Technically you cannot get a true period when you are pregnant because, by definition, menstruation and pregnancy cannot occur simultaneously. However, bleeding early in pregnancy is common and can often lead women to believe they’ve gotten their regular period when in fact they are pregnant. If you suspect you may be pregnant, even if you experience normal bleeding, you should take a pregnancy test and see your doctor to be certain. Pregnancy bleeding can occur for many different reasons, some of which are not well understood.
Every menstrual cycle, a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy by creating a lining in the uterus where a fertilized egg could implant; if the egg does not implant then there is no pregnancy and the woman’s body will shed this blood-rich lining in the form of a menstrual period. While a true menstrual period is not possible during pregnancy, many women experience spotting or bleeding similar to a period; if you didn’t know you were pregnant you might think this is a normal period.
Implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo first implants into the lining of the uterus, which is full of blood. This occurs about five or six days after conception and is often around the same time that a normal period is expected, according to BabyCenter.com. However, this type of bleeding is usually much lighter than a regular period and lasts only a day or two.
Many women experience regular bleeding early in pregnancy that may be very light or may even resemble a regular period. Usually called early pregnancy bleeding, this is due to the many hormonal changes happening in the woman’s body and is not a sign of a problem, according to TheLaborOfLove.com.
Pregnancy on the Pill
Sometimes women who conceive while using contraceptive pills will also experience irregular bleeding during the pregnancy. It may take weeks or even months for these women to suspect they might be pregnant because of the combination of contraceptive use and what appears to be a regular period.
Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy is common and there isn’t always an explanation for it. It may be a sign of a problem such as miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, an infection or an issue with the placenta, according to the Mayo Clinic. Or the bleeding may go unexplained as it does for many women who experience early bleeding and go on to have normal, healthy pregnancies.