In this article, we take an in-depth look at menstruation and pregnancy and discuss other potential causes of bleeding during pregnancy.
Can you get your period while pregnant?
When a woman is pregnant, she does not continue to ovulate and will not have a period. Menstruation only occurs when a person is not pregnant.
Although it is possible for women to experience some bleeding during pregnancy, this will not be due to their menstrual cycle.
Some women also do not have any periods while breast-feeding. However, they may still begin to ovulate again soon after giving birth. Therefore, doctors may recommend some form of birth control while a woman is breast-feeding if she does not wish to get pregnant.
The menstrual cycle occurs to facilitate pregnancy. The cycle begins on the first day of a person’s period and ends on the first day of the following period.
Ovulation, when the ovary releases an egg, occurs midway through the cycle.
An egg is only viable for about 12–24 hours after a woman ovulates. If sperm cells are present and able to fertilize the egg, the egg will implant itself in the uterus, resulting in pregnancy.
If there is no fertilization, menstruation will occur, and the body will shed the uterine lining so that it can begin making a new one for the next cycle.
Women should seek emergency medical attention for bleeding during pregnancy if they have additional symptoms that include:
- pain and cramping
- dizziness or fainting
- heavy bleeding or passing clots
- severe pain in the stomach and pelvis
A woman should also see a doctor about bleeding that is bright red and soaks a pad.
Vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain early in pregnancy may be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, especially if these symptoms occur before an initial ultrasound. Any woman who suspects an ectopic pregnancy should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If a woman is bleeding and has symptoms of preterm labor, which is labor before 37 weeks of gestation, she should seek medical attention. These symptoms may include a constant ache in the lower back, abdominal cramping, and regular contractions.
Bleeding during pregnancy does not indicate that a woman is having her period.
Sometimes the bleeding can be the result of regular changes in the body during pregnancy.
Heavy bleeding may indicate a health issue that requires treatment. If a woman experiences bleeding during pregnancy, she should speak to a healthcare professional for guidance.
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