Bleeding During Early Pregnancy Is Common
Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of early pregnancy. About 1 in 4 people experience spotting during early pregnancy, usually in gestational weeks 5 and 8 â this is about 1 to 4 weeks after someone expects their period . This bleeding can sometimes be confused with a light period .
Early Signs You’re Pregnant Before A Missed Period
Early pregnancy symptoms can overlap with common body changes, such as PMS. Here’s how to tell the difference.
Your menstrual cycle is your body’s monthly preparation for pregnancy — if you get pregnant, the lining in your uterus has a job to do and you won’t experience any typical menstrual bleeding. But while a missed period is many people’s first signal that they’re pregnant, it often isn’t the first clue your body gives you.
In the first weeks of pregnancy , the body starts producing a lot of hormones that can affect you physically and mentally. In addition to amping up its regular production of progesterone and estrogen, your body starts producing new ones, including human placental lactogen and human chorionic gonadotropin .
While your body is in hormonal overdrive during early pregnancy, you may feel some side effects. But if hormones are to blame, how do you tell if it’s PMS, ovulation symptoms or something else completely? Below, we outline some signals you might notice from your body during early pregnancy, before you even take a pregnancy test.
Week 1 Pregnant Symptoms
Since conception hasnt occurred yet, you wont experience pregnancy symptoms from day 1. For many women, their first real symptom of pregnancy comes a month later when they miss their period. But you might experience menstrual symptoms during the first days of pregnancy. Some of the most common menstrual symptoms include:
- uterine cramps
- diarrhea or constipation
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What To Do If You Miss Your Period
If you miss your period, you should wait at first. Give it a few days to make sure you didn’t miscalculate or do something to mix up the dates or that you aren’t simply late. Many practitioners at this point, may recommend a pregnancy test.
You can take a pregnancy test at home or your can go into your doctor’s office. If it’s positive, you have your answer: You missed your period because you were pregnant. If it is negative, you may want to wait a bit and try again.
Seeing your doctor if you are worried is never a bad option. If you are planning to get pregnant soon, you can use the visit to start your preconception health plan. This is a great way to get your body on track to be pregnant. This helps you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
If you are not ready to be pregnant, they can help you determine what your reproductive life plan may look like to stay healthy and avoid pregnancy until the point where you make a decision to have children or permanently decide to not have children.
What Type Of Scan Will I Have
A vaginal scan is the best method in early pregnancy as it gives us a more accurate result at an earlier stage in pregnancy than an abdominal scan. It may be a little uncomfortable but it is safe to be done, you do not need a full bladder when having a vaginal scan. If you have concerns about a vaginal scan, please let the nurse, midwife doctor know.
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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 .
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.
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Things To Think About
In the early days and weeks of pregnancy, you may not know if you’re pregnant.
But you can do the following things:
- take a folic acid supplement of 400 micrograms a day while you’re trying to get pregnant and until the 12th week of pregnancy
- consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms a day
- avoid some foods to protect against infections
- not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby’s health
You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or your GP may be able to prescribe them for you.
If you want to get your vitamin D or folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, make sure the tablet does not contain vitamin A .
You can get vitamin supplements containing folic acid and vitamin D free of charge if you’re under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
Can I Take Pain Relief Medication During Pregnancy
If you find that you need to take pain relief medication to relieve any pain, it is safest to use something simple such as paracetamol. Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. If you find that you need a stronger pain relief medication, you must always check with your doctor, nurse or midwife first.
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Is It Implantation Bleeding Or Period Spotting
Some experts claim spotting that starts off brown or wine-colored and becomes a brighter red is most likely the start of your period. But George Patounakis, M.D., Ph.D., FACOG, a fertility specialist in Florida, says Googling pictures won’t help if you’re wondering what implantation bleeding looks like. “There’s no way to tell the difference between intermenstrual bleeding and implantation bleeding just by looking,” he says.
If you want to determine whether you have implantation bleeding or your period, you should pay attention to the following three symptoms instead.
Cervical Polyps Or Cancer
Cervical polyps are growth that hangs into your cervix. This can cause bleeding in women during intercourse and may be confused with period. Also, women with cancer of the cervix can have vaginal bleeding.
If you are more than 40 years and notice irregular bleeding, then it may not be period. Inform your doctor ASAP as it may be due to endometrial cancer.
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When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start
“Usually 1-2 weeks following the missed period,” says Dr. Trolice. “This is 5-6 weeks estimated gestational age.”
Did you know that when you’re pregnant, your first week is the first week of your last period?
It may seem confusing, but healthcare professionals have tracked pregnancies beginning with the first day of the last menstrual period. Forty weeks after that is when birth occurs on average. They did not and do not track from the moment of conception, simply because it is nearly impossible to determine the actual date and time of conception when the sperm meets the egg. Sperm can live from 3-5 days inside of a woman’s body after intercourse, so there’s no way to know exactly the moment of conception.
In the time after your last period, your body is preparing itself for a pregnancy. In a 28 day cycle, an egg will be released from the ovaries around the 14th day of the cycle, in a process called ovulation. That time is considered your most fertile time when there’s potential for sperm to fertilize an egg if you had intercourse. If they do meet and the egg becomes fertilized, it is considered conception.
For most women trying to have their first baby, the first noticeable sign then of a pregnancy would be the missed period. Others who are more in tune with their bodies or who have already experienced a pregnancy would notice other symptoms, like fatigue, a few days sooner, suspecting pregnancy before the missed period.
How Long Should You Wait
Keeping in mind that your body is constantly changing, its pretty much impossible to ever be 100 percent safe when it comes to avoiding pregnancy, if youre having unprotected sex.
Your menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period, and ends on the last day before your next period starts. If you have a clockwork menstrual cycle of 28 days, you are at your safest but not totally in the clear around one week or so after you ovulate. Keep in mind that sperm can continue to live in your body, so if youve had unprotected sex, this sort-of-safe window may change.
If your periods are even the slightest bit irregular, so is your fertile window. And keep in mind that your cycle can change at any time, without giving you a heads up in advance.
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How To Tell If You’re Pregnant Right Away
The only way to tell if youre pregnant right away is by taking a home pregnancy test according to its instructions. Waiting can be difficult, but you can usually take a test three to four days before a missed period though youre more likely to get a false negative if you test too soon. If its negative, wait a couple more days and test again if Aunt Flo doesnt come to visit.
Be sure to test first thing in the morning, when your urine and the hormone that the test is measuring are most concentrated. If you see a line indicating a pregnancy, youre almost certainly pregnant . Pregnancy tests with false positives are rare.
I Started My Period A Week Early
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Early Pregnancy Symptoms Quiz
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
Timing Of Implantation Bleeding
The 2-week waiting time from ovulation to the next menstrual period can be pretty frustrating if youre hoping to be pregnant. Interpreting the signs correctly can be tricky, but luckily, sometimes timing in addition to the symptoms above can help you pinpoint whats going on.
Implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding dont happen at quite the same time. Implantation bleeding happens a bit earlier than when you would expect to get your period.
Lets walk through the timing, so you can compare dates on your calendar. Day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the first day of your last period. Most women with normal cycles ovulate, releasing an egg from the ovaries, around day 14 to 16.
The egg itself is only viable for about 24 hours after being released, but sperm can live inside your body for 3 to 5 days. Its hard to know exactly when fertilization occurs, but the fertilization window is likely the 6 days sandwiched around ovulation.
The fertilized egg then implants into the uterine wall around days 22 to 26 of your cycle. If your body follows a 28-day menstrual cycle, you wont get your period until after day 28.
So, if youre bleeding earlier and lighter than normal, theres a good chance its implantation bleeding, not your period.
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Do All Women Get Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Every woman is different. So are their experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman has the same symptoms or even the same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.
What follows is a description of some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. You should know that these symptoms may be caused by other things besides being pregnant. So the fact that you notice some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only way to tell for sure is with a pregnancy test.
If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
If youre trying to get pregnant, pinpointing ovulation is a vital first step. If youve been dutifully baby dancing mid-cycle and havent yet gotten pregnant, you may even wonder if you have more irregular ovulation and would benefit from sex during or right after your period.
There are several ways you can try to figure out your ovulation patterns. They include:
At-home ovulation predictor kits. These tests work by detecting LH , which surges 12 days before ovulation takes place. So these kits can tell you when youre going to ovulate, but they cant tell you when ovulation has taken place.
Progesterone test kits. Some women who have irregular periods, such as those with PCOS, find that using a kit that detects progesterone the hormone released right after ovulation is helpful to use in addition to a standard ovulation kit. Determining whether or not your body produced progesterone will help you to know if you ovulated or not.
Fertility apps.Ovulation-tracking apps compile a monthly record of multiple factors, such as basal body temperature and cervical mucus. They can help women with regular periods determine when theyre ovulating. We wish we could put this in neon flashing lights, though: These apps can help you get pregnant, but theyre not birth control and shouldnt be used to prevent pregnancy.
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