Many of us have heard about an aunt or a friend’s relative or someone known vaguely to have had a pregnancy where the woman continued to have her periods during pregnancy.
You may have heard that in some cases the woman did not even know she was pregnant until she was quite a long way along. While this is not common, it is known to happen and in some cases it is not a matter of worry.
Periods during pregnancy – Why does it happen?
The reason why a woman menstruates in the usual course is that the hormones that drop to signal the body that there has been no fertilization of an egg; no pregnancy and the uterus therefore sheds the lining which results in a period.
During pregnancy there is usually no such drop in the hormonal levels; which instead continue to rise and therefore result in the absence of periods.
The body perceives that all available resources are required to nourish the fetus and that they cannot be expended any other way so the pregnant woman generally stops getting her period; in other words the uterine lining that is shed every month by way of periods is not shed; instead it is used to provide a hospitable environment for the developing fetus.
However in some pregnancies, there is the case of Decidual Bleeding which happens when the usual rise and fall of hormone levels is somehow disturbed and part of the uterine lining is caused to be shed periodically even when there is a pregnancy subsisting.
Decidual bleeding is more common during the early part of pregnancy, however many women do continue to get a period like discharge throughout their pregnancy.
What is however more common is that this period like discharge happens in the early part of the pregnancy, before the placenta has been fully established. This is usually not something that has to be worried about generally.
There is also frequently bleeding during pregnancy in the earlier months; what is called Implantation bleeding which happens when the fertilized egg ‘implants’ itself into the uterine lining and the placenta begins to form. Some women bleed during this time, and it is usually no matter of concern.
Though there are these instances where periods during pregnancy is not a matter of worry, we may add a note of caution here, that no spotting during pregnancy should be ignored; any bleeding during pregnancy should routinely be reported to your physician or attending doctor. This is in order to rule out any abnormality or potential problem.