Pregnant yet menstruating!

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Women in the early stages of pregnancy may experience a number of different symptoms that signal a pregnancy. While a missed menstrual period is often the characteristic sign of pregnancy, women who do not have regular menstrual cycles may not recognize that a menstrual period has been missed. In some cases, breast tenderness or other symptoms are the first sign of pregnancy. Still other women may not experience any particular symptoms at all during early pregnancy and may not be aware of their condition. The experience of pregnancy symptoms is highly individualized and differs among women.


In fact, a woman may experience different symptoms in a second or subsequent pregnancy than she did in her first pregnancy.

Reasons for Lack of Menstruation

The reproductive system is sensitive. It reacts easily to changes in your body. Illness, stress, over-exercise and weight gain can all stop your menstrual cycle, or cause it to occur sporadically. Hormone imbalances and medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome can leave you without a period. Certain factors that affect your period might affect your ovulation cycle differently.

How You Could Get Pregnant?

Pregnancy can only occur during ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs about two weeks before menstruation in women with normal, regular menstrual cycles. During ovulation, your body releases a fertilized egg, which breaks down after 12 to 24 hours. The trouble with having no menstrual cycle is that you do not know if your body is planning to have one in the near future. This means, you could be ovulating in preparation for a cycle that is about to start, or you could be ovulating without having actual periods. Any time you ovulate, you can become pregnant.

Signs of Ovulation

One of the easiest ways to determine if you might be ovulating is to check your cervical mucus. Your mucus changes at different points in your cycle. It goes from dry, to thick and creamy, to clear and watery, to stretchy like egg whites, then reverses back until it’s dry. The stretchy, egg-white mucus occurs during ovulation. You can confirm ovulation by using an over-the-counter ovulation test. You can also chart your body temperature using a basal body thermometer. Your temperature jumps up by about 1/2 to 1 degree at ovulation.

Regulating Your Cycle with Medical Treatments

If you are a woman over 16 who is not menstruating, you should discuss potential causes with a gynecologist who can prescribe treatments for any underlying medical conditions or put you on hormonal birth control to regulate your hormones. Birth control essentially forces the body to have a menstrual cycle while also suppressing ovulation. If you’re not menstruating due to stress or a vigorous athletic training schedule, easing the physical and mental demands on your body is often enough to restore menstruation.

However, some women experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding (bleeding that occurs around ovulation) and may mistake it for a period. This can be seen in some women who have very irregular cycles, maybe coming once every 3 months or 2-3 times in one month, although it can occur in women with regular cycles as well. They may experience what appears to be a period, but, in reality, this is most likely ovulatory bleeding. Ovulation can occur when you experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding.

Keep in mind that while you cannot technically ovulate while on a period, because sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days after sex, pregnancy could occur from intercourse that takes place during a period.

Can Ovulation come right after menstrual period?

This is determined by how many days are in your cycle. The number of days in your cycle is calculated by counting the number of days from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next period. If you have a short cycle, for example 21 days, and you bleed for 7 days, then you could ovulate right after your period.

This is because ovulation generally occurs 12-16 days before your next period begins, and this would estimate you ovulating at days 6-10 of your cycle.

Can one get pregnant during menstrual period?

While conception cannot occur while you are on your period, pregnancy can occur from intercourse that takes place during a period. This is because sperm can live in the body for up to five days, and if a woman ovulates soon after her period, then conception could take place from intercourse that occurred during her period. Keep in mind that you can get pregnant while experiencing mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding. 

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