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Can You Get Your Period When You Are Pregnant?

You can't have a regular  menstrual period once you are pregnant, but up to 30% of pregnant women experience some vaginal bleeding, and most go on to have a normal pregnancy. That is not the same as a menstrual period.

Q: Can you get your period once you are pregnant?

No. You can't have a regular  menstrual period once you are pregnant.

Up to 30% of pregnant women experience some vaginal bleeding, and most go on to have a normal pregnancy.

Some even report intermittent bleeding that seems like a regular period to them. But vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is not the same thing as menstruation. 

What's the difference?

Menstruation only happens when you're not pregnant in repopsnse to ovulation and the uterine lining shedding when the egg has not implanted: Each month, your uterus grows a thick blood-rich lining in preparation for an egg to embed there. If you don't get pregnant that month, you shed this tissue and blood – that's your menstrual period.

But once an egg embeds in the uterine lining, hormones tell the blood-rich tissue to stay intact to support the fetus . 

Then why do some women bleed during pregnancy?

Bleeding occurs during pregnancy for various reasons, some serious and some not.

Some women have light bleeding or spotting very early in pregnancy – around the time their period is due – and they may mistake that for a period. This so-called "implantation bleeding" may be caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into the blood-rich lining of the uterus. It's generally a lot lighter than a typical period and lasts just a day or two.

You may have spotting after a Pap smear, vaginal exam, or sex. This is because there's more blood going to your cervix during pregnancy.

Bleeding can also be a sign of something seriously wrong, such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy which can be life-threatening. 

If you notice bleeding in pregnancy, call your doctor right away, even if the bleeding has stopped. Many women who bleed a little during pregnancy deliver without complications, but you may need an evaluation to rule out a serious problem.

If you're actively bleeding or have severe pain of any kind and can't immediately reach your practitioner, head straight to the emergency room.

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