Am i on my period or am i pregnant: Am I Pregnant? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy & When To Test
Am I Pregnant? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy & When To Test
How quickly can I know if I’m pregnant?
Pregnancy is a different experience for each woman. Some women may suspect they’re pregnant within the first few days of pregnancy, while others don’t notice anything until they miss a period. There are also some women who don’t know they’re pregnant until months after conception.
The most clear-cut way to know if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. When you take a pregnancy test, it’s measuring a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone starts building in your body from the moment of conception and will multiply rapidly in the beginning of your pregnancy. Despite its early appearance in the process, it takes some time for your body to build up enough hCG to register on a pregnancy test. Typically, it takes about three to four weeks from the first day of your last period before there’s enough hCG in your body for a positive pregnancy test.
When can I take a pregnancy test?
Because it takes time for the hormone hCG to build up in your body, it’s often best to wait till you miss your period before taking a home pregnancy test. Before this point the test may come up negative, even if you are actually pregnant.
Are home pregnancy tests the best way to check for an early pregnancy?
Home pregnancy tests are generally very reliable. These tests involve urinating on a small test strip and then waiting for a symbol to appear in the result window. This window will usually show a test image (sometimes this is a single straight line). This symbol appears first and means that the test is working. Always check the packaging and instructions of your test to make sure it is working correctly. Within a few minutes, the test will show either a positive result or a negative result. Some digital tests will display a word or phrase (pregnant or not pregnant).
Blood tests for a possible pregnancy are done in your healthcare provider’s office. This version of the test looks for hCG in your blood. You still need to wait for hCG to build up in your body before taking this type of pregnancy test. Your healthcare provider may recommend this option in some cases. Call your provider if you suspect you’re pregnant and discuss the best type of test.
What are five common signs of pregnancy?
There are several signs of early pregnancy that you could experience. Not everyone will have all of these symptoms, and some women may not feel any of these things. Pregnancy symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy can vary dramatically between women. It’s important not to compare your pregnancy to someone else’s.
Common early pregnancy symptoms can include:
- A missed period: The most common and clear-cut sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Once conception has happened, your body produces hormones that stop ovulation and the shedding of the lining of your uterus. This means that your cycle has stopped and you won’t have a period again until after the baby is born. However, missing your period isn’t always a sign of pregnancy. You can also miss your period from stress, excessive exercise, dieting, hormone imbalances and other factors that might cause irregular periods.
- Frequent trips to the bathroom: Before you even miss a period, you may notice that you have to urinate more often. This actually happens because you have more blood than before. During pregnancy, your body’s blood supply increases. Your kidneys filter your blood and remove the extra waste. This waste leaves your body as urine. The more blood in your body, the more you will have to urinate.
- Fatigue (feeling tired): Many women feel extremely tired in early pregnancy. This sign of pregnancy happens because of high levels of the hormone progesterone. Similarly to other early pregnancy symptoms, fatigue tends to get better in the second trimester. However, it does come back in the third trimester for many women.
- Morning (and noon and night) sickness: Despite the name, this pregnancy symptom can happen at any time of the day or night. Nausea can happen as early as two weeks into a pregnancy or it can start a few months after conception. Not everyone experiences nausea and there are various levels of nausea. You can have nausea without vomiting—this changes from woman to woman. About half of pregnant women have vomiting. Though nausea during pregnancy is fairly normal, it can be a problem if you become dehydrated. Women who cannot keep down food and fluids because of extreme nausea could have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing extreme nausea and dehydration.
- Sore (and enlarging) breasts: Your breasts can become tender to the touch during pregnancy. The soreness may be similar to the way breasts feel before a period, only more so. Your nipples might also begin to darken and enlarge. This soreness is temporary and fades once your body gets used to the increased hormones. You may also notice that your breasts have enlarged and your bra is tighter than normal.
What are some less common signs of early pregnancy?
There are some additional signs of early pregnancy that aren’t as common. Just like with the most common symptoms, these signs of pregnancy may or may not happen. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and will experience unique symptoms.
Less common signs of early pregnancy can include:
- Spotting (also called implantation bleeding): Though it may seem like a bad sign, light bleeding (spotting) can be a sign that your embryo has implanted in the lining of your uterus. Implantation takes place several days after conception. Implantation bleeding will look like small drops of blood or a brownish discharge from the vagina. It can start around the time of your regular period and can last for a few days to a few weeks. Spotting can cause some women to think they have just had a light period and aren’t pregnant.
- Food cravings, constant hunger and food aversions: Food can be complicated during early pregnancy. Some women begin to crave certain foods or feel constantly hungry. While some foods and flavors may seem wonderful in early pregnancy, others might suddenly taste unpleasant. Food aversions can happen throughout pregnancy, making you dislike things you previously enjoyed.
- Metallic taste in your mouth: Many women say that they experience a metallic taste in their mouths during the early stages of pregnancy. It may taste like you have a pile of coins in your mouth. This can happen when you eat certain foods or randomly throughout the day.
- Headaches and dizziness: Headaches and the feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness are common during early pregnancy. This happens because of both the hormonal changes in your body and your increasing blood volume.
- Cramping: You can also experience cramps that might feel like your period is about to start. If these cramps are felt mainly on one side of your body or are severe, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider immediately. This could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or other complication.
- Mood swings: As your hormones continue to change, you could experience mood swings. This is normal and can happen throughout pregnancy. However, if you ever feel anxious, depressed or have thoughts of harming yourself, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider.
Could I have the symptoms of early pregnancy and not be pregnant?
Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy overlap with other medical conditions, as well as your typical menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. This can make it difficult to tell the difference. You can also miss a period without being pregnant. This can happen when you exercise in extreme amounts, lose or gain a lot of weight, or even are stressed. Breastfeeding can also cause your period to stop for a while.
The best way to know you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you have missed a period and think there’s a chance you could be pregnant, consider taking a test.
When should I call my doctor about a new pregnancy?
If you have missed a period, taken a pregnancy test and gotten a positive result, your next step will be to call your healthcare provider for your first appointment. While scheduling, your provider may ask if you have already started taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400mcg of folic acid. These vitamins are important in early pregnancy because they help in the development of your baby’s neural tube. The neural tube will become the brain and spine. Many healthcare providers recommend that any women who could become pregnant take folic acid at all times.
If you are planning a pregnancy, a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider is a good place to start. A preconception appointment is especially important if you take medication for a chronic illness or have other medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension or lupus.
During this appointment, your provider will discuss any current medical conditions, as well as your general health before pregnancy. This appointment is meant to get you into the best place for a new pregnancy.
Is this Spotting My Period or am I Pregnant?
Let’s take a deep dive into implantation bleeding and other early signs of pregnancy.
By Dr. Mare Mbaye
We all know the basics of how conception works: have vaginal intercourse, wait for and sperm and egg to join and create an embryo, the embryo grows into a fetus and voila, hello baby! While this may appear to be a simple process, there’s so much more at play here. Let’s fill in the gaps a bit, starting with when the sperm meets the egg.
Maybe you remember the word “implantation” from your high school sex ed classes years ago but are a little fuzzy on what it means now. Implantation refers to the fertilized egg (or embryo) burrowing into the uterine lining, where it can safely grow, about 7-10 days post-fertilization. Through a complex system of hormonal signals between the female reproductive system and the brain, the body cyclically grows the uterine lining (endometrium) that would be needed to support a pregnancy. When you’re not pregnant and you have your period, you’re shedding the uterine lining that your body had prepared for the fertilized egg.
Many women experience “implantation bleeding” when the fertilized egg implants. It happens because a small portion of that uterine lining might detach and shed during the process of implantation. It can be confusing because it looks very similar to a light period—it’s basically spotting, right around the time when you normally would get your period. Given this bleeding, you might understandably think that you’re not pregnant. However, one distinguishing factor that may help is that implantation bleeding should be much lighter in quantity than your typical period.
One distinguishing factor that may help is that implantation bleeding should be much lighter in quantity than your typical period.
Implantation bleeding is totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. As we said above, it generally happens 6-12 days post-fertilization, or around the time of your expected period. If you are beyond that timeframe, it is not likely implantation bleeding. There are other types of bleeding that can happen during pregnancy. In fact, about 20% of women have some bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If you are already pregnant and experiencing bleeding, talk to your doctor.
Other common signs of implantation can include: light cramping (like the bleeding, it’ll feel like what you experience with a regular period, but less intense), mood swings, breast tenderness, nausea and pain in your lower back. Many of these symptoms result from the higher levels of progesterone circulating in your body, which increases to help support the pregnancy (just remember that pro-gesterone is pro-gestation). Keep in mind, these symptoms can be similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or other symptoms that occur between ovulation and a period (known as the luteal phase).
The bottom line here? If you don’t know about the signs of implantation beforehand, you might just think you’re having an unusually light period. While first trimester miscarriages are common, occurring in 10% of all clinically recognized pregnancies, spotting and light episodes are not associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, especially if they only last one to two days. However, if you have heavy bleeding, particularly if accompanied by pain, that is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage and you should see your provider.
A pregnancy test can often help you in figuring out what’s happening. Implantation cues the production of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which at-home pregnancy tests detect in urine as soon as three to four days after implantation. By seven days post-implantation (the time of the expected period), 98% of tests should be positive. However, taking the pregnancy test too soon—either before implantation has happened, or when the hCG levels aren’t high enough for a pregnancy test to detect them yet—can result in a false-negative result. If you think you could be pregnant but a pregnancy test is showing a negative result before your expected period, it’s worth trying again anywhere from a few days to a week later to see if anything changes.
Taking the pregnancy test too soon—either before implantation has happened, or when the hCG levels aren’t high enough for a pregnancy test to detect them yet—can result in a false-negative result.
Once you get a positive pregnancy test, you’ve passed a major milestone: you were able to get pregnant! This is a big feat in and of itself if you consider that only 15 – 20% of healthy people under the age of 35 get pregnant during a month of trying to conceive with vaginal intercourse.
There are a few things you’ll want to think about now: call your OBGYN office to see when they recommend scheduling a prenatal visit. Six to eight weeks into a pregnancy is usually the preferred time frame since that is one of the best times to confirm pregnancy by ultrasound. This ultrasound is used to identify your due date and to confirm that implantation occurred in the uterus and not in one of the fallopian tubes or another site in the abdomen—an emergency situation called an ectopic pregnancy.
🛍️ Shop Pregnancy Products ⟶
What else can you do moving forward? Make sure you’re taking your daily prenatal vitamins and have optimized other lifestyle choices like not smoking or drinking and eating healthy, nutritious food.
Some people advise not to actually start buying anything until later in the pregnancy to make sure it’s proceeding normally, but there is nothing cuter than tiny baby clothes (except maybe baby animals) so we wouldn’t blame you if you embarked on a little daydreaming during the first few weeks of your pregnancy.
Featured image by Erol Ahmed
I Missed My Period, Am I Pregnant?
If you are thinking, “I missed
my period, am I pregnant?” you aren’t alone. Countless women wonder this every
month, and while some are pregnant, others aren’t. Until you know for sure,
though, the thought of an unplanned pregnancy is scary. It doesn’t take long until
this is all you can think about.
At Pregnancy Care Clinic,
we know what this is like, and how anxious you must be, hoping that it’s just
late. Before you go into full panic mode, take a deep breath, find a quiet,
comfortable spot to sit down, and take a few minutes to consider some
non-pregnancy reasons your period could be late.
Possible Reasons for a Late Period
Sometimes there are
reasons—other than being pregnant—for a missing or
late period . Here are some of them:
lost or gained a significant amount of weight.
had your period for less than a year.
had a lot of stress or anxiety recently, which can delay ovulation and, as a
result, your period.
did the math wrong. Remember to count from the first day of
your last period forward 28 days for the date to expect your period.
periods have often been irregular, varying in length between menstrual cycles.
- Excessive exercise can cause missed
periods, particularly for people with low body
weight or very little body fat.
you pre-menopausal? If so, this is the time when periods become unpredictable,
and it can be almost impossible to predict your next period.
Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
If none of the non-pregnancy
possibilities seem to fit your situation, here are some of the most common
symptoms of early pregnancy :
- Missed period: If you are a week late, the possibility of pregnancy becomes more likely.
- Nausea: Often called morning sickness, nausea can happen at any time of day or night and may begin as early as one week into pregnancy.
- Tender breasts: When pregnant, breasts tend to become sore and swollen, the nipples darken, and veins become more visible.
- Fatigue: Pregnancy makes you tired because your body is working hard and going through a lot of changes.
- Increased urination: When your uterus enlarges during pregnancy, it puts more pressure on your bladder.
- Moody: Hello hormones! You have hormones to thank for the mood swings you may experience.
- Food aversions: Also due to hormones, you may find certain odors bother you or make you feel sick, and you may also experience a change in your sense of taste.
- Spotting: Occasionally a pregnant woman can have some spotting (light bleeding) 8-10 days after ovulation, leading them to think they have had a light period. This is caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg.
Come for a Pregnancy Test
If you would rather not wait any
longer to find out if you are pregnant, make
an appointment to come see us at
Pregnancy Care Clinic for a no-cost pregnancy test. Our licensed medical
professionals will help you every step of the way, and if the test comes back
positive, we will offer you a no-cost ultrasound to check the viability of the
pregnancy and tell you how far along you are.
We are committed to providing a safe and confidential, non-judgmental environment to ask your questions, get the answers you need, and make thoughtful decisions about your future. Our caring and compassionate advocates are here to help and empower you so you can make the best possible decision.
 Barrell, A. (n.d.). Missed period but the pregnancy test is
negative: 8 reasons. Retrieved May 2, 2019 from
 Mayo Clinic. (2019, May 11).
Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first.
Retrieved May 12, 2019 from
Do i have period or pregnancy symptoms?
When a woman is thinking about getting pregnant, the world seems to stop. For some reason, everything revolves around the future pregnancy. She walks down the street and all she sees are pregnant women; she looks into shop windows and she only notices pregnant women’s clothes. It’s incredible: it seems that the universe is giving her unmistakable signs… pregnancy is within reach!
“I’m going to get my period”, “It’s not coming”, “It’s not coming!!!”, “Ok, it’s come. ..”, “I’m ovulating!”… These situations are common when you are trying to have a baby. Let’s try to resolve all your concerns by reproducing a very common obstetric query: “How do I know whether I am pregnant or whether it’s just that my period’s coming?” It is not normal to have a period if you are pregnant, although sometimes a little spotting – embryo implantation bleeding – can be confused with a short, superficial period.
Patient’s question: “Am I pregnant or is my period about to come?”
The story begins like this: our patient is a 30-year-old woman who has found the right time in her life to get pregnant and goes to her gynaecologist…
PATIENT: Good morning doctor!
DOCTOR: Good morning, María, how are you feeling today?
P: I am a little nervous because my period is not coming and we are trying to get pregnant.
D: When was your last period?
P: I am 3 days late, so 31 days ago.
D: How are you feeling?
P: Not very well, it’s as if my period was about to come.
D: But what are you feeling? What’s going on?
P: My breasts are hurting, I can ́t even touch them. When I brush against my bra, I see stars, I
don’t know if it’s normal. It even seems that my boobs have grown, they are swollen.
D: This breast pain, do you usually have it when you’re about to have your period or is it stronger?
P: I think it’s more painful this time, I mean I can’t even touch them.
D: And do you have any other pains?
P: Yes, I feel discomfort in the lower part of my stomach, like in my ovaries… as if I were going to have my period!
D: That painful menstrual-like sensation can also occur in the early weeks of pregnancy, María, so don’t worry. The most important thing is that it isn’t associated with bleeding. Have you spotted at some point?
P: No, I haven’t. The truth is I look at my knickers every time I go to the toilet, in case my period comes, but I haven’t spotted at all yet.
D: And you don’t have any other problems, do you?
P: Well, it’s just that I’ve been going to work for a few days now without eating anything, because I wake up with a delicate stomach. I don’t feel like throwing up, but really, it’s just that everything disgusts me, I can’t eat anything I have at home. And, at lunchtime, I just want to eat carbohydrates… like, pasta, pasta, pasta.
D: I think it would be a good idea to take a pregnancy test right away, to find out if you’re pregnant or not, because all the symptoms you have are consistent with a woman’s condition in her first weeks of pregnancy. So let’s do one!
What are the symptoms or signs of pregnancy?
What the patient has been describing are all the symptoms typical of the first weeks of pregnancy, which are summarised here:
- Breast pain and tenderness. The breasts are lumpier, more sensitive, and sometimes they even hurt when they touch the bra. This can also be PMS.
- Abdominal pain. Increased gas may accentuate the abdominal discomfort of pregnancy. The patient may confuse this with colicky pain from her period. Abdominal pain during pregnancy is more intense at the end of the day and is difficult to relieve.
- Irritability and sleepiness. These two symptoms can also occur in PMS, but are usually not as marked.
- Sensation of nausea and vomiting. Stomach discomfort can translate into feelings of nausea, even vomiting, and certain smells or tastes can become unbearable even though they were not before the pregnancy.
- Constipation and bloating. Increased progesterone is also associated with a slowing of bowel movements, which can lead to pronounced constipation and increased flatulence. Gas may aggravate the mother-to-be’s feeling of nausea and gastric distress.
- More migraines. Some women who suffer from migraines may also be more affected during this stage of pregnancy, mainly due to the high levels of progesterone circulating in their bodies.
When to take a pregnancy test
- It is advisable to wait for one week of amenorrhea (no period) before taking a pregnancy test. The aim is to avoid false negatives, which may be due to insufficient amount of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (beta hCG) detected in the urine.
- A false negative is a pregnancy test with a negative result even though the woman is actually pregnant, usually for less time than she thinks.
Avoid anti-inflammatory and gastrointestinal drugs
- When taking painkillers to ease the discomfort one feels during these days of doubt as to whether one might be pregnant or not, it is advisable to avoid non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, usually taken for PMS pain.
- You must also avoid anti-flatulence drugs and reduce bloating and trapped wind by walking and drinking infusions and herbal teas.
Although it is a nerve-racking time full of doubts, it also is the beginning of an unforgettable journey. Don ́t be afraid to experience the different sensations of your pregnancy. They will be difficult to understand fully, but they will remain in your memory forever.
Are You Pregnant? 12 Early Signs of Pregnancy
So you have conquered the first step, how to get pregnant. And when you find out you are pregnant, it can be the start of a remarkable, life-changing experience. That journey often starts with the question: “Am I pregnant?”
The first sign is usually a missed period, followed by a pregnancy test, said Lia Moss, a certified nurse midwife at Northwestern Medicine, who delivers babies at Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago.
Pregnancy tests, whether done at home or at a doctor’s office, measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine or blood. This hormone is released when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. Urine pregnancy tests can detect levels of hCG about 10 days after conception, Moss told Live Science, while blood tests, usually done at a doctor’s office, can detect a pregnancy about seven to 10 days after conception. Testing too soon can produce a false negative result. A woman’s due date is calculated from the first day of her last period.
Women typically experience many of the early signs of pregnancy, with the most common symptoms being fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea and bloating, Moss said. But not all women will have the same symptoms in early pregnancy or experience them to the same extent.
“The first trimester can be very hard for some women,” Moss said, but after that many mothers-to-be start feeling better.
Here are 12 clues that a woman may notice during her first trimester to indicate she may be pregnant.
1. Missed period
Often the first tip-off of pregnancy is a missed period. However, there are other reasons for missing a period. For example, a woman may not be keeping track of her menstrual cycle, or its length is irregular from month to month. Other explanations for why a woman could be late include excessive exercise, gaining or losing too much weight, stress, illness or breastfeeding, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, it is still possible to get pregnant if breastfeeding.
Being exhausted is very common during the first trimester of pregnancy, as well as during the last few months before delivering. This is most likely caused by rising levels of the hormone progesterone in early pregnancy, Moss said.
Women may notice that they feel more sluggish and sleepy than usual as early as one week after conception, the American Pregnancy Association said.
The body feels wiped out more easily during the early phases of pregnancy because blood volume increases to supply the developing placenta and fetus with nutrients, which causes a woman’s heart to work harder.
However, despite this fatigue, a 2020 study published in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth found that sleep problems were also common in early pregnancy.
In the early weeks of pregnancy, a woman may not yet be “showing,” but her abdominal area may feel softer and fuller, Moss said. This is likely caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone, she explained.
4. Bleeding / spotting
Two weeks after conception, a pregnant woman may experience a small amount of vaginal bleeding or light spotting, Moss said. The blood may be pink to brown in color, she said, and it may also be accompanied by mild cramping, so a woman may think she is about to start her period.
Known as implantation bleeding, it occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. This slight bleeding tends to happen around the time a woman may be expecting her period, but it’s shorter and much lighter than menstrual bleeding.
Six weeks after a missed menstrual cycle or two weeks after conception, a woman may notice that her breasts feel fuller, and her nipples may be more sensitive, Moss said. This is caused by increased levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen, as well as increased blood flow to this area, she explained. To feel more comfortable at night, some pregnant women sleep in a light, supportive sports bra, Moss said.
Another very early clue that a woman is pregnant is that the skin surrounding the nipples, known as areolas, might darken and get bigger — another effect of early pregnancy hormones.
6. Morning sickness
Moss said she dislikes the term “morning sickness” because the queasiness and throwing up can strike any time of day or night. A 2020 study involving 256 women, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found the term “inaccurate, simplistic, and therefore unhelpful”. While women involved in the study were more likely to actually vomit in the morning, there was a lower but strong chance that they would experience sustained nausea throughout the day.
Women may begin to feel sick to their stomachs between the sixth and 12th weeks of pregnancy, and some women may start to feel relief by week 14, Moss said.
Some research, such as this study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2014, suggests that food and drink can taste and smell different to pregnant women, which may make them feel nauseous.
Bouts of nausea and vomiting affect 70% to 85% of pregnant women, according to The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). These symptoms are likely triggered by the hormonal changes of pregnancy.
To ease the symptoms, Moss recommends eating small, frequent meals, resting as much as possible, choosing blander foods without strong smells, and drinking ginger tea. Other remedies include eating a few crackers in the morning before getting out of bed, consuming high-protein snacks, such as yogurt, and avoiding spicy and fatty foods, according to ACOG.
Related: Pregnancy diet & nutrition: What to eat, what not to eat
During the early months of pregnancy, a woman may feel like she is on an emotional roller coaster as changes in hormone levels affect her body and mind.
“It’s normal for women to feel on edge, like they are having premenstrual (PMS) symptoms,” Moss said. For some women, this may make them feel a little more irritable than usual, while others get a little more down or weepy, she explained.
Besides adjusting to shifting hormone levels, a woman’s moodiness can also be caused by some of the physical changes of early pregnancy, such as fatigue and morning sickness, as well as the emotional changes in her life, including the stress of becoming a parent, worries over having a healthy baby, and financial concerns about adding a new family member.
But if women feel depressed or down during this period, they should reach out and find help rather than writing it off as moodiness. Perinatal depression, while not as well studied as postnatal depression, is thought to affect more than one in 10 pregnant women, said U. K perinatal support charity NCT.
8. Changes in urination and bowel movements
Beginning about six weeks into the first trimester and throughout her pregnancy, a woman may need to pee more frequently.
Frequent bathroom visits happen in early pregnancy because the kidneys are working harder to filter the extra fluids in the body, such as an increased volume of blood. As the months pass and the fetus grows and develops in a woman’s uterus, it can put pressure on her bladder, causing a need to urinate more often than usual, according to the March of Dimes.
Constipation may be caused by extra progesterone, which can slow down the digestive system so that more nutrients can reach the fetus. Pregnancy hormones can also relax muscles that push waste products through the intestines. Being physically active, drinking lots of liquids and increasing dietary fiber can all help ease constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Getting headaches is a common symptom during the first trimester, Moss said. They could be a sign of hunger or dehydration, or may even be caused by caffeine withdrawal, she explained.
Some women may feel dizzy or lightheaded during the early months of pregnancy. Wooziness can be related to low blood sugar or dehydration, Moss said. Dizziness can also result from blood shifts in the body, especially when a woman changes position, for example from sitting to standing, or when she gets out of bed. If a woman faints, she should contact her health provider, Moss advised.
11. Hot flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats don’t just appear during the period before menopause — they may also affect women in early pregnancy. In a 2013 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, more than a third of women reported having either hot flashes or night sweats during pregnancy. Doctors think that rapid fluctuations in hormones such as estrogen may be behind these changes, according to the study.
12. Running hot
Pregnancy leads to an increased metabolic rate, which can make women feel generally hotter, especially when they sleep, Kathy Lee, a professor of nursing at the University of California San Francisco, who has studied how pregnancy affects sleep, previously told Live Science. Women who track their basal body temperature, or their temperature when they first wake up in the morning, may notice that it stays elevated in the first weeks of pregnancy. Researchers have shown, in a study published in 010 in the journal Acta Physiologica, that a pregnant woman’s temperature peaks in the first trimester at 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit (37.1 degrees Celsius), dropping to 97.5 F (36.4 C) 12 weeks after giving birth.
That’s because of rising progesterone levels, which raise basal body temperature, according to a 2017 study in the journal Bioengineering and Translational Medicine.
This article was updated on April 26, 2021, by Live Science contributor Sarah Wild.
Pregnancy and your menstrual cycle
An introduction to pregnancy and the menstrual cycle
You might be wondering what happens to your menstrual cycle when you fall pregnant. For most women their periods stop, but for some, they continue to bleed throughout the pregnancy. I discuss why this can happen and what’s going on with your hormones during this time.
Some women can have irregular or missed periods and then wonder if they are pregnant. Although missing a period is often an indication that you are indeed pregnant, this isn’t always the case and it can mean something else is going on.
I talk about some of the symptoms of pregnancy compared to those of normal menstrual periods, I describe what goes on with your menstrual cycle during pregnancy and how you can influence your chances of falling pregnant.
What are the signs of being pregnant vs. symptoms of menstrual periods?
So, how do you know if you are pregnant or it’s just another regular month? You might assume it’s obvious, but actually it can be confusing! Many of the symptoms of pregnancy are so similar to those of your monthly period, for women who have symptoms of PMS, it can be especially hard to tell!
Some common symptoms of both include:
- Stomach cramps – Many women have painful periods and cramp is one of the most common symptoms of menstrual periods. It has been reported that some women can experience very light cramping early on in pregnancy. This is thought to be due to changes in the womb and fluctuating hormones
- Tender breasts – Tender breasts are common in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle as progesterone levels are at their highest. If you fall pregnant, the levels of this hormone stay high in order to support the womb and sore breasts are therefore common in pregnancy
- Having low levels of energy – Women can feel low in energy in the lead up to their period, this is partly due to high levels of progesterone relative to oestrogen. In the first few weeks of pregnancy progesterone levels stay fairly high in order to support the womb for carrying your baby. During the first trimester your body undergoes massive changes throughout many different systems and this can contribute to you feeling very tired too
- Sweating – Increasing levels of hormones such as progesterone can make you feel warmer and sweatier. For example, when you ovulate, your body temperature increases very slightly as a result of a progesterone spike. After conception progesterone continues to rise and this can make you feel warmer and more uncomfortable
- Feeling nauseous – Nausea shouldn’t be a regular monthly symptom, perhaps more likely if you suffer from PMS. However, this is a common sign of early pregnancy. ‘Morning sickness’ (although the nausea or vomiting can happen at any time) occurs in up to 80% of women during the first three months of pregnancy and is thought to be due to rising levels of the hormone Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCH).
Although many of these symptoms can be very similar, look out for sudden changes in symptoms from what you are used to month to month. Also, having missed a period is often the symptom that differentiates your normal monthly symptoms and being pregnant.
However, despite this, missing a period still isn’t a sure sign you are pregnant, plus many women have irregular periods so knowing when you’ve actually missed one can also be hard to pin point! It’s best to take a pregnancy test if you suspect you are pregnant.
What happens to your menstrual cycle when you are pregnant?
A commonly asked question is if you can still have your period when you’re pregnant. Technically the answer is no… But, you can experience some bleeding which can be easily mistaken for your period, but technically you aren’t menstruating.
When you become pregnant, your hormones no longer follow the same pattern as they previously did each month. Instead your hormones are in whole new cycle: a one-off, 9 month cycle, that is!
From when you fall pregnant levels of hCH dramatically increase, they peak at around 12 weeks and then drop to lower level for the remainder of the pregnancy. From the time of conception, oestrogen and progesterone levels continue to rise. They get higher and higher, and only decrease after the birth of your baby.
Although you don’t have your period, there may be others reasons for losing blood during your pregnancy. Generally you should always get this checked out but there are some possible explanations:
- Implantation bleed – In anticipation of your egg become fertilized and implanting in the wall of your womb, the lining of your uterus thickens and becomes a spongy mass of tissue and blood vessels. You may have a small bleed as the egg implants as it disturbs some of this tissue. If you have regular periods this will normally happen approximately a week before your menstrual period would be due
- Hormone related bleeds – Early pregnancy especially sees big fluctuations in hormones and this can sometimes give rise to bleeding. If the implantation of your egg occurs very close to the time your period would be due, you might still lose a small amount of blood. If your progesterone levels are quite low you may also experience ‘breakthrough’ bleeding where small, looser sections of the lining of your womb are shed
- A problem with your placenta – Sometimes the growing placenta can incur bleeding, this often resolves itself over time and is more common in the first few months of the pregnancy
- Cervical bleeding – Your cervix can become more sensitive, after having sex for example. If this becomes apparent, it should be avoided in future as much as possible.
It is advised that you contact your doctor or midwife immediately if you start bleeding and suspect you are pregnant.
Can you become pregnant during your period?
Another common question is if you can still fall pregnant while you are on your period. The answer is yes. This is more common if you have, shorter or irregular periods.
Shorter cycles mean everything happens closer together. Since sperm can survive for up to five days inside the vagina, having sex at the end of your period and ovulating quite soon after, could result in you falling pregnant.
How can you increase your chances of becoming pregnant?
If you want to become pregnant tuning into your menstrual cycle and understanding what’s going on in your body can really help you. Here are my top tips:
- Get to know your cycle and when ovulation is likely to occur – Keeping track of your menstrual cycle is always a good thing. It not only prepares you for your period appearing (or not!) but it also means you can figure out when you are likely to ovulate. You generally ovulate in the middle of your cycle, so, if you have a 28 day cycle you’ll ovulate around day 14. Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of you period. Try keeping a diary for a few months so you can calculate the length of your cycle. You can also buy an ovulation test which can be more accurate. Take note of any symptoms you experience around the time of your period too as this could signal a hormone imbalance. A hormone imbalance could affect ovulation and your chances of falling pregnant
- Have sex – OK so this might seem obvious, but actually, having sex at the right time and the right amount can help too. Sperm can survive in the vagina for 3-5 days on average, but the female egg can only last for one after being released. Also, taking into consideration how far the sperm have to travel is important. It’s quite a distance from the vagina to the end of the fallopian tubes where the egg starts its journey, therefore it’s actually thought to be better to give the sperm a head start and have sex 1-2 days before ovulation. Also, having sex too often may be detrimental as it could affect the quality of the sperm. Have sex every second to third day rather than every day around your most fertile time could be more beneficial
- Diet and lifestyle – Diet and lifestyle is really important and has a big influence on your chances of falling pregnant. Ensuring you have a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals is important – did you know that zinc, for example, is important for healthy sperm in males? The easiest way to achieve a nutrient-rich diet is to eat fresh. It is also important to take a folic acid supplement if you are trying for a baby and continue to eat fresh ingredients if you do fall pregnant. Lifestyle factors are important too; smoking, consuming alcohol and being too stressed can all affect your chances of falling pregnant too. Good luck!
Late Period? Here are some reasons why
This article is also available in: português, español
You go to the bathroom, pull down your underpants and… nothing. You expected your period to be here by now, but it’s not. Before you start to worry about why it could be late, take a deep breath and read this.
Your body is not a clock, and variation in your menstrual cycle is normal, especially if you are a teenager, breastfeeding or nearing menopause. Stress, travel, diet, illness and medication (including birth control) can also affect your cycle length, symptoms and the length and heaviness of your period. Up to 7–9 days of variation cycle-to-cycle is considered normal for adults.
How to know if your period is late
It can be hard to know if your period is late, if you don’t know your average cycle length or when your last period was. With Clue you can view your recent period dates, cycle averages and predictions for your next three cycles. You can set a reminder to let you know when your period is coming, and to alert you if it’s late.
Download Clue to track your cycle length and changes.
What to do if your period is late
You are only at risk of pregnancy if you had unprotected penis-vagina sex or had sperm touching your vagina or vulva — during.
The best time to take a pregnancy test
If you have a regular menstrual cycle (for example, your cycle length rarely varies by more than a couple days), then you are only at risk of pregnancy if you had unprotected heterosexual sex or had a high risk of sperm touching your genitals during your fertile window. This is the six days leading up to and including ovulation, usually around the middle of your cycle (note that the ovulation day displayed in Clue is only an estimate — your actual ovulation day might have different timing, which can vary cycle-to-cycle along with the start date of your period). You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your estimated ovulation day, but the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others (1). You should probably take a pregnancy test or contact your healthcare provider if your period is nine or more days late.
If you have an irregular cycle (i.e. you don’t know when your period is going to come and the difference between your longest cycle and shortest cycle is more than 7–9 days), then unprotected sex or exposure of sperm on your genitals at most times represents a risk. You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your last unprotected sexual encounter, though the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others (1).
If you get a negative result at first and your period still hasn’t come after a week, you might want to try taking another pregnancy test—just to be sure. The sooner you know if you are pregnant or not, the sooner you’ll be able to develop a plan (if you do continue a pregnancy, certain vitamins are usually recommended right away). You can get confidential testing and counseling in most healthcare providers’ offices and clinics.
Read more here about the different types of pregnancy tests and how to use them.
Unsure where to go?
The International Planned Parenthood Federation lists member associations in over 170 countries on their site. Planned Parenthood has over 600 clinics in the USA and Family Planning offers services in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. To find a service provider in Canada, try the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (CFSH). If you are transgender or nonbinary, there are many organizations worldwide that can help you to find a trans-friendly ob/gyn.
If you’ve had a negative pregnancy test and you haven’t had a period in more than 90 days, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Tell them about your previous periods, cycle length and heaviness, and any other symptoms you have noticed. They may want to run a few tests to check if your cycle is being affected by another health condition.
A late period can be emotional, but try not to jump to conclusions until you find out what’s really going on. It’s completely normal for the length of your menstrual cycle to vary sometimes—maybe it’s nothing at all.
Download Clue to learn about your cycle and get accurate period predictions.
90,000 Pregnancy during menstruation – myth or reality?
The egg is sent on its personal journey from 7 to 21 days, taking into account the average duration of the menstrual cycle. With non-standard cycle values, this period is increased or decreased.
Let’s say a woman knows exactly when ovulation will occur and menstruation will begin. Logically, you cannot get pregnant during your period. However, there are many cases of such pregnancies, which is also logical, given the unpredictability of menstruation, unusual egg behavior or sperm vitality.
The reasons for pregnancy during menstruation can be as follows:
- Different duration of the menstrual cycle. With a short cycle of 20 days, the best days of conception almost coincide with the beginning of your period.
- Sperm survival. They are extremely active, and especially strong ones are able to survive for several days or even a week. If even one sperm survives to ovulation, then there is a high risk of conception.
- Disturbances in the rhythm of ovulation.This is possible after an abortion, childbirth, during premenopause and in other cases. With age, the chance of a problem increases. You should never rely on calculating ovulation as a contraceptive.
- Spontaneous ovulation. In such cases, two eggs mature, which, accordingly, increases the chances of conception. An unusual phenomenon is possible due to irregular sex life, heredity, a strong hormonal surge, or a particularly strong orgasm.
- Violations of taking oral contraceptives.If you stop taking pills before your period, then the chance of pregnancy during your period increases. Such pills should be used strictly according to the instructions – monthly indulgences do not give.
The period with the smallest chance of conception is the beginning of the menstrual cycle. For most people, intercourse at this time is unpleasant, but some use this condition as a natural contraceptive. In the first few days of menstruation, an aggressive environment is created, a strong blood flow simply sweeps away all sperm in its path, and if someone manages to gain a foothold, then the chances of survival are extremely small.
But, even deciding to have sex in the midst of menstruation, it is worth remembering about real contraceptives, because the chance of conception, albeit small, remains. Moreover, at this time, the risk of infections is extremely high, because blood is an excellent medium for the reproduction of bacteria, and the uterus is not protected by a cervical plug. It is necessary to carefully monitor hygiene, both for a woman and a man.
The last days of menstruation, especially the protracted ones, pose a particular risk.There is practically no discharge, menstruation is still formally passing, but the sperm are already ready to wait for their egg. If pregnancy is undesirable, it is best to always use contraception in the form of condoms or other contraceptives.
90,000 Signs of pregnancy
A woman can feel pregnancy immediately after conception. From the first days, restructuring begins in the body. Each reaction of the body is a bell for the expectant mother. The first signs cannot be called clear.They can be easily confused with the discomfort that occurs during a cold or before menstruation begins. Many women do not pay attention to these signs, and later find out about pregnancy when there is a delay. If you carefully monitor your condition, you can find out about the onset of the cherished period much earlier than the test shows two strips, and the pregnancy will be confirmed by tests and examination by a gynecologist.
First signs of pregnancy
Interestingly, the first weeks of pregnancy can be asymptomatic for some women, and with clear signs of body restructuring for others.Let’s list what the fair sex can face after conception.
- Fatigue, feeling unwell;
- Abrupt change of mood – from positive to negative and vice versa;
- Difficult relationship with food – aversion to some foods, overeating others;
- Severity and pain in the lower abdomen;
- Excessive breast tenderness;
- Fainting and dizziness;
- Nausea, toxicosis, heartburn;
- Aggravated sense of smell.
Pregnancy can be manifested by external changes. For example, one of the signs of an “interesting position” is swelling of the arms, legs and face. The body’s reaction can be reddening of the skin on the face, the appearance of acne. Also, in pregnant women, there is an increase in breast volume and darkening of the nipples. Another sign is an increase in basal temperature. This usually occurs during ovulation, and after the basal temperature returns to its initial value. During pregnancy, the latter does not occur.
What to do if you become pregnant?
The most indicative sign is considered to be the absence of menstruation. The delay can be due to stress, overexertion, climate change or weather. If there is no menstruation for more than 5 days, this is a serious reason to take a test and seek advice from a gynecologist. You will have to visit a doctor in any case, even if you managed to independently establish a pregnancy using a test. Only a doctor can fully confirm this.Moreover, the gynecologist will tell you if the woman has pathologies in the form of an ectopic pregnancy.
The menstrual cycle is a natural cyclically repeating changes in a woman’s body, especially in the genitals, one of the manifestations of which is bleeding from the genital tract (menstruation). These cyclical changes prepare women for pregnancy. If the egg has not been fertilized and the pregnancy has not occurred, then each menstrual cycle ends with natural menstrual bleeding.The first menstruation in a woman’s life is called menarche and usually occurs at the age of 12-15 years, the last is called menopause and is estimated retrospectively after 12 months after the last menstruation, the average age of menopause is 49-55 years. The normal duration of the menstrual cycle is 21-35 days; duration is 2-7 days; the volume of blood loss during menstruation is 50-80 ml; the clinical picture is a change of pads or tampons with an interval of more than 3 hours. Less than 21 pads or tampons are used per cycle; sometimes changing the pads at the nasal time, the diameter of the blood clot is not more than 2.5 cm, while there is no anemia.
If you have infrequent menstruation (interval from 36 days to 6 months), absent for more than 6 months with a previously regular cycle, or the absence of at least one independent menstruation in a girl under 16 years of age, frequent menstruation; the interval between periods is less than 21 days), or menstruation are more abundant than the physiological norm or longer than normal intervals, then this is already a DISORDER OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE.
The consequences of these disorders are a decrease in the woman’s ability to conceive by reducing the level of progesterone; or increases the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and neoplasms due to an excess of estrogen with a deficiency of progesterone, and increased blood loss during menstruation leads to chronic anemia, the consequence of which may be tissue hypoxia and, as a consequence, malfunction of the ovaries, which aggravates the problem. Studies of reproductive function in women with infrequent and scanty periods have revealed frequent problems with conception in these women and miscarriage.
Timely diagnosis of the causes of menstrual irregularities, adequately carried out therapy aimed at regulating the menstrual cycle, serves to prevent infertility, hyperplastic processes in the endometrium and prevent the development of cancer.
If you suspect a menstrual irregularity, contact your gynecologist.
At our clinic we have all the possibilities for making the correct diagnosis and enough knowledge and experience to solve your problems.
5 facts about menstruation that you did not know (prices for services)
You probably think you know all about this aspect of a woman’s life.
While there is at least one problem related to the menstrual cycle, which neither you nor your experienced friends are able to solve. This is not surprising for gynecologists who are ready to answer the most common questions of their patients.
1. Why do I have premenstrual syndrome?
PMS, or premester syndrome, happens because the body is sensitive to hormonal changes. In the week or 10 days before your period, progesterone and estrogen levels change dramatically. Symptoms may include mood swings, headaches, chest tightness, heaviness in the lower abdomen, and fatigue.
At least 90% of women experience this condition before their period, but about 20% experience symptoms so pronounced that they interfere with their normal activities and relationships.
Whatever your premenstrual syndrome, use the following advice from your gynecologists. Drink plenty of water. Eat small meals every two hours and refrain from alcohol and caffeine.
If mood swings are a problem, take calcium supplements, but your doctor should prescribe them. A high intake of calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of PMS, according to a study in more than 3,000 women. Those who drank about four servings a day of low-fat milk or orange juice had mild premenstrual syndrome. Some experts also argue that vitamin D and calcium deficiencies increase PMS symptoms.
2. Why are my periods irregular?
Some women do not ovulate regularly, therefore, they do not have regular periods either. Stress and illness can also have an extremely negative impact on the cycle.
But to talk about irregular periods, you need to know what a regular cycle is. A regular cycle means that from the first day of your period to the next day, 21 to 35 days pass each time.
Often women feel that they have an irregular cycle if their periods do not start on the same day. But there is no reason to worry. An error of a couple of days is quite acceptable. Sometimes women don’t remember exactly when the previous period started. Therefore, gynecologists advise keeping a menstrual calendar with an exact indication of the beginning of the first and last day of menstruation.
Other causes of irregular periods, besides pregnancy, are excessive weight gain or, conversely, sudden weight loss, malnutrition, exercise regimen and hormonal problems.
If your cycle does not return to normal next month, you should talk to your gynecologist.
3. Can you get pregnant during your period?
Possible, but unlikely. The main thing to know is whether it was menstruation or discharge between periods. Some women experience bleeding during ovulation when there is every chance of getting pregnant.
If a woman had sex in the last days of her period and ovulation occurred in 2-3 days, and the sperm still remained in the vagina, it is possible to become pregnant, but extremely unlikely.
4. If your period starts on time, does it mean I’m not pregnant?
You cannot be 100% sure. Because often in the early stages of pregnancy there may be bleeding. And the difference between them and menstruation is difficult to notice, but discharge during menstruation usually progresses.
Gynecologists advise to take a pregnancy test and pay attention to other symptoms – nausea and dizziness. Ultrasound will give accurate results.
5.Does not change the tampon for a long time increase the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome?
Toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection. Microorganisms produce toxins that poison the body.
TSS is marked by a sharp rise in temperature, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, and a rash. Even highly absorbent tampons, if left unchanged for a long time, become a breeding ground for bacteria that begin to actively multiply.
How long can the tampon be used? Always follow the included instructions. Depending on the abundance of discharge and the quality of the tampons, some need to be changed every two hours, others can be used for 4-6 hours. But if you develop signs of toxic shock, never self-medicate – see your doctor right away.
90,000 Periods during pregnancy: can it go
- Can menstruation go on during pregnancy?
- Why do “periods” appear during the first half of pregnancy?
- Are there any periods in late pregnancy?
Pregnancy begins with delay. Menses do not come on time and no longer appear during the entire period of gestation of the baby, as well as at the initial stage of breastfeeding. This fact is known to every woman, but from time to time it is questioned, and expectant mothers ask themselves: maybe not everything is so simple? Let’s see what menstruation is during pregnancy – a norm or a pathology?
Can your period go on during pregnancy?
Normally, they should not be. Therefore, any blood-containing vaginal discharge during this period is termed “obstetric bleeding” 1 .Some of them are harmless, others are very dangerous, but the most important thing that every expectant mother should know about them is that it is impossible to ignore “menstruation” during pregnancy in any case. Many of them are a sign of pathologies in which the risk of death of the child, mother, or both increases significantly 1 . Therefore, report any bleeding to your doctor immediately!
This concludes our article 🙂 But we will tell you what conditions can be similar to menstruation during pregnancy. Perhaps this knowledge will be useful to you and will help you not to miss the characteristic signs of obstetric bleeding, which means to give your doctor important information for diagnosis and treatment.
Why do “periods” appear during the first half of pregnancy?
Obstetric bleeding most often occurs in the first half of pregnancy. During this period, the life and health of the fetus is most vulnerable, and any unusual signs should be treated with special attention. Consider the main causes of vaginal bleeding.
After fertilization, the egg moves towards the uterus and after about 6-10 days attaches to its wall. In this natural process, minor damage to the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) occurs and may be accompanied by minor bleeding 2 .
These false periods already occur during pregnancy, but often a woman does not yet know that a new life has arisen inside her.Implantation bleeding is characterized by a small amount of discharge 2 and lasts 1–2 days, so it can be confused with normal menstruation, which for some reason came a little ahead of schedule and is surprisingly easy.
Don’t worry. Rather, it’s cause for joy: these unexpected “periods” during pregnancy are most likely a sign that you are becoming a mom.
Irritation of the cervix
Under the influence of hormones, the cervix of a pregnant woman becomes more vulnerable and sensitive.In some women, this can lead to minor bleeding with almost any external influence on her. For example, this can happen after taking a swab by a gynecologist or having sex with a loved one 3 .
It is difficult to say for sure whether there are similar monthly discharge for this reason, or they are associated with more dangerous conditions. Even if the day before you really had sex or a visit to the gynecologist, it is better to play it safe and report your symptoms to your doctor.
If bleeding is accompanied by persistent and severe abdominal pain, this is a bad sign. This condition is often a sign of ectopic pregnancy 4 and requires immediate medical attention. Alarming symptoms may not appear immediately and begin to bother a woman already in the second month – up to the 8th obstetric week.
In no case should you try to endure them. Ectopic fetal implantation is fatal to the mother.In most cases, it requires immediate hospitalization and surgical removal of the fetus.
Threat of miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion usually occurs in the first trimester 5 . Sometimes it happens very early on, and the woman does not even always understand what happened. Due to the delay, she may think that she is pregnant, but bleeding soon comes, which can be confused with menstruation.
The threat of miscarriage may appear later, when the pregnancy has already been confirmed.Bleeding in the first trimester is always a reason to see a doctor immediately. In many cases, spontaneous abortion is a reaction of the pregnant woman’s body to dangerous chromosomal abnormalities and other critical fetal malformations 6 . However, situations are not uncommon when the threat of miscarriage occurs due to hormonal imbalances or other reasons that modern medicine can eliminate and ensure the birth of a healthy baby.
The answer to the question why during pregnancy there are periods after several weeks without menstruation may be associated precisely with the threat of miscarriage.In such a situation, you must definitely consult a doctor, and do it as quickly as possible.
So we got to the main question: is it possible to be pregnant during menstruation? Oddly enough, some obstetric bleeding may indeed be associated with the work of the mechanisms responsible for the menstrual cycle. Rarely, but during pregnancy, menstruation may occur, which differ from the usual minimum volume of bloody discharge, but sometimes coincide with the menstrual cycle.
This is not considered normal. During the carrying of the baby, the hormonal background should be rebuilt in such a way as to completely eliminate the situation in which pregnancy and menstruation come at the same time. Recurrent bleeding often indicates hormonal imbalance, in particular, insufficient production of progesterone 7 . Tell your doctor about this so that he can analyze the situation and, if necessary, prescribe hormonal drugs.
One of the unusual cases is the disappearing twin phenomenon 8 . This situation sometimes occurs with multiple pregnancies. The mother’s body rejects one or more embryos, arranging a selective miscarriage for all fetuses, except for one chosen one, and they leave her body along with obstetric bleeding.
Vanishing twin syndrome can only occur if a woman has a multiple pregnancy.With natural conception, it is rarely observed, most often this phenomenon occurs during artificial insemination with the implantation of several embryos.
Are there any periods in late pregnancy?
Obstetric bleeding in the second half is less common, but also possible. The most common of them are associated with pathologies of the placenta.
Incorrect attachment of the placenta can lead to false menstruation. Usually bleeding occurs with the onset of labor, but can also occur in late pregnancy 9 .They start unexpectedly and are often profuse.
Such obstetric bleeding is dangerous due to the large loss of blood by a woman, as a result of which iron deficiency anemia may develop. When this syndrome appears, hospitalization is necessary, in severe cases, therapy is prescribed to prevent anemia.
Premature placental abruption
Normally, the placenta exfoliates from the wall of the uterus and leaves the woman’s body after the birth of the baby.Sometimes premature placental abruption is possible early in labor or even during pregnancy. It is usually accompanied by minor to heavy bleeding.
Premature placental abruption is very dangerous for the fetus 10 / sup>, because it is with its help that the baby eats and breathes. Therefore, during routine examinations, doctors pay close attention to the risk factors that can lead to this syndrome. If suspicious signs are found, the doctor prescribes therapy or hospitalization.
Are there other causes of false periods during pregnancy?
Yes, and a lot. Obstetric bleeding can be associated with a variety of pathologies and diseases. In particular, polyps of the cervix, fibroids located in the placenta, cervical cancer and other causes can lead to them.
Determine what exactly happened, guided only by external signs, you cannot do. In most cases, even an experienced specialist will not be able to identify the cause without additional research.Remember this, as a rule, without exception: any period during pregnancy is a reason to immediately contact your doctor!
A.Z. Khashukoeva, L. Yu. Smirnova, L.O. Protopopova, Z.Z. Khashukoeva. Obstetric bleeding. Journal of the Attending Physician, No. 10/2004. Link: https://www.lvrach.ru/2004/10/4531880/
Weinberg, C. R .; Baird, D. D .; Wilcox, A. J .; Harville, E. W. (2003-09-01). “Vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy”.Human Reproduction. 18 (9): 1944-1947. Link: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/18/9/1944/708284
Eyal Sheiner, (2011). Bleeding during pregnancy a comprehensive guide. New York: Springer. p. 13.ISBN 9781441998101. Link: https://books.google.ca/books?id=kidaUVfQk_UC&pg=PA13#v=onepage&q&f=false
Crochet JR, Bastian LA, Chireau MV (2013). Does this woman have an ectopic pregnancy ?: the rational clinical examination systematic review.JAMA. 309 (16): 1722-9. Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1681418
The Johns Hopkins Manual of Gynecology and Obstetrics (4th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2012. pp. 438-439. ISBN 9781451148015. Link: https://books.google.ru/books?id=4Sg5sXyiBvkC&pg=PA438&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Jeve YB, Davies W (July 2014). Evidence-based management of recurrent miscarriages. Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences.7 (3): 159–69. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229790/
Low Progesterone: Complications, Causes, and More. Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/low-progesterone
Landy, H. J.; Weiner, S .; Corson, S.L .; Batzer, F.R. (1986). “The” vanishing twin “: ultrasonographic assessment of fetal disappearance in the first trimester.” Am J Obstet Gynecol. 155 (1): 14-19. Link: https://www.ajog.org/article/0002-9378(86)
PLACENTA OFFER – Great Medical Encyclopedia.Link: https: //bme.org/index.php/PLACE_PRESENTATION
N.A. Zharkin, E.M. Lavenyukova, A.E. Miroshnikov. Premature detachment of a normally located placenta. Epidemiology, risk factors, prognosis, outcomes. Link: https://www.mediasphera.ru/issues/rossijskij-vestnik-akushera-ginekologa/2018/3/1172661222018031020
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Signs of early pregnancy
Pregnancy, especially the early period, is a difficult time for both the woman and the baby. This stage of life can be accompanied by a number of difficulties and requires the expectant mother to be attentive to her health.
Early pregnancy diagnosis
The first signs of pregnancy can appear within 7-10 days after its onset. This is due to a special hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – it begins to be secreted by the embryo attached to the wall of the uterus. In the first three months of pregnancy, the amount of this hormone increases significantly, which becomes the main factor affecting the well-being of the expectant mother.In the fourth month, the amount of hCG, as a rule, decreases, and the woman’s well-being returns to normal.
Symptoms of pregnancy
The following signs can serve as a signal of the onset of pregnancy:
- Menstrual cycle change
- Weakness and malaise
- Onset of chest or abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Change in emotional background
- Strengthening of emissions
- Increase in basal temperature
The absence or delay of menstruation is the most obvious symptom of pregnancy. However, there are situations where menstruation continues even when pregnancy occurs. If you know for sure about your position, any discharge should alert you – this is a reason for an early visit to a doctor.
Lack of menstruation does not necessarily indicate pregnancy. Sometimes a violation of the female cycle can be associated with chronic fatigue, severe stress, the development of certain diseases. Surgical intervention in the body is also the reason due to which the normal course of the cycle can be disrupted.
A change in well-being, the appearance of weakness, drowsiness, a constant desire to sleep can also be a sign of early pregnancy.During this period, all the protective functions of the body are sharply reduced, so there is a risk of catching a cold, simply by airing in the room. Hence, frequent nasal congestion and sore throat in expectant mothers.
Also, signs of pregnancy can be factors such as chest discomfort or abdominal cramps. The woman’s body begins to actively rebuild from the second week – intensive work is underway to form the fetus and placenta, the muscles of the uterus begin to actively contract, and the breast begins to accumulate milk for future breastfeeding.In this regard, it is possible to change the breast halo (circles around the nipples) and the release of clear fluid from it.
The occurrence of nausea and vomiting are quite common factors accompanying pregnancy. They are especially acute in the morning, after waking up, and can also be a reaction to a wide variety of smells – food, perfume, household chemicals. In a normal case, by the end of the third month, such symptoms should disappear, but there are cases when they persist until the third trimester of pregnancy.In case of late toxicosis – “histosis” – doctors recommend that pregnant women undergo treatment in a hospital.
Most women experience a change in their emotional state with the onset of pregnancy. Sudden mood swings are associated, first of all, with a change in hormonal levels, as well as with increased anxiety for their unborn baby.
Discharge of the genitourinary system is a natural process for the female body, but with the onset of pregnancy, they change their structure and color – they become transparent and more mucous.Such secretions are a normal process of the body’s defense against the penetration of all kinds of viruses and bacteria into it.
Most gynecologists tend to believe that when pregnancy is detected in the early stages, basal temperature measurement gives a 100% result. For the measurement to be effective, it is best to take it early in the morning – right after waking up, when the intestinal muscles are still relaxed. The temperature in the rectum during pregnancy rises to 37 ° C and above.
The body of every woman is unique and individual, so it can behave and manifest itself in completely different ways.
Today, there are many modern means and methods for diagnosing pregnancy. You can get a more accurate result using a pregnancy test, or by donating a blood test.
You can also confirm pregnancy with ultrasound (ultrasound).
When a woman becomes pregnant, it is necessary to consult a doctor and register for a period not later than 12 weeks.
At the Renovazio clinic, we offer an integrated approach to pregnancy management, which will save you from complications and problems at the entire stage of carrying a baby. You can make an appointment with a gynecologist by calling +7 (391) 277 52 52 or online on our website.
Why pregnancy does not occur
Pashkina Natalya Valentinovna
Head of the Department of Assisted Reproductive Technologies – obstetrician-gynecologist
One of the reasons for not getting pregnant is the lack of ovulation.
As a rule, endocrine diseases such as:
- hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (insufficient production of hormones by the brain that regulate the work of the ovaries),
- polycystic ovary syndrome,
- an increase in the hormone prolactin in the blood (hypeprolactinemia),
- thyroid disease (hypothyroidism),
- dysfunction of the adrenal glands, ovarian failure.
Patients may have the following complaints:
- irregular menstrual cycle
- rare menstruation
- maybe even the absence of menstruation,
- weight problems: both underweight and overweight.
Other complaints are also possible: increased hair growth, acne and others.
How to find out if you are ovulating or not
There are several methods for determining ovulation.The easiest way to determine ovulation at home is to buy ovulation tests from the store. These tests are similar to those used to diagnose pregnancy.
How they work
Before ovulation, there is an increase in the blood luteinizing hormone LH, which appears in the urine. The ovulation test detects the appearance of LH in the urine.
Which tests to use
There are many of them on the market, manufacturers from Canada, China, Germany and others (Ovuplan, Clearble, Frautes, etc.)
Be sure to read the instructions! As a rule, all tests are reliable and informative.
When is it better to do tests
The tests usually need to be done from the 12th day of the cycle if you have a 28-day cycle. If you have a short cycle (21-26 days) – from day 8.
If the cycle is long (30-34 days), then most likely your ovulation is late and may occur on 17-21 days or even later. Then the tests must be done from 14-16 days.
Moreover, it is better to do testing 2 times a day – in the morning and in the evening, so as not to miss the peak of LH (for some, it is short).
How to decipher test scores
If you have 2 strips, then the test is negative and there is no ovulation.
If a second stripe appears, but it is not as bright as the first, then the test is also negative. In this case, it is necessary to continue to do tests until the two stripes are the same color.
As soon as the color of the stripes becomes the same or approximate in color – Hurray, the test is positive!
In the next day, two of you will ovulate. We have sex, have fun and visualize how a new life is being born in us. And everything will work out! Good luck and success to everyone!
Whether the tests are false negative or false positive.
Unfortunately yes. Therefore, ovulation should be monitored using several methods.
Ultrasound monitoring of ovulation
This method is quite effective and intuitive.
Briefly about physiology. On the 10-12th day of the menstrual cycle (a standard menstrual cycle lasting 28-30 days), a dominant follicle appears in the ovary – this is the largest follicle in which the egg will mature. The follicle grows about 2 mm per day, ovulation can occur when the follicle size is 17-25 mm. The follicle secretes a very important hormone called estradiol.In the uterus, under the influence of estradiol, the endometrium grows (this is the inner lining of the uterus, where the processes of embryo attachment take place). The endometrium immediately after menstruation is approximately 5 mm, as the follicle grows (the concentration of estradiol increases), the thickness of the endometrium increases from 5 mm to 8-12 mm – this stage is called the proliferation phase. If ovulation has taken place, then the follicle turns into a corpus luteum, and the corpus luteum begins to produce progesterone. Under the influence of progesterone in the uterus, in the endometrium, characteristic changes occur – the secretion phase begins.
We will be able to see these changes that occur with the follicle and endometrium on ultrasound!
If you come on the 12th day of the cycle, I will see a large follicle in the ovary, 10-12 mm in size – that’s great! Then in 2-3 days we will see its growth and the growth of the endometrium, remember that the growth rate of the follicle and endometrium is about 2 mm per day. Having done an ultrasound on the 14-15th day, we will see that the follicle, which was 17-20 mm yesterday, disappeared. So ovulation has occurred.
We will see the fluid behind the uterus, which also indicates that the follicle has burst. Further, having made an ultrasound scan on days 17-19-21 of the cycle, we state that a corpus luteum has formed at the site of the bursting follicle and characteristic changes have occurred in the endometrium. And if you, even at this time, did ovulation tests and if you still donate blood to determine the amount of the hormone progesterone, we are most likely to decide that you had ovulation. So we need to look for another reason for the absence of pregnancy.
It is very important to do ultrasound monitoring along with the tests. This will most accurately determine the presence of ovulation. An ultrasound machine is the most important assistant for a reproductive physician. Make an appointment for an ultrasound scan with a reproductologist.
Ultrasound picture, if there is no ovulation
It is important to do ultrasound monitoring for more than one month, but preferably 2-3. In general, a healthy woman can have cycles without ovulation 1-2 times a year.With age up to 40 years, the number of anovulatory cycles increases and this is the norm.
Earlier I told you what we see on the ultrasound if everything goes right. Now let’s talk about what’s wrong …
- We can fix that there is a dominant follicle, it grows normally, but at a certain stage its growth stops before reaching 17-20 mm. And then it begins to decrease (regress). This is a violation of ovulation by the type of follicle atresia.
- The dominant follicle grows, reaches ovulatory size, but ovulation does not occur and it continues to grow further, releasing estrogens, affecting the endometrium. Since the corpus luteum is not formed, the proliferation stage remains in the uterus. And prolonged stimulation of the endometrium with estrogens can lead to the formation of polyps in the uterus.