Period While Pregnant? Spotting or Bleeding in Pregnancy? Causes and Prevalence 2786


Generally, your period arriving is a pretty solid indication you aren’t pregnant, but generally is not always. Bleeding during pregnancy or spotting during pregnancy which can be mistaken for a period while pregnant is possible– most especially during the first month of pregnancy. Bleeding can also occur later in pregnancy, even if there wasn’t bleeding early on. No matter the when, bleeding in pregnancy is always a scary experience. We do our best below to detail the possible causes of bleeding in pregnancy at each stage as well as cover how common it is to have bleeding in pregnancy.

Note: The probable causes of bleeding in pregnancy vary by when in your pregnancy the bleeding occurs. This article covers three major time periods as well as the prevalence and risk factors of bleeding in pregnancy, you can click any of the  anchors below to jump to the section for your applicable stage of pregnancy or desired topic.

-Period while pregnant: very early pregnancy, typically before pregnancy is confirmed.

-In the first trimester (month 1 – 3)

-In the second and third trimester

-How rare is it to be pregnant and have your period? What are the risk factors?

-Citation section

-Comments

period while pregnant

 

Spotting during pregnancy in the first month: Can you have a period while pregnant?

 Conception that occurs close to menstruation or low progesterone levels may cause what looks like a period while pregnant.

Conception may not occur until mere days before your period is due if you have a short menstrual cycle or don’t ovulate mid-cycle.

For example, let’s say you’re regularly maintaining a 26-day cycle. Chances are you’ll ovulate around day 13. Even if you had unprotected sex on that day and sperm found egg later that day, it would still take the fertilized egg six to twelve days to reach and implant in your uterine lining.

By this timeline, your body wouldn’t know to continue producing the hormone progesterone that ceases menstruation until somewhere between day 20 to 25 of your cycle. This could leave as little as one day between conception and projected menstruation.

If those hormone levels are insufficient, such as in a situation of low progesterone from luteal phase defect or had already begun to fall, you could have what seems like a lighter than usual period while pregnant or even one that seems entirely normal and wouldn’t think you missed a period until you were already around eight weeks pregnant.

This type of bleeding is often referred to as “break through bleeding,” and is the most common type of bleeding mistaken for a period while pregnant. Break through bleeding is usually seen during the first month of pregnancy, but may continue in the first trimester if hormone levels stay low.

It’s important to note in this case that any bleeding following the first bleed would not occur in a timely, predictable manner like a period. It would be sporadic bleeding that will vary in flow. Multiple timely periods of bleeding like a period, whether irregular/light for you or not, are very unlikely to be pregnancy bleeding.

As this can be indicative of low progesterone, it should be evaluated by a doctor. In fact, any bleeding during pregnancy should.  It should also be noted that even if there is bleeding when your period is due, if you are pregnant, ovulation will not occur again. This type of bleeding is not a true period while pregnant. You cannot have what is technically referred to as a period while pregnant, because your uterine lining is not entirely shed along with an egg.

Basal body temping can be a great way to catch such a situation, because a rise in temperature confirms ovulation and prolonged high temps for 16 days can be a way to confirm you’re pregnant, period-like bleeding or not.

Implantation bleeding may be mistaken for a period while pregnant.

Many women also mistake implantation bleeding for a period while pregnant. If you followed the same example above, usually had a light period, and had spotting on day 23, you may think that spotting was your period simply a day or two early. Bleeding varies from woman to woman, but a heavy flow is almost never implantation bleeding. You can read a full article on telling the difference between implantation and your period here.

Some of causes of spotting during pregnancy or bleeding during pregnancy in the first trimester covered below may also apply to very early pregnancy and be mistaken for a period while pregnant. If your bleeding is later than 14 days after intercourse, and you don’t have a short cycle, you might explore those causes as well.

Bleeding during pregnancy in the first trimester (First month to about month 3):

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause: Cervical changes

During pregnancy your cervix becomes soft and blood flow is increased. This can make it more prone to minor damage. Things such as sex, dilation or position checks, PAP smears, and even excessive physical activity which may have triggered small contractions can cause spotting during pregnancy. You should always mention any bleeding to your care provider, though short-term spotting is not often a cause for concern, especially if it was just once and after an activity that may have affected your cervix.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause: Progesterone dip

Around week 6 the placenta begins to take over production of progesterone. Sometimes during this time there is a slight and temporary progesterone dip that can cause light bleeding in pregnancy. This is the most common time for spotting during pregnancy to occur.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause: Infection

Infections that may cause inflammation to the cervix or vaginal canal can also cause spotting during pregnancy. These may include common infections such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Spotting accompanied by foul smelling discharge, itching, skin rashes or warts may be a good tip off this is what you’re dealing with, though not all infections present with symptoms.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Subchronic hematoma

A subchronic hematoma is a pocket of blood or blood clot within the uterine wall. This cause of spotting or bleeding during pregnancy might sound a bit scary, but in most cases subchronic hematomas are minor and resolve on their own. Bleeding from a hematoma may be as light as spotting or heavy with clots depending on severity. Ultrasound is often used to confirm and determine that severity. Hematomas are another type of bleeding sometimes mistaken for a period while pregnant, because they can cause heavier and repeated bleeds.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Ectopic pregnancy

Sadly, there are a few causes of spotting during pregnancy or bleeding that are bad news. Ectopic pregnancy, where the baby has implanted somewhere outside of the uterus such as the fallopian tube, is one of those causes. Ectopic pregnancy can cause long-term fertility issues and even be life threatening, so the earlier it’s discovered the better. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy in addition to bleeding or spotting may include severe cramping, abdominal pain, light headedness, and a pregnancy test that is positive, then negative.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Molar Pregnancy

Keeping up with those bad news causes of spotting during pregnancy, molar pregnancy occurs when tissue (a tumor) begins to grow within the uterine wall causing a positive pregnancy test. Molar pregnancies are rare and caused by chromosomal abnormalities within the fertilized egg. In addition to spotting, symptoms may include severe nausea or vomiting, high blood pressure, measuring large (rapid uterine growth), passing of cysts, and occasionally pelvic pain or pressure.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Miscarriage

Finally, spotting during pregnancy can indeed be caused by miscarriage, whether missed or impending. Keep in mind that in almost all cases, nothing was done to cause or can be done to prevent early miscarriage. The most common cause is chromosomal abnormality.

Bleeding during pregnancy in the second or third trimester

While bleeding during pregnancy during the first month of pregnancy, and throughout the first trimester even, is quite common and usually not cause for concern, most of the cases later in pregnancy are far more rare, but also often less benign unfortunately.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Placenta abruption

Placenta abruption occurs when the placenta partially or completely separates from your uterine wall before birth. This can deprive your baby of nutrients and oxygen. Minor abruptions can be managed with rest.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Uterine rupture

Uterine rupture is most common in women who have previously had a c-section and is rare even in that case. Usually during early labor contractions, the uterine wall ruptures. Uterine rupture is life threatening to both mother and child and requires emergency c-section.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Placenta Previa

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta partially or completely covers your cervix (the opening from your womb to the vaginal canal.) Depending on the severity of placenta previa, treatment may range from bed rest at home without physical exertion or sex to emergency c-section.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause:  Vasa previa

Note that this condition is quite rare occurring in 1 in every 2000 pregnancies, but is seen more in those who also have placenta previa. Vasa previa occurs when the blood vessels in the umbilical cord block your cervix. It is harmless during pregnancy but can prove fatal to your child during delivery as the rupture of these vessels will cause blood loss from the baby.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause: Incompetent cervix:

Incompetent cervix occurs when your cervix is weak and attempts to open or does open before the end of your pregnancy. This condition is present throughout pregnancy but isn’t typically symptomatic causing bleeding during pregnancy until your baby becomes large enough to begin placing weight on your cervix. It is one of the most common causes of second trimester losses. You may notice increased pressure, as if your baby has dropped into your pelvis, a change in discharge prior to spotting or bleeding, back pain, or contractions. An incompetent cervix can be treated by stitching your cervix closed if caught before preterm labor has occurred.

Possible pregnancy bleeding cause: Miscarriage or Premature labor

Before 20 weeks, an attempted loss or loss is still referred to as a threatened miscarriage or miscarriage. After 20 weeks, it’s referred to as premature labor. All of the above-mentioned causes of bleeding during pregnancy can also be a cause of miscarriage or preterm labor. Certain infections, abdominal trauma, and chromosomal abnormalities can also be to blame, but in other cases no cause is known. Take heart, however, in knowing the current rate of miscarriage after a heart beat is seen at 8 weeks is a mere 1 percent.

As mentioned earlier on this page bleeding during pregnancy, any bleeding, no matter how slight, should be reported to your doctor right away. Light bleeding during pregnancy is very likely no cause for concern, heavy bleeding can be more serious, but either way, better safe than sorry.

How common is bleeding during pregnancy?

Surprisingly, I wouldn’t say there are a wealth of studies on this subject. From 1983 to 2017, 18 studies could be found (a full list of studies used in this piece including summaries and links can be found at the end of this page).

The observed rate of bleeding during pregnancy varied from 7 to 27 percent. As a result, 1 in 4 pregnant women is considered an accurate estimate by most sources for the prevalence of early pregnancy bleeding often mistaken for a period while pregnant.

What type of bleeding is most common in pregnancy, and when it is most likely to occur?

Bleeding described as spotting or light accounts for roughly 90 percent of all pregnancy bleeding. Bleeding is most common in the first trimester, occurs only once, lasts one to two days, and is most frequently seen between weeks 5 and 8. This is suggested to be because around that time progesterone production is taken over by the placenta and a slight, temporary progesterone dip may result. It’s likely this common flow, duration, and timing is why so many women suspect they are having or have had a light period while pregnant.

bleeding during pregnancy spotting during pregnancy period while pregnant by week

Bleeding in pregnancy is sporadic, without a timely occurrence like a period while pregnant, though episodes in the first trimester are also frequently seen around the time the next period after conception would have occurred.

What are the likely outcomes of bleeding during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, in studies that examined the outcome of pregnancy bleeding, a similar pregnancy loss rate of around 50 percent was found. The rate of miscarriage in all pregnant women is estimated at between 10 and 25 percent, so it’s important to note that no studies found bleeding in pregnancy to cause miscarriage, rather, it’s the other way around. Miscarriage is one possible cause of bleeding in pregnancy. Rates of loss were higher in those who experienced heavy bleeding and/or bleeding that exceeded 4 days.

In second trimester bleeding, the chances of preterm labor, C-section, and low birth weight also increase.

What are the risk factors for bleeding during pregnancy?

Rates of bleeding in pregnancy are higher:

-In those older than 35.
-When carrying multiples.
-If you have had previous miscarriages.
-When you have hormonal conditions or symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as PCOS, fibroids, very long/short cycles, etc.
-If you have uterine abnormalities.
-In those with diabetes.
-With vaginal infections.

Studies on Bleeding During Pregnancy: A Chronological List

Below is a list of studies done on bleeding during pregnancy with quick summaries of the rate of bleeding in pregnancy that was found and any other note-worthy points, such as when the bleeding occurred, whether it was light or heavy, how long it lasted, risk factors, etc.

Note: Many of these studies were read using a University Library login and may not offer full free access without login. I only included studies here I was able to read. If you find others, and would like them included, please contact me.

1983: Study of 16,305 women found a rate of bleeding of 14.6 percent. 91 percent experienced spotting only and 8 percent heavy bleeding.
Berkowitz GS, Harlap S, Beck GJ, Freeman DH, Baras M. Early gestational bleeding and pregnancy outcome: a multivariable analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 1983;12:165–73

1984: Retroactive study of 7,486 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 7 percent.
Batzofin JH, Fielding WL, Friedman EA. Effect of vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy on outcome. Obstet Gynecol. 1984;63:515–8.

1991: Study of 14,458 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 17.6 percent. 55 percent of bleeding occurred in the first trimester. 6.82 percent light bleeding only.
Williams MA, Mittendorf R, Lieberman E, Monson RR. Adverse infant outcomes associated with first-trimester vaginal bleeding. Obstet Gynecol. 1991;78:14–8.

1992: Study of 8,718 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 9.3 percent. 6.89 percent in the first trimester.
Sipila P, Hartikainen-Sorri AL, Oja H, Von Wendt L. Perinatal outcome of pregnancies complicated by vaginal bleeding. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1992;99:959–63.

1994: Meta-analysis of 28 studies from 1950-1992. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 12.9 percent.
Ananth CV, Savitz DA. Vaginal bleeding and adverse reproductive outcomes: a meta-analysis. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 1994;8:62–78.

1995: Study of 5,868 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 19 percent. Bleeding was most common at 8 weeks, lasted no more than 2 days, and was a single occurrence.
Axelsen SM, Henriksen TB, Hedegaard M, Secher NJ. Characteristics of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1995;63:131–4.

1997: Study of 550 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 21 percent.
Everett C. Incidence and outcome of bleeding before the 20th week of pregnancy: prospective study from general practice. BMJ. 1997;315:32–4.

1999: Study of 1,100 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 11 percent. Vaginal infection found to be a risk factor.
French JI, McGregor JA, Draper D, Parker R, McFee J. Gestational bleeding, bacterial vaginosis, and common reproductive tract infections: risk for preterm birth and benefit of treatment. Obstet Gynecol. 1999;93:715–24.

2001: Study of 7,658 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding 14.4 percent. Preterm birth was more common in those with early pregnancy bleeding.
Yang J, Savitz D. The effect of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy on preterm and small-for-gestational-age births: US National Maternal and Infant Health Survey, 1988. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2001;15:34–9

2003: Study of 221 women before pregnancy. 68.3 percent (151) became pregnant. 9 percent had bleeding before 8 weeks.  Data was not continued beyond 8 weeks.
Harville EW, Wilcox AJ, Baird DD, Weinberg CR. Vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 2003;18:1944–7.

2004: Screening of 16,506 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 14.38 percent. Light bleeding accounted for 12.86 percent, heavy bleeding 1.52 percent.
Weiss JL, Malone FD, Vidaver J, et al. Threatened abortion: A risk factor for poor pregnancy outcome, a population-based screening study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;190:745–50.

2005: Study of 2,806 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 24.48 percent. 77.4 percent occurred in the first trimester. 69.9 percent had only one episode of bleeding. 79.3 percent light bleeding only. Risk factors including older maternal age and previous miscarriage.
Yang J, Savitz DA, Dole N, et al. Predictors of vaginal bleeding during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2005;19:276–83.

2007: Study of 2,678 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 26 percent. 83.6 percent of which occurred in the first trimester.
Hossain R, Harris T, Lohsoonthorn V, Williams MA. Risk of preterm delivery in relation to vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007;135:158–63.

2009: Study of 4,510 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 27 percent. 42.9 percent of those with bleeding miscarried. Heavy bleeding was only seen in 8 percent. Episodes of heavy bleeding correlated with a three times higher chance of miscarriage, while episodes of light spotting showed no difference in comparison to those who experienced no bleeding.
Hasan R, Baird DD, Herring AH, Olshan AF, Jonsson Funk ML, Hartmann KE. Association between first-trimester vaginal bleeding and miscarriage. Obstet Gynecol. 2009;114:860–7

2010:  Study of 4,539 women. 12 percent ended in miscarriage with about 2 in 3 experiencing bleeding prior to their loss. These losses were excluded from the rate of bleeding in pregnancy given, which was 25 percent. 75.6 percent of bleeding was light.  71 percent of bleeding occurred only once. Risk factors included prior miscarriage, advanced maternal age, fibroids, blood sugar issues, and signs of hormonal imbalance. The rate of loss was higher in those with heavy bleeding.
Hasan R, Baird DD, Herring AH, Olshan AF, Jonsson Funk ML, Hartmann KE. Patterns and predictors of vaginal bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. Annals of epidemiology. 2010;20(7):524-531.

2010: Study of 2,054 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 23.9 percent. Most episodes were light bleeding in the first 20 weeks.
Skorokhod, Veronika. Vaginal Bleeding during the First 20 Weeks of Pregnancy and the Risk of Preterm Delivery, Michigan State University, Ann Arbor, 2010, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

2011: Study of 3,431 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 23 percent. 72 percent of bleeding occurred in the first trimester with week 6 being most common. 73 percent occurred only once. 90 percent of bleeding was light.
Smits LJM, North RA, Kenny LC, Myers J, Dekker GA, Mccowan LME. Patterns of vaginal bleeding during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and risk of pre-eclampsia in nulliparous women: results from the SCOPE study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2012.

2017: Study of 11,835 women. Rate of pregnancy bleeding: 8.5 percent. 84 percent of those later miscarried. Bleeding prior to 6 weeks was more likely to lead to loss. Bleeding was also most common prior to 6 weeks. 83.2 percent experienced only spotting, 16.8 percent heavy bleeding, and the miscarriage rate was higher in those with heavy bleeding.
Kamble PD, Bava A, Shukla M, Nandanvar YS. First trimester bleeding and pregnancy outcome. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol 2017;6:1 48-7.

Note:

The extensive comment base on this page led to the writing of its sister articles, “Missed Period Negative Pregnancy Test Explanation” , “Late period, missed period, irregular period, Oh, Why!?,” “When to Take a Pregnancy Test,” and “Am I Pregnant? Calculating Your Chances of Pregnancy or the quiz version” which offer other explanations for irregular bleeding or missed periods in-depth and may help you assess whether or not you could be pregnant.

I do my best to respond to comments within 48 hours. All comments are moderated. Please remember though, I am not a doctor nor a replacement for medical care. I can’t tell you if you are pregnant over the Internet or tell you what’s causing your spotting or bleeding during pregnancy. I do have a medical background (medical assisting) and am a mother of four who struggled with infertility as well as multiple miscarriages. However, I am not a doctor nor claim to be one.

If you enjoyed, “Period While Pregnant? Spotting or Bleeding in Pregnancy? Causes and Prevalence,” you may also find helpful:
Early Signs of Pregnancy Quiz
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
Period Blood Colors and Textures Explained
Brown Discharge Before a Period Explained

 


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2,786 thoughts on “Period While Pregnant? Spotting or Bleeding in Pregnancy? Causes and Prevalence

  • Sham

    Hi, I am 36 years old and my husband have been Ttc for a year now. My last period was 7th may 2018, I’ve had nausea, constant sickness, can no longer bear tea or coffee which I loved. I have been so so tired. On the 29th may I had pink spotting, but no period, It tasted 2 days. 2 home preg tests, both negative. On the 19th June I had a light period but then 20th it was really heavy. Today 21st it stopped again. I am literally going crazy as don’t know what to do!
    Please help.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      I know this is likely not what you want to hear, but being over 35 hormonal swings are fairly normal as many women begin to enter pre-menopause, and irregular periods and pregnancy-like symptoms can both be symptoms of hormonal imbalance. This can also make conception more difficult. Since you have been trying for a year though, you might consider a fertility specialist. Wishing you luck and baby dust.

  • Myleene

    I missed 3 of my periods. And I took 5 pts and we’re all negative. I went to my doctor and she advise me to take provera for 5 days. Afterwards, I got my period. Does it mean that I’m only delayed and not pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Your uterus is normal sized and the lining is healthy, though it does tilt towards your back (this doesn’t affect fertility). Your ovary (or possibly ovaries), however, have cysts, which is often a sign of PCOS, which can affect fertility.

  • suman singh

    Igot my period 12 days before but it only stayed for 2 days and 3rd day it was only spotting I m trying to convince but can’t able to justify either m pregnant or it’s a prior I feel vomiting and upset stomach which I never felt in periods I fill only back n abdomen pain which is sever in my period days

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Lots of things can cause a lighter than normal period. If you believe you may be pregnant though, the easiest answer is always a quick home pregnancy test.

  • Anonymous

    Hi I had a question me and my gf were fooling around just hand stuff no risk except possible precum on hand but I’ve heard pregnancy is unlikely from this anyway and I don’t think we did it in her fertile time but she was supposed to ovulate last Monday so 7 or 8 days ago but she said she was bleeding like spotting for sure that Friday and I think maybe a day or two before which scared me because I thought it could’ve been implantation Bleeding but I’ve heard 3-4 dpo would be too soon for that and last night she was bloated like normal pms 9 days before her next period is supposed to come so could she be pregnant and what could the spotting be she said it’s started as brown and then lighter or redder I don’t remember but she may have cut herself shaving so i don’t know but could you give some advice on this thanks

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      3-4 DPO is indeed way to early for implantation bleeding. 6 days is a minimum. The chances of pregnancy from pre-cum alone, even with full vaginal sex, is less than 4%, so as you can imagine the chance with possible pre-cum on hands is far, far lower. There would be a low chance of sperm surviving just being on hands, let alone to make it to fertilize an egg. Assuming she is a teen, hormonal flux is considered entirely normal and can cause period changes, spotting, and PMS which may mimic some pregnancy symptoms. She can always take a test though if you two are still concerned. She’d want to wait until at least 14 days after the act.

      • Anonymous

        If she was pregnant would she have symptoms this soon because she’s not supposed to start her period for another 8 days and her periods are normally late a day or two

  • Anonymous

    Hi, my husband and I are TTC for our first month. LMP was May 22-24, my normal 3 day period, enough blood to fill a regular tampon barely any cramping. according to my Flo app i would have ovulated on June 5, we had intercourse almost daily in that 2 week span before & after. My normal cycle is 26 days and i didnt start a “period” until June 20th, at 29 days, at 5 am. I had a bit of cramping (enough to wake me up) and it was VERY light, like a spot or 2 of pink/reddish blood on a regular size tampon. it lasted 4 days, every day being very light in flow and color, which isnt normal for me and today June 25th i had some darker brown spotting. i should also mention ive had very warm sensations, like cramping in my lower abdomen and mostly on my right side. is it possible for me to be pregnant and experiencing break through bleeding?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Many couples don’t conceive in the first month (even with great timing) the average is actually closer to 6 months. This is because even with perfect timing the chances of pregnancy each month in a couple under 35 is only about 25%. That being said, chances are higher this was just a slightly off period for you than early pregnancy bleeding (which is not impossible, just less probable). Often when starting TTC women start supplements, change their diet, are more active, or simply are just hyper-aware of their bodies, all of the above can lead to actual or perceived cycle changes. You can always take a test to verify though. Wishing you the best in your conception journey. :)

  • Marco

    My girlfriend had semen on her hand, so she inmediately washed her hands only with water and then with her hands still wet she touched her vagina quickly with one finger, but not masturbating. Is it possible a pregnancy by these conditions? Two weeks later she got her period she said normally, but I read on your articule about the implantation bleeding. Greetings

  • Pak Yu

    just this morning i was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. i just wonder why i did not gain weight (41 kgs, 32 yrs old), no acne and haven’t experience any missed period. though heavy flow and skin discoloration in my back are present.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      The symptoms of PCOS are pretty variable because many of them are a result of the hormonal fallout, which can affect everyone differently. The criteria for a PCOS diagnosis is pretty broad usually only requiring ovulatory dysfunction (cysts, a lack of ovulation, etc), and signs of hyper Hyperandrogenism (excessive body hair, head hair loss, weight gain, skin discoloration, etc). It sounds like you’re just one of those that, at least currently, see milder symptoms.

  • Anonymous

    I have experienced light bleeding with discharge for 2 days two weeks after my last period from last month. Now today I experienced a bleeding that was very slow and I put a pad on but it only was a drop, and only appeared blood when wiping which was a pink red, this happened the 7th day into when my period would have normally came on during the 2nd- the 5th… so I thought I was pregnant but this would make 3 weeks 5 days and I was waiting to see if I would get a period but it’s stopped basically… it’s like a period about to end… so trying to see am I pregnant and just wait to do test in two weeks to another week to get a positive response?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Pregnancy is possible, but lots of things can cause spotting and/or light periods. If you don’t see a full flow, yes, I’d go ahead and test at least 14 days after the last sexual act.

  • aim

    my period can be slightly irregular so i am not exactly sure when i ovulate. my husband and I had sex regularly. i had pinkish spotting on 1 jul and lighter bleeding than my usual period on 2 & 3 jul and back to irregular spotting for the next 2 days. not sure was i having a normal period or vagina bleeding and i don’t hv cramps and not as heavy as usual. did a UPT test on 7 jul and it came up negative. having symptom slight nausea but extremely fatigue at night. should i take another UPT, if yea when or wait if the next AF comes along?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      With an irregular cycle, spotting, a negative test, and symptoms of hormonal imbalance (which is what pregnancy symptoms are as well), my bet is you aren’t ovulating or aren’t doing so regularly. Lots of things can cause anovulatory cycles, so it’s hard to say what the underlying issue is. As for re-testing, generally if the symptoms are pregnancy related, a test is accurate, so if you’re still thinking pregnancy a blood test would be your next step.

  • Not telling

    Hey, so I’m out of town this weekend. I haven’t done anything wrong or out of the ordinary, well I woke up this morning, and notice blood on the tissue I’m thinking I’m okay not cramps still had morning sickness nausea and diarrhea, later that night I’m still bleeding but not the much, now I’m starting to cramp really bad, feel like my stomach is being pulled. Now I’m a little worried because I have my niece & nephews with me on this trip. Don’t want to panick or make anyone scared. Is it normal to bleed. I’m 5weeks

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Early pregnancy bleeding can be normal (it occurs in about 1 in 4 pregnancies), but it can also be a sign of miscarriage. If it’s just some very light bleeding, while it’s a good idea to let your care provider know when you get back, it’s not an emergency. Heavier bleeding, pain that becomes increasingly severe or doesn’t go away with position changes, or passing of tissue would be want you want to look out for. Especially in the case of increasing pain (as it’s a sign of ectopic pregnancy) be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • handsome freda

    hi am regularing maintaining a period of 26 days about 5days passed ovulation i notice change in my breast (my nipples where paining me and increase in boobs)and my next period should be on the 20 of June,on the 19th i feel something in my stomach as if my period is coming but it did not show up. and on the 20 i feel pain it was like something moving in my belly it was cramping with no blood ,but i came on the 21st of June and it was very very slow and lightening and feel weak and changes in my mouth and lost of food please what could be the problem?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      You won’t see pregnancy symptoms until about 3 weeks after ovulation and wouldn’t be able to feel movement for several months. It’s likely you were feeling muscle twitches or gas. Normal period variance is +/-3 days, so the rest sounds like PMS/a high progesterone cycle. This is also normal on occasion.

  • Berenice Villa

    Hi i was supposed to get my period on the 17th of July but i did not so i assumed i was pregnant (not confirmed) and today six days later i start to bleed (light bleeding not filling pad) so im now confused whether i am pregnant or not (i have not taken any pregnancy tests) i also have mild cramps

  • Caroline

    Hi there! I have a tricky situation that I could really use some advice on to ease my mind.

    I haven’t been able to get on birth control as recently as I’d like to, due to a hectic schedule. In place of that, when I have unprotected sex, I take a Plan B. Plan B has worked 100% of the time for me and I was taking it sporadically until the most recent months where I found myself taking it once a week.

    I don’t think I’m pregnant now due to timely periods and such. However, I took a Plan B on Sunday the 15th. Today, Sunday the 22nd, I had unprotected sex but today is the first day of my period. My actual period was earlier in the month, but after taking a Plan B last Sunday, I think this period is just the aftermath of that. I want my cycle to be normal and if I take a Plan B today I think it would mess with it a lot. What are the chances of getting pregnant on the first day of your period? Should I take a Plan B? Would it mess with with my cycle?

    Best wishes, xx

    Caroline

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      The chances of pregnancy on the first day of your period are very low, lower in a situation like yours where you’ve likely upset your hormonal imbalance enough to not ovulate. Plan B is not designed for regular use, even monthly, let alone weekly. That being said, taking more would likely upset your cycle, yes. If you can’t make it in for regular birth control you might consider condoms and the natural planning method (which would suggest you were infertile now btw).

  • Kia

    Hello, me and my bf think there is a slim chance I may be pregnant. The first 2 weeks of June we did not use protection and I (according to my period tracker app) was indeed fertile. 2 weeks later I spotted.. my cycle was due a few days before spotting. I was 6 days late before what I thought was aunt flow that came. The bleeding lasted for 6 days (which is shorter than usual). Now it’s July and I’m 5 days late!! Are we pregnant?? Or is this normal? I need advice ASAP. We are excited but still unsure.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      In your case I’d recommend just taking a pregnancy test. If you became pregnant in June a test would be accurate for sure. It’s also possible this is just a bit of hormonal imbalance (and the irregular cycles that come with that). Normal period variance is +/-3 days, so yes, 5-6 days would be considered irregular, if it happens multiple cycles. The occasion one-off cycle is normal.

      • Kia

        **Update.. I took a at home pregnancy test and it displayed “not pregnant”.. Aunt flow hasn’t made her grand entrance (week 4), my nipple area is darker, I have to make myself eat, I’m feeling more emotional than usual and I can’t stop taking online pregnancy test. Should I schedule a visit to see doctors? Do u think I experienced a miscarriage last month?

        • Life with Gremlins admin

          If your home test was negative a blood test from your doctor would be the next step, yes. It is possible you had a chemical pregnancy (very early loss), which can cause some irregularity, but unfortunately, if that’s the case there’s no way to confirm.

  • Madhura

    Hi, I have period cycle of 28-30 days. I have unprotected sex on 11th day of period last month. After some days I have started with problem of gases in body. Then in this month I have bleeding like period on correct date, but blood is little bit brownish. And since two weeks I always feeling tired at the end of day and sleepy which is not my normal tenancy. I have taken pregnancy test last week and it was negative. But still I am feeling bloated. So am I pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If bloating is the only symptom, and your period is regular, it’s more likely something else is causing the bloating. The most common culprit behind this sort of thing is actually diet, so if you’ve eaten more of something in particular lately or tried any new foods or supplements, that’s probably the issue. If you haven’t done any of the above, certain viruses and bacteria can also cause bloating, as well as some hormonal issues (high progesterone can lead to bloating).

  • Clarerize

    Hi question. For the last 2 years i have had a regular period and beginning of the this year my periods have become irregular and i have been experiencing most pregnancy symptoms including tummy growth but still get my period

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If the bleeding is sporadic, it’s possible you’re pregnant, yes. If it’s happening at roughly the same time each month (even if there’s more variance than normal), pregnancy is less likely. If this has been happening all year, you also have to consider you would be nearly to your due date. While there have been cases people were unaware of pregnancy so late, usually there are notable signs of pregnancy. Either way since it sounds like it’s an ongoing issue causing negative effects for you, so visiting your care provider is a good idea.

  • Charitty

    I had protected sex with my bf on the last day of my period (june 9) then i was complete fine but i was overthinking i might get pregnant i started to eat a little and i haven’t got my sleep well. After that i felt very nausea for some weeks but i rember i have acidity which is normal for me to feel nausea in the morning. Since i’m scared we didn’t have sex for now. He finngered me and i didn’t know if there is sperm in his hands but he said he cleaned it. Then i got my period on june 27 and it lasted bout a week which is normal for me and the flow were normal and color brown at first then turned bright red. Then this july 26 which the same flow. I’m confused if i” pregnant or not but me and my sis has the same cycle we had the same dates of period. Why is it like that?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If the sex was protected and right after your period, and your cycle was normal, it’s very unlikely you’re pregnant. As to why you have a cycle similar to your sisters, research is torn on that subject. Some feel that pheromones can cause cycle syncing among close female friends, while others feel it’s simply random chance.

  • Cheyanne gabison

    For 2 weeks iv been having early signs of pregnancy. The nausea, throwing up, cramping,headaches, bloating . I thought I was pregnant.
    But I just started my period today . Can I be pregnant?
    Iv read that you can still be pregnant and some girls still have their periods until they are 3 months or so . And I know a few people also that that happened too.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It’s possible to have period-like bleeding in pregnancy, yes, but the same hormones that cause pregnancy symptoms are present just before a period, and often in the case of late periods they are also out of balance. Imbalanced hormones will mimic pregnancy symptoms. Usually, in my opinion, if you’re going to wonder, a pregnancy test is an easy way to ease your mind.

  • Sarah

    I had my period the first week of July we have been trying for a baby but had a ectopic in March and had a tube removed I had what I though was implant bleeding 3 days before my period was due was very light brown spotting me and my boyfriend had sex and the bleeding got heavy and red around the time of my period I have done a test and it was positive but worried that I’ve had loss or possibly another ectopic I have had bleeding with previous pregnancy with my daughter years ago and everything was fine just need some advice

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Since you have a history of ectopic pregnancy and bleeding can be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, I would say play it safe and talk to your care provider in this case. I don’t say that to scare you, of course, if your test remains positive after the bleeding that’s a great sign, as is not having any pain.

  • Heather

    Could you please give me your insight? I have 21-22 day cycles. I have one daughter so I know I can carry a baby. My husband and I had sex around the beginning of June. I ovulate 8 days after my period leaving very little time for the egg to implant. I tested before my “period” it was negative. My “period” came 11 days after the day I ovulated and we had sex. Then my next period never came, I tested… pregnant. Got an ultrasound they said I was 4 weeks?! I’m so confused. I thought I would be 8 weeks because this wouldn’t be a true period. It doesn’t make sense.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Early ultrasound is general pretty accurate, so it sounds like you probably got pregnant in July. The length of time between ovulation and your period (your luteal phase) is often determined by progesterone levels, so if yours was on the short side, you may have been a bit low. Lots of things can cause low progesterone, so it’s hard to say why, but the sudden slight increase may be why you were able to become pregnant.

  • Anonymous

    Hi I am curious, me and gf have been fooling around and I was wondering could she get pregnant without penetration? I’m sure this is an obvious answer but I was wondering because pre cum is involved but there was no penetration just precum possible near her vagina I did use my hand but it was dry no moisture and I think I had direct genital contact although she said I didn’t but the point being could pre cum near her vagina get her pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Technically, yes, it is possible to become pregnant without penetration, but the chances are obviously far lower than they would be with it. In the case of precum, with penetration, the chances are less than 4%, so without, you’d be significantly below that. By significantly I mean very, very close to no chance at all.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, my cycle is a 28 day cycle normally after I suffered a miscarriage on 5/10/2018 it went to a 30 day cycle my last cycle was 7/9/18 my husband and I had intercourse during my fertile period. I had little spotting on Friday 8/3 when I wiped it was little specks of dark brown blood then it stopped that same day. My cycle is due today. Any feed back will be great. Thank u in advance

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like your spotting was around the right time and light enough to be implantation bleeding. Of course, as your cycle also recently changed from your miscarriage, you could also just be seeing a bit of flux as you continue to adjust. The likelihood there is higher if your loss was later. If it was implantation, a test would be accurate now.

  • Helpme

    This is probably not the right place for this, but you guys seem to have the most straight forward answers on the internet so here it goes.

    I am on Spironolactone for hormonal acne. It has some side effects that include some early pregnancy symptoms (tender breasts, spotting/irregular cycle). I’ve been on it for 7 months now. My breasts began hurting at the beginning of July and just started feeling better. I took a pregnancy test every week and they came out negative. This week, I spotted Monday (8/6) (enough to stain the entire crotch section of my underwear). Today, there was a teeny, tiny amount (but when I peed it looked like more “flakey” blood if that makes sense). I’m also having what feels like my typical period bloat. I’m about halfway through my cycle (typically 90 days) right now.

    As additional information, my fiancé and I have sex about once a week. I have been on hormonal birth control (the generic of Seasonale, the once every three month one) for about 6 years, and haven’t missed a pill since November. I always take my pill within 2 hours of the same time every night. We also use condoms every time before any penetration occurs. He also pulls out before he finishes.

    Obviously the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy is to not have sex…but it’s really, highly unlikely that I’m pregnant, correct? I’m planning on taking a pregnancy test on Thursday (8/9) to confirm (and then one next Friday)…but I’m panicking a bit.

    Thanks for your wonderful site!

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      With proper birth control use and condoms, yes, it’s very unlikely you’re pregnant, especially since your periods are regular even using spironolactone/high dose birth control. While birth control use mostly suppresses your body’s natural hormone balance, it is still possible for lifestyle changes to cause minor fluctuations, especially if those changes have estrogenic effects. For example, suddenly consuming more soy products can often change PMS symptoms for ladies on the pill. Spironolactone would increase that risk, because it also can effect estrogen levels.

      Hope that helps, and thanks for visiting us :)

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Ovulation is probably around day 14 and sperm are most viable in those first 48 hours, but can survive up to 5 days. As a result your chances are high (around 25%).

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I’m curious if my gf could be pregnant she was supposed to ovulate on the 3rd and I don’t think what we were doing had a high risk of pregnancy (rubbing without penetration and fingering) there was only precum, anyway she’s been having pms like symptoms since the 7th is when she started feeling bloated and her boobs started hurting on the 8th like they usually do around her period and it’s supposed to start on the 17th. Do you you think this is pregnancy or pms. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting reports on this and I’m just wondering what your opinion is. Thank you

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If her period isn’t due yet, unless her cycle is very long or irregular, it’s very unlikely her symptoms are pregnancy related. It takes a minimum if 6 days for implantation (average is 8 to 10) and another 2 or so for hormone build (you can read more on the pregnancy symptom timeline here). Given that, along with the very low chance of pregnancy with external touching, I’d say not pregnant.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      No, the likelihood of pregnancy from precum alone is already very low, but you also must be ovulating within the viability of sperm to become pregnant. On a 30-day cycle it’s highly unlikely you’d ovulate as early as day 10. I would put this at no chance of pregnancy.

  • Anonymous

    How likely is pregnancy from precum on fingers? Penetration and rubbing clitoris? Didn’t have direct contact with penis but had precum on shorts and touched it and then fingered. Don’t remember if I washed my hands before pretty sure i did but just in case

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Precum contains very little to no sperm in most cases, and the lifespan of sperm outside of the body is relatively short. So, unless you could visually see or feel fresh ejaculate or precum on your fingers, there’s no chance of pregnancy. If you could and the fluid was fresh, the chances would be lower than with actual intercourse, and more dependent on where in her cycle she was.

  • Anonymous

    Ik it’s unlikely but what are the odds of getting pregnant from precum on hands? No actual sex. Fingering occurred 11 days before ovulation is supposed to happen and periods have been normal for the most part. How long can precum survive in a female I’ve heard a few hours and ik her cm was the dry kind pretty sure or the sticky either way there wasn’t a lot of it

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Sperm can survive up to 5 days in the body, but is most viable in the first 48 hours. So, no matter the situation as far as how it got there, if you are 100 percent sure her ovulation didn’t occur for 11 days (or 5+ days at least) then there’s no chance of pregnancy. Even during ovulation a situation like this would have a very low chance of pregnancy.

  • Jhey

    Hi.. I had a brown discharge this morning (8dpo) and a light red bleeding when peeing. My pad has only brown discharge as well. Is this an early period or IB?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      it sounds like timing and flow wise, it could be IB, yes, but then it could be just some pre-period spotting as well. Unfortunately, sometimes there are cases where there isn’t any information to tip things one way or the other. If you wanted to test, you’d want to wait at least 48 hours, a few days more is better. :)

  • Anonymous

    Sorry ik this isn’t the right place but would washing your hands kill sperm or precum/ make it safe to finger a girl without risk of pregnancy

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever heard of anyone getting pregnant from precum on hands and fingering? Acts occurred 5 and 6 days from ovulation believed to have washed hands before but just in case. I know the odds are low but has anyone actually gotten pregnant this way

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      I personally have not heard of or known anyone, no. The chances are astronomically low unless there was visible fresh ejaculate or precum on his hands. If he washed, that’s very unlikely. :)

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      No, far lower. Birth control failures are often hormonal, the risk there runs somewhere between 1-3%. The chances of pregnancy with the pullout method, performed perfectly (so actual penetration with a risk of precum) is 4% per year, so a single act would be well below that. In a precum-on-hands scenario, you have to factor in sperm death (which actually happens quite quickly outside the body and would certainly not survive a proper hand washing). I can’t give you an actual statistic, because as far as I know there are no studies on the subject, but it really would be a small miracle to become pregnant in this manner. In your case, the chances, assuming your ovulation was confirmed at 5-6 days after are even lower than that.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to keep bothering you but just making sure that I get all the information. Even in the worst case scenario where precum was visible and ovulation was the day of or day before than the chances would still be less than 1% right?

  • Anonymous

    This might sound like a strange question but how do you tell the difference between say semen or precum on your hand as opposed to sweat or just naturally oily hands and at that point if your asking that question would it make a difference in getting someone pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      The only instance where you’d really worry about pregnancy from something like fingering is if there was visible ejaculate on your hand (ex/ just ejaculated in your hand, then immediately used those fingers to penetrate a vagina). It would be enough substance you would be aware of it, beyond just a sweaty-palm type feeling. Otherwise the chance of pregnancy is very low, however, it’s also very easy to simply not use the same hand or wash your hands to eliminate the risk. :)

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Yes. While I suppose you could have small amounts precum on your hands and mistake it for sweat, actual semen would be hard to mistake, plus well, most would see or at the least feel the ejaculation itself in that case.

  • Anonymous

    So my gfs period just started 9 days early and I was wanting to know could It be she’s pregnant or a normal period? She says it’s heavy and she’s cramping real bad like normal. Today would only be 5dpo so what do you think is going on. We don’t have sex per say the only way she could get pregnant is from precum on hands but I doubt it and we did stuff like night so could an orgasm jump start a period? This is just weird so I’m wondering what’s going on

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      The occasional early period is normal and not a sign of pregnancy, especially if she’s under 19 or over 35 (there’s more hormonal flux in those time periods).