Is it possible to be pregnant and still have a period?

March 19, 2023 3 min read

This is a question that many women are embarrassed to admit they don’t know the answer to. There are some women that claim to have had their period whilst being pregnant however, there is no way that this is possible. Rather, these women most likely experienced intermittent vaginal bleeding (spotting) during early pregnancy which is usually a light pink or dark brown colour. Spotting can be easily mistaken for a period which sparks conversations and conspiracies around some women not even knowing they were pregnant until much later in their pregnancy.

Why isn’t it possible you ask? It is because your period occurs as a result of your egg not being fertilized. Every month, if an egg is not fertilized, the egg travels out of the uterus and sheds through the vagina, this process is called your period. If you become pregnant, your period will not occur as an egg will be fertilized and should not leave the uterus.

A simple rule to follow is that if you’re bleeding enough to fill a pad or tampon, that is normally a sign that you aren’t pregnant. If you have received a positive pregnancy result and are bleeding heavily, it is important to talk to your doctor. 

For many pregnant women, bleeding is a warning sign that something may be off, however spotting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Many women go on to have healthy babies after experiencing spotting in their first trimester.” If you do experience spotting throughout your pregnancy, it is not related to regular menstruation but occurs for another reason.

Between 15% – 25% of women experience spotting early in their first trimester. Some of the reasons may be:

  • Implantation bleeding
  • Changes in the cervix
  • Infection
  • Molar pregnancy (abnormal mass fertilizes instead of a fetus)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside of the uterus)
  • Early signs of a miscarriage


Light or heavy bleeding during the second and third trimester is less common and requires urgent medical attention. Some of the causes may be:

  • Term or preterm labour or cervical dilation
  • Miscarriage
  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Vasa previa
  • Sexual intercourse


As mentioned before, it is not possible to get your period whilst you’re pregnant however, the first trimester of pregnancy can have similar symptoms to a period. These symptoms are related to your body’s natural preparation methods of pregnancy. These can include:

  • Light cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lower back pain


If any of the symptoms mentioned above are severe, don’t go away or you are experiencing them in your second or third trimester of pregnancy, seek medical help. Sometimes it can be hard to judge if bleeding is a medical emergency or nothing to worry about. It is always the safest bet to edge on the side of caution. This meaning that if you are experiencing bleeding at any stage of pregnancy, it is a good idea to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.


Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.


Additional Resources

Cherney, K. (2019). Can you get your period and still be pregnant?

Flo Health. (2019). Can you be pregnant and still have a period?

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