Can you get your period and still be pregnant? You might have heard a friend or a relative say that she had her period the entire time while she was pregnant. You might also have engaged in unprotected sex and had your period, but you want to be certain about whether you are pregnant or not.

Can You Get Your Period and Still Be Pregnant?

No, you can't. Well, you can experience something that seem or looks like your period, but technically it is not.

Once you get pregnant, the body will start the production of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is responsible for stopping your monthly period. Nonetheless, you might experience something that is quite similar to your period at the time that your period was to begin. This is called breakthrough bleeding. For some women, the blood they see is a result of vaginal bleeding. For others, they get intermittent bleeding thinking it is an irregularity in their menstrual cycle.

You can only experience periods when you are not pregnant. Every month, your uterine wall is laced with a thick layer of blood waiting for a fertilized ovum to be implanted. If conception does not occur during this time, the thick layer of blood—the endometrium, is shed off as your period. But if implantation occurs, the endometrium will stay intact under the instructions of the hormones. As a result, you will not have your period till the pregnancy is over.

Bleeding during early pregnancy is a common phenomenon, though experts are not yet able to explain the reason behind it. Some suspect it is because the menstruation hormones are able to conquer your pregnancy hormones.

If It Is Not My Period, Why Am I Bleeding on Pregnancy?

Can you get your period and still be pregnant? The answer is no. Your uterine walls cannot shed when you are pregnant. However, you might experience bleeding because of other reasons.

Implantation Bleeding

You might think you are having a light period, while in essence you are having implantation bleeding. It is more convincing if your period is normally irregular and you have a light flow. You might also get other period related symptoms like blotting, mild cramps as well as other symptoms. Implantation bleeding should not be confused with a short menstrual cycle. This bleeding occurs as a result of the fertilized ovum being attached to the uterine lining. This mostly happens a week before your monthly period begins. 


Hormonal Changes

There are women who experience heavy or light bleeding as a result of the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. This will normally occur in the first months of pregnancy. It is basically referred to as early pregnancy bleeding. This should not worry you though.


Pregnancy on Contraceptives

If you happen to get pregnant while you are on contraceptives, there are chances that you will get irregular bleeding. It might take some time for a woman who combines contraceptives to realize that she is pregnant.


Other Causes

  • Subchorionic bleeding: There are times that your body might form clots at the tip of the placenta. This is not normally a problem as it resolves itself with time. An ultrasound will tell if the problem is over.

  • Residual bleeding occurs in early pregnancy. Your hormones might get out of hand and cause the loose parts of the lining to shed. This is normally when the placenta is not fully attached. 

  • Cervical bleeding: After engaging in sex, some women bleed as a result of the tenderness and sensitivity of the cervix. If you notice this, you should not have any more intercourse as it could lead to a miscarriage as a result of cervical irritation.

What Problem Might Bleeding During Pregnancy Indicate?

​It is common for bleeding to occur during the first 3 months of pregnancy, and yet there is no clear explanation for it. It could be an indication that you have problems with the placenta or an infection according to Mayo Clinic. Visit your gynecologist if you experience bleeding during pregnancy as it could be a sign of the following:


If you bleed, you might be getting a miscarriage. However, bleeding is not necessarily a sign of a miscarriage. If anything, more than 20 to 30% of women experience bleeding during the first trimester. Nonetheless, it is also during this period that miscarriages happen, and they account for 15 to 20% of pregnancies.

If the culprit is indeed miscarriage, besides the bleeding you may also experience symptoms like cramping pain that is more intense than the pain felt with period, and tissue passing the vagina. In most cases, you'll not be able to prevent the miscarriage. Miscarriages, in most cases, happen beause the pregnancy is an unhealthy one which is not developing. However, don't panic as miscarriages would not mean such a thing like you're not healthy or that you are not able to have healthy pregnancy in the future.


​Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies are as a result of a fertilized ovum that is implanted somewhere other than the uterine cavity. Most of the times, implantation will occur in the fallopian tubes. However, they are not common, about 1 of 60 pregnancies. Though not common, women who have had an ectopic pregnancies, experienced infection in tubes, undergone pelvic surgery are moe likely to develop one. 

Besides vaginal bleeding, ectopic pregnancies may also develop symptoms like the same cramping pain felt in miscarriages, sharp pain felt in the stomach area, and a lower hCG level.


Molar Pregnancy

A molar pregnancy, also called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), might mean that you have something else other than an embryo developing in your womb. They are also referred to as moles, and they are a rare occurrence.

With a molar pregnancy, the symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, a hCG level that is alarmingly high, fetal heart tones that cannot be heard or felt, and clusters in the uterus that resemble grapes.

Other FQAs About Pregnancy and Periods


What If I Notice Pregnancy Symptoms After a Really Heavy Period?

When you notice some symptoms that make you think it might be a pregnancy, but then a heavy just come up, do not hesitate to consult a doctor to determine what might be causing it. Pregnancy symptoms followed by periods may a result of an infection, hormonal imbalance or a possible miscarriage.


What If I'm Pregnant and I Have Cramping?

In early pregnancy, slight cramping just like what you might feel through the lower abdomen when period comes can occur, which is often caused by changes in the uterus as the implanted egg starts to grow and develop. Another possible cause for the cramping could be corpus luteum cyst which can develop on the ovary when ovulation occurs. This small cyst may result in discomfort for women in early pregancy.


Does a Negative Pregnancy Test After a Missed Period Mean That I'm Not Pregnant?

Usually, a negative test would mean that you're not pregnant. However, that cannot rule out the possibility that a test was took too early or in the wrong way. A negative test could be the result of your not giving enough time for the body to produce sufficient hCG hormones to show in the tests. Besides, the test would also be invalid if you leave it for too long, longer than what the instructions told you. Therefore, following the instructions is really important.

The result varies for every woman as some may have a positive just on the day that period did not come, while some other may have to wait for 3 to 4 weeks after a missing period to have a positive test. For that matter, women are recommended to take a test after a missing period and test again a week later if the result is a negative one.

  • Always wear a panty liner or pad to monitor the amount and texture of the blood.
  • If you are bleeding, do not wear a tampon or insert anything in the vagina including having sex.
  • If you get any symptom that might be an indication of a medical problem, contact your medical provider.

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