Can You Get Your Period While Pregnant?

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There’s a lot of misinformation out there about pregnancy, but one of the most common misconceptions is about menstruation and can you get your period while pregnant. Despite thousands of anecdotal accounts, it is actually impossible to get your period while pregnant. “But Mommyish, my friend’s sister got her period every month during her pregnancy!” you might be thinking. Bleeding during pregnancy isn’t abnormal, but it is not menstruation.

Can you get your period while pregnant?

Menstruation, by definition, only occurs when a woman is not pregnant. If a fertilized egg doesn’t implant into the uterine lining, the uterus sheds the blood, nutrients, and tissues that built up in preparation for a pregnancy. If a fertilized egg does implant, the uterus keeps the lining because the egg needs it.

About 25% – 30% of women experience some form of spotting or bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. The bleeding should be light and dark brown or light pink in color. If a woman is bleeding heavily enough to soak a pad, or if the blood is bright red, she should call her doctor. Those are sometimes signs of something more serious.

There are several reasons a woman can experience bleeding during pregnancy. In the first trimester, implantation can sometimes cause spotting. Unhealthy pregnancies, like a molar or ectopic pregnancy, can also lead to bleeding.

Occasionally, internal obstetric exams (like cervix checks) can cause bleeding. Later in pregnancy, Placenta Previa, where the placenta covers the cervix, can also lead to heavy bleeding.

As always, a woman should call her obstetrician whenever she is worried or wants reassurance. Part of an OB’s job is to calm a mom’s fears, so never feel silly about voicing any concerns!

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(Image: iStock / Highwaystarz-Photography)