Although some women experience bleeding during pregnancy, this should not be mistaken for a period. A menstrual cycle and pregnancy cannot occur at the same time. Pregnancy bleeding is common and often a result of implantation. In some cases, bleeding during pregnancy can be a sign of a pregnancy complication.
Pregnancy and Menstruation
Menstruation occurs when the body sheds the lining of the uterus, which is in place to prepare for a fertilized egg. During pregnancy, the lining is not shed, and there is no period. When the production of the hormone hCG occurs during pregnancy, ovulation and menstruation are no longer possible.
Bleeding during pregnancy is not considered an actual menstrual cycle. Early pregnancy bleeding is usually light spotting, but some women will have bleeding that is almost as heavy as a regular period. This bleeding results from hormone shifts and early pregnancy changes.
Some women experience implantation bleeding during early pregnancy, which occurs when the embryo plants itself into the lining of the uterus. Bleeding can also occur due to the increased blood supply to the cervix or irritation from sexual intercourse.
Sometimes bleeding during pregnancy can be a sign of complications. Heavy bleeding and cramping are symptoms of a miscarriage. Bleeding might also be an indication of ectopic or molar pregnancy.
When to Consult a Doctor
You should consult your doctor if you experience any type of bleeding during pregnancy, especially if it is accompanied by cramping or pain.