Period while Pregnant, Possible?

One of the presumptive signs of pregnancy is the absence of menstruation, however, some women might experience having a period while pregnant. It is not uncommon to have regular occurrence of blood streaks for a day or two during the first trimester of pregnancy. This would prompt the woman to think that her menstruation is coming and that she is not pregnant at all. This can cause serious consequences as the woman could drink, do heavy intensity activities or take harmful medications.

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Pregnancy is one of the most thrilling phases of a woman’s life. It is indeed full of excitement, happiness and hope. A new life is beginning inside and is ready to be nurtured, grown and loved. It is every woman’s hope to have a safe pregnancy and delivery. One of the most common reasons for alarm is having a period while pregnant.

Period while pregnant can be caused by several factors. This can also happen at any stage of the pregnancy signifying specific conditions. It is always best to consult a doctor if any bleeding or spotting is experienced at any time during the pregnancy.

Bleeding at the Early Stage of Pregnancy

Almost 40% of women can have vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. More than half of them would have a normal pregnancy and the rest would have miscarriages. In the first trimester of pregnancy, first through the third months, bleeding can be caused by normal body and hormone changes.

Sign of Implantation

Normal implantation can cause significant bleeding that can be confused for a period while pregnant. This is the result of the embryo attaching itself to the uterine wall. Breakthrough bleeding can also occur which happens when the hormones are still adjusting to the pregnancy. A pregnant woman can still experience pre-menstrual syndrome including cramps, bloating and spotting. These conditions do not mean menstruation will ensue.


Some of the bleeding in the first trimester can also be considered as high-risk. Miscarriages are quite common on the 2nd month of pregnancy. There are different kinds of miscarriage or abortion. Threatened abortion is when cramping and bleeding occurs but fetus is still intact as confirmed by ultrasound. Complete or spontaneous abortion can occur if the fetus and placenta is passed out through the cervix. Incomplete abortion would happen if any product of conception remains in the uterus and cervix remains open. Missed abortion is the term used when pregnancy is terminated but the fetus and placenta is still intact in the uterus.

An open cervix would not permit uterine contraction. Without contraction bleeding can occur. Product of conception should all be taken out of the uterus to avoid further bleeding and systemic infection.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Another common cause for having a period while pregnant is ectopic pregnancy. This happens when the embryo implants in other parts rather than the uterus, the most common place would be the fallopian tube. As the embryo grows, the fallopian tube could no longer accommodate it leading to rupture. This can cause serious intra-abdominal bleeding.

Molar Pregnancy

First trimester bleeding can also be due to a molar pregnancy. This is also called gestational trophoblastic disease. This condition can mimic pregnancy symptoms, however, no fetus is actually developing inside the uterus. In some cases this can progress to uterine cancer if not immediately removed.

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Bleeding at the Advanced Stage of Pregnancy

Period while pregnant in the last trimester may be caused by life-threatening conditions for both the mother and the baby. This needs immediate attention and intervention as it can lead to death. This is mostly caused by problems with the placenta or cervix.

Placenta previa

Placenta previa can occur when the placenta situates itself near the cervix. This can cause partial or complete obstruction to the cervix dilatation. The cervix continues to dilate and expand to ready itself for labor. The placenta does not have this property, therefore, tension increases and blood vessels could rupture. This mostly happens to multiple pregnancy and prior Cesarean Section trying to have a normal delivery.

Abruptio placenta

Abruptio placenta can cause period while pregnant as blood accumulates between the uterine wall and the placenta. Normally, the placenta will break off from the uterine wall 3 to 4 minutes after the baby is delivered. In this case, the placenta separates from the uterus prematurely. Not only can this cause serious bleeding problems but also disrupts the fetus’ blood circulation. Most women with hypertension, trauma, drug and alcohol consumption can have the condition.

During labor, there is a contraction on the uterine wall to aid the baby to push out through the vagina. If the contraction becomes stronger than what the uterus could accommodate, rupture can occur. This can be caused by excessive oxytocin, trauma or complicated fetal position.

Fetal rupture

Fetal rupture can also cause period while pregnant. This happens when the blood vessels does not entirely attach to the membranes thus causing premature rupture from the placenta during uterine contraction.

What to do in Case of Period While Pregnant

Remember that having a period while pregnant is not normal at any stage. These must be reported immediately especially if accompanied by other symptoms. Complications can appear as fever, dizziness, severe cramps and severe pain. These should not be taken lightly. Furthermore, never self-medicate. Medications are to be chosen selectively to avoid harming the developing fetus. Medications should only be used if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.


In order to get a diagnosis, the doctor will conduct a series of tests, physical examinations and blood works. Medical and family history is taken to know conditions in the family that could aggravate symptoms. Physical examinations including the abdomen, pelvic region and vagina will be checked. An ultrasound is also ordered to check the condition of the baby.

Urine test and blood count are also done to check if there is a developing infection. Blood count can also reveal anemia and blood clot problems. Blood typing is performed to readily have an available supply of the patient’s blood if needed.

As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Be aware of any familial conditions and make lifestyle changes. Inform your health care provider of any pre-existing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies and asthma. Ensure a balance diet and adequate exercise. Hydration is also important. Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages. Never take medications without any consent from the doctor. And in case you do experience period while pregnant, consult with your doctor immediately.

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