregnant.
If the blood test is also negative and your practitioner rules out any other possible concerns, its fine to sit back and go with the flow . Every woman skips a period now and then, especially if shes under stress or has been sick. Relax and do what you can to ease anxiety by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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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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.
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 womb or uterus thickens to nurture a possible baby. If you dont become pregnant, on day 28 on average the cycle ends and the lining of your womb 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 womb, which is why you stop getting your period during this time.
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