can you be pregnant and still have a period> Many women wonder that do they have periods during pregnancy. Is it possible for women to be pregnant and still have periods? If you are searching for answers to these questions, search no more. You have reached the very right place. Here in this article, we will discuss everything in detail regarding periods and pregnancy. So, stay attached to us to explore all the information you need to know regarding having periods during pregnancy.
Before going into the details of having periods during pregnancy, let’s explore all helpful information regarding women having periods.
What Are Periods?
Periods or menstruation is normal vaginal bleeding, a healthy monthly cycle for an individual with a uterus and ovaries. Every month, in the years between puberty (aged 11 to 14) and menopause (aged above 50), the body prepares for pregnancy. The lining of a woman’s uterus thickens, and an egg grows, which gets released from one of the ovaries.
Why Women Have Periods?
Periods are a way of preparing a woman’s body for pregnancy and a way of releasing tissues that your body no longer needs. These periods are a method of preparing a women’s body for pregnancy. The lining of a woman’s uterus gets thicker and prepared for nurturing a fertilized egg. During this process, an egg is released and is ready to fertilize and settle in the uterus lining.
If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, your body no longer needs the uterus’ thicker lining; hence, it starts to break down and gets expelled eventually, along with some blood from your vagina. These are the periods for women, and once the process is over, it starts all over again.
What Happens During Periods?
Until the pregnancy doesn’t occur in women, the estrogen and progesterone levels start falling, and with time they reach a level that tells your body to start menstruation. During the periods, the uterus sheds its lining and gets passed along with blood. It gets out of the body through the vagina.
During periods, bleeding usually starts off light and eventually gets heavier and darker red. It usually lightens in color and quantity as a woman approaches the end of the cycle.
Studies claim that during menstruation, a woman loses around 2-3 tablespoons of blood. The time between periods usually lasts for 28 days, with bleeding occurring for 4-5 days; however, exceptions do occur.
Can Periods be stopped?
There is no clear and cut method for stopping periods; however, specific birth control techniques can help suppress periods. Some of such techniques are listed below:
Birth Control Pills
Taking birth control pills daily for a year enhances the chances of suppressing your cycle.
A hormone shot affects your fertility for about 22 months. Nearly after one year, you will have a 50-60 percent chance of suppressing your cycle and about 70 percent in the next two years.
Taking a hormonal IUD (intrauterine device) for one year enhances the risk of suppressing your cycle by 50 percent.
Inserting a birth control implant in the upper arm enhances your chances of suppressing the cycle by 20 percent after about two years.
Can You Have Periods and still be Pregnant?
Now let’s dive into the most crucial part of this article. Let’s find out that a woman can have periods when she is pregnant?
The quickest and shortest answer is NO; a woman cannot have periods when she is pregnant. Some women may experience “spotting” during early pregnancy, which is light pink or dark brown.
A general rule of thumb says that if there is enough bleeding to fill a pad, it is a clear indication that you are not pregnant. If you have been tested positive for pregnancy and are bleeding heavily, you need medical care instantly.
Why Can’t a Woman Have Periods During Pregnancy?
You cannot have periods while being pregnant because periods are the loss of blood that takes place at the end of a menstrual cycle. This occurs because the women’s egg does not get fertilized by the sperm.
When the egg fails to get fertilized, the hormones that control the egg’s release into your fallopian tubes and lead to the thickening of the womb lining, and a drop in their levels is observed by the end of the month. Resultantly, the womb lining disintegrates and causes periods.
On the flip side, when a woman gets pregnant, her egg gets fertilized and grows as an embryo within her uterus’s walls. As the womb lining does not get discarded by the end of each month, a woman no longer has periods. That’s why one of the earliest indications of pregnancy is missing the periods.
Periods and Pregnancy
As mentioned earlier, periods in women occur each month as a result of which eggs become fertilized. These eggs are released in the ovaries once a month. If the eggs don’t get fertilized, they move out of the uterus and leave through the vagina.
The wall between periods and being pregnant is quite clear. Either a woman can have periods, or she can become pregnant. However, it is not that obvious. Some women claim that they have got periods while being pregnant.
Bleeding might be a warning sign; however, it does not have to be something awful. Many women end up having healthy babies even after experiencing spotting during their first trimester. If a woman bleeds during pregnancy, the condition refers to something other than regular menstruation because periods can only occur when you aren’t pregnant.
What Causes Bleeding during the First Trimester?
Many women wonder why they experience bleeding if they do not have periods. Well, bleeding is not necessarily an indication of menstruation; instead, there can be several other bleeding causes during pregnancy.
Some of the causes of bleeding during the first trimester which indicate an emergency medical issue include:
- Changes in the cervix
- Implantation bleeding
- Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus)
- Molar pregnancy (irregular mass fertilization instead of a fetus)
- An early indication of a miscarriage
Bleeding in the first trimester can be accompanied by:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe cramps
- Back pain
- Losing consciousness
- Shoulder pain
- Vaginal discharge changes
- Uncontrollable nausea
Furthermore, the bleeding is much heavier as compared to normal spotting, which occurs during regular periods.
Implantation bleeding occurs during the earliest stages of pregnancy, i.e., at the time you still haven’t gone for a pregnancy test. This is a particular type of bleeding that occurs when the fertilized egg implants into the uterus around the time your period is expected.
Implantation bleeding is sometimes confused with periods because the bleeding is generally light or is usually just spotting. Right after pregnancy, a woman may experience spotting from cervical changes. This issue isn’t a cause of concern unless an infection occurs.
What Causes Bleeding in the Second and Third Trimesters?
Bleeding, if it reaches beyond the first trimester, requires medical care and attention. Irrespective of the fact that bleeding during the second and third trimester depicts any symptoms or not is light or heavy; you must get in touch with the doctor and discuss the issue in detail.
Some of the causes of bleeding during the remaining months of pregnancy may include:
- Cervical dilation or preterm labor
- Uterine rupture
- Vasa Previa
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
Let’s discuss these complications briefly.
A miscarriage is another pregnancy complication that refers to the loss of the fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy. This condition usually occurs either during the first trimester or the first three months of pregnancy.
Miscarriages happen due to several reasons, most of which aren’t in a person’s control. However, being aware of the symptoms and risk factors can help better understand the issue and get support when needed.
Miscarriage symptoms vary and depend on the stage of pregnancy. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms of miscarriages include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Heavy spotting
- Severe abdominal pain or cramping
- Mild to severe back pain
- Fluid or tissue discharge through the vagina
Uterine rupture refers to the tearing or separation of the uterus muscle. This complication leads to uncontrolled bleeding. The condition is most commonly experienced by those women who have delivered through the C-section (cesarean section). Uterine rupture occurs rarely and is most common in old scar lines along with the uterus.
Most of the complications that occur in the latter part of the pregnancy lead to bleeding and other symptoms that are similar to periods. This isn’t menstruation.
Preterm labor refers to the birth of the baby that occurs before 37 weeks. Before preterm labor, some women experience symptoms similar to periods, along with a large amount of mucus discharge.
In addition to that, women may also experience cramping and contractions during preterm labor. Some of the symptoms of preterm labor include:
- A sensation of pressure in the vagina
- Changes in discharge
This condition occurs when the placenta is implanted low in the uterus and extremely close to the cervix. Bleeding in such a condition varies; however, there are no other known symptoms. Placenta Previa can cause complications in labor and delivery.
Placental Abruption is a complication that mainly occurs during the last few months of pregnancy. In such a situation, the placenta detaches from the uterus, which leads to heavy bleeding, severe stomach pain, and cramping. Furthermore, certain health complications such as high blood pressure increase the risk of placental abruption.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Women should consult a doctor if they have bleeding during pregnancy, especially if they experience additional symptoms such as:
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Pain and cramping
- Excessive bleeding or passing clots
- Intense pain in the stomach and pelvis
You should not delay consulting a doctor if bleeding is bright red and soaks the pad.
Also, vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain during the early pregnancy stages indicates ectopic pregnancy, particularly if these symptoms pop-out before an initial ultrasound. If a woman expects an ectopic pregnancy, she should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
We hope this article was helpful for you and helped you explore more information regarding periods and pregnancy. It is quite evident that a woman cannot have periods while being pregnant. However, a woman can experience symptoms similar to periods during the first trimester. Some of these symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Lower back pain
These symptoms might be similar to those a woman experiences during periods; however, they are not an indication of periods during pregnancy. Instead, these symptoms are a natural way of preparing your body for pregnancy.
Bear this thing in mind that if the above symptoms get severe or don’t disappear with time, you have reached your second or trimester of pregnancy. You must seek immediate medical care and discuss the issue with your doctor.
Generally, it is challenging to tell that either bleeding is indicative of a medical or emergency or not. The best option is to consult your doctor right away if you are bleeding at any pregnancy stage.
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