Is Breakthrough Bleeding a Sign of Pregnancy?

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Vaginal bleeding or spotting can occur at times other than menstruation. It may indicate pregnancy has occurred. It may also be a clue that a woman has a condition that requires medical intervention.

Considerations

  • Normal vaginal bleeding occurs during menstruation when the old endometrial lining sheds to make way for the new one.

Identification of Implantation Bleeding

  • According to Dr. Tracy Gaudet in "Body, Soul, and Baby," implantation bleeding may occur six to eight days after conception. Conception occurs within 24 hours of ovulation, so a woman may have implantation bleeding a week before her period is due.

Identification of Breakthrough Bleeding

  • If you are a pill user, your bleeding may not be a sign of pregnancy, but of hormonal imbalance. Breakthrough bleeding occurs while you are still taking the hormone pills in your pack instead of having a period when you start your placebo pills.

Significance

  • If you have any sort of unexpected vaginal bleeding, you should consult your doctor. You may be pregnant and need to take a test, or you may need to have your birth control prescription assessed.

Warning

  • Vaginal bleeding not related to menstruation may occur for reasons other than birth control pill use or pregnancy. It may be related to a sexually transmitted disease or other conditions.

References

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