Menstruation During Pregnancy: Normal or Not

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is not uncommon. But menstruation during pregnancy sounds like an impossible situation. This is because menstrual period is suppose to cease once a woman becomes pregnant.

To fully understand why a woman shouldn't get her period while pregnant, we need to understand how the mensuration and pregnancy works.

What is a Menstrual Period?

A period or menstruation is the shedding of the endometrium(uterus lining) if no fertilisation occurs.

The uterus sheds its lining so that the menstrual cycle starts all over again. In which a new egg matures and is released at ovulation. If the egg is fertilised the level of the progesterone and oestrogen continues to rise to support pregnancy.

If no conception occurs, the progesterone level rapidly decreases. And without the support of the estrogen and progesterone hormone the thickened uterine lining dissolves and is shed as menses.

Can you get your Period While Pregnant?

The answer is no. You can spot or bleed while pregnant but this is not your normal monthly period.

This is because the fertilised egg implants itself in the uterine lining which protects and nourishes the fertilised egg to grow.

Before a successful implantation can occur the uterine lining must be thickened and not thin.

The estrogen and progesterone also remains through out pregnancy to maintain a thickened endometrium.

Causes of Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

Bleeding in early pregnancy is common the first trimester.

1. Implantation Bleeding or spotting

Implantation bleeding occurs when a fertilised egg burrows through the thickened walls of the uterus to make a comfortable home for itself.

This is one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms before a missed period. It is a light pink or light brown discharge.

2. Ectopic Pregnancy

Also referred to as a tubal pregnancy, it happens when the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tube. This causes a bleeding that look like a menstruation.

Ectopic pregnancies are life threatening and should be given immediate attention. If you are cramping or bleeding while pregnant, call for help immediately.

3. Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the lost of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Most pregnancies are lost before the 4th week. Meaning most women are not even aware they are pregnant before the pregnancy is lost.

The signs of a miscarriage are: Vaginal spotting or bleeding and Abdominal pain. This can also serve as a sign of molar pregnancy.

4. Vaginal Infection

Another cause of spotting during pregnancy is vaginal infections. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, pelvic inflammatory disease and chlamydia can cause complications during pregnancy such as blood loss.

5. Placental Problems

Complications that happen with the placenta such as placenta previa(low placenta) and placenta abruption can cause bloody or red discharge from the uterus.

Low placenta usually start from early stages while placenta abruption can start in late stages.

What is the difference between mensuration and early pregnancy symptoms

PMS symptoms can be quite similar to symptoms experienced in early pregnancies.

Although some symptoms may overlap there are still some noticeable differences.​

Breast Tenderness

PMS

​During PMS, breast tenderness and swelling is common from after ovulation

Early Pregnancy

Breasts starts feeling sore and tender as early as a week after conception.​

Bleeding

PMS

​During PMS, there is no spotting or bleeding

Early Pregnancy

Symptoms of implantation is spotting, light bleeding and cramping.

Mood Changes

PMS

​Some women feel irritated, emotional or depressed days before their period due to hormone level changes.

Early Pregnancy

Mood changes continues from the beginning of conception till childbirth.

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