What Should I Expect from Menstruation During Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 December 2019
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It is important to note that once pregnancy begins, the menstrual cycle in a woman will cease for the duration of the pregnancy. Normal menstruation begins when the egg is discharged from the ovary and travels into the uterus and at this point the uterus begins preparing for a fetus. If the egg is not fertilized, or the woman does not become pregnant, the lining of the uterine wall will begin to shed, causing menstrual bleeding. When the egg is fertilized and the woman becomes pregnant, this uterine wall will stay intact because it is necessary to provide nutrients for the baby.

Many times, a woman confuses vaginal bleeding with menstruation during pregnancy, but in fact this bleeding is not caused by menstruation and can be the result of many different things. However, the misconception that a woman is experiencing menstruation during pregnancy causes the concern that they will not have a healthy pregnancy. This type of bleeding is normal most of the time and adds no problems to the pregnancy, especially when it occurs during the first trimester. Many women who become pregnant while on birth control pills may believe that they are experiencing menstruation during pregnancy.


Bleeding during pregnancy can be a normal discharge that is associated with being pregnant and is of no concern because it causes no damage to the fetus. However, it is imperative that the doctor be contacted if any bleeding occurs that resembles menstruation during pregnancy. The doctor should be contacted within twenty-four hours of having any type of bloody vaginal discharge. If a woman is over thirty-seven weeks, or the bleeding has lasted for more than a few hours, the doctor should be contacted immediately. The doctor will be able to assess to the situation to determine if any further action needs to take place.

Generally, women who claim to have menstruation during pregnancy are able to continue on and have a healthy and safe pregnancy, but bleeding can also be a sign of a more serious problem. It could be a sign of a problem with the pregnant woman ranging from an infection to cervical cancer. It could also be the sign of some serious conditions with the fetus like a miscarriage or impending miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy. Before panicking, a complete checkup with the doctor will ensure that things are all right or, in the case of a complication, allow the doctor to take the necessary steps to treat both mother and child.



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