We’ve all heard the stories about women who didn’t know they were pregnant because they continued to menstruate, or those strange yarns about mums-to-be who somehow became pregnant when they were already expecting. So what’s the truth? Does everyone get a period pregnant pause? And can you get pregnant, when you’re already pregnant?
We take look into periods and pregnancy – what you need know.
Periods and pregnancy
For most women, the first clue that they may be pregnant is a missed period. But some women maintain they were totally unaware of their pregnancy, with their periods continuing like clockwork.
According to Women’s Health, some women do experience their ‘period’, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. Most of the time, it’s spotting that is linked to the embryo implanting in the uterus.
Another reason could be the embryo implanting elsewhere, like in the fallopian tube, which is known as an ectopic pregnancy and is extremely serious. If you experience any kind of cramping combined with bleeding in early pregnancy (or at any stage), you must seek medical help.
So generally, you can’t really get your period when you’re pregnant as the HCG hormone in your system should stop you getting it.
We asked the Mum’s Grapevine community to tell us whether they got their periods or not when they were pregnant and this so some of the feedback back …
“I had breakthrough bleeding with both my boys but not with my daughter. The babies were fine.” – Debbie
“I bled for three months, didn’t realise I was pregnant, thought it was cancer. Went to the doctor who said they’d do a test first, found out I was nearly five months pregnant!” – Marcia
“I didn’t even know that I was pregnant until I ‘missed’ my period and started showing. Turns out I was 18 weeks.” – Maddison
“I did, first pregnancy for three months. What a lovely surprise, suddenly being 16 weeks pregnant!” – Marjan
“I had my period every month I was pregnant, to be honest, it was the most regular I have ever had it.” – Kylie
“Happened twice, but they were both ectopic.” – Roselyn
“Yes with my second for the first four months. Nothing heavy. Just spotting usually and would last for three to four days.” – Katelin
Getting pregnant while already pregnant
Straight from the strange but true files comes superfoetation – which is falling pregnant when you’re already pregnant. While thankfully rare in humans, it’s actually quite common in animals.
There have been only a few documented cases in humans, where what is thought to have been twins is actually two babies conceived at different times. In one case, an Australian couple managed to conceive two girls, 10 days apart. Incredibly, they had only had sex once before the two conceptions.
Superfoetation is rare in humans is because our bodies are designed to stop us from falling pregnant while we’re already expecting. Hormonal changes prevent another egg from releasing, we produce a thick mucous plug over our cervix and the inner lining of the uterus changes so another egg can’t attach.