Causes Of Bleeding During Pregnancy
Its natural to feel a bit worried if you have
The cause of the bleeding can vary, depending on what stage of pregnancy youre at.
If youre in early pregnancy, it could be:
- implantation bleeding. Small amounts of light bleeding, sometimes called spotting, can occur not long after conception so you might think its a period. This happens when the embryo plants itself in the lining of your womb, and its a normal symptom of pregnancy
- an ectopic pregnancy. This is when a fertilised egg plants itself somewhere other than in the womb. Usually, its in one of the tubes that go from your ovaries to the womb, called the fallopian tubes. It doesnt always have symptoms, but it can cause bleeding or a brown discharge and stomach pain. Sadly, the egg cant develop into a baby and it is usually removed, either with medicine or surgery. Its important to get medical advice straight away if you think you could have an ectopic pregnancy
If youre further on in your pregnancy, it could be:
Sex During Your Period
The chances are pretty good that you will not get pregnant if you have sex during your period. Menstruation is the signal that the ovum was not fertilized or implanted, leading to a drop in hormone levels and the shedding of the uterine lining. Even if a sperm made it to an egg, which is very unlikely, the uterine lining would not be ready for implantation. So, during this stage in your cycle, your risk of pregnancy remains negligible.
However, the odds of conception during your period arent zero. If you have a very short cycle, ovulation may occur soon after your period. Given that sperm can live inside you for up to three days, having sex at the end of your period may lead to fertilization in the days following it. One study charting the most common conception days in the menstrual cycle shows that odds start to rise on day 7 LMPjust a week past your first day of bleeding.
Its also important to note that what you may think is a period might not be. An estimated 2.8% of people with periods have spotting around ovulation, which is actually when you are most fertile. In other cases, spotting may be implantation bleeding, a very early sign of pregnancy. Unlike a regular period, spotting in these circumstances is typically lighter in color and flow.
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What Can I Do To Get Pregnant
If you want to get pregnant, its a good idea to talk to your doctor. Many doctors will advise a few lifestyle changes if youre trying for a baby, such as taking a or prenatal vitamin supplements, avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, and trying to maintain a healthy weight. You may also want to use an ovulation test to help you identify when your most fertile days are. You can see our range of ovulation tests and here to help you maximise your chances of conceiving.
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What About Ovulation Predictor Kits Or Fertility Apps
Many couples choose to use ovulation predictor kits or fertility apps to help them work out the best time to get pregnant.
Ovulation predictor kits are designed to test urine or saliva and they work by detecting the changes in certain hormone levels that occur just prior to ovulation. In contrast, fertility apps or ovulation calculators rely on the input of your menstrual cycle statistics .
Although these options can be useful if youre trying to get pregnant, they are NOT fool proof and have a number of pitfalls. To find out more, check out the following articles:
Can You Have A Period And Still Be Pregnant
No once pregnancy begins, the uterine lining no longer sheds each month. Once the body starts releasing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, monthly periods will stop. However, some people experience light bleeding after conception, around the same time their period would have started. This is called implantation bleeding.
If youre pregnant and experience bleeding or spotting, contact your health care provider.
Pregnancy can occur even if youre on your period. To avoid pregnancy, it is important to use contraception.
Birth control methods that can prevent pregnancy on your period include:
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I Never Used A Hormonal Birth Control Method So We Should Get Pregnant As Soon As We Start Trying
Just because your hormones havent been affected by hormonal contraceptives doesn’t necessarily put you at an advantage. Your body may be better able to regulate itself but this doesn’t mean you can get pregnant any more easily. Your fertility can be influenced by many factors other than contraceptives.
What Is Natural Family Planning
Natural family planning is a method which allows women to look out for and track changes in their body so they can time their intercourse to avoid or maximise their fertile time, according to whether or not they are wanting to become pregnant.
Looking at changes such as body temperature, cervical mucous secretions and the dates of their menstrual cycle, women can learn to predict their ovulation and time their sex accordingly. It requires commitment, is best taught by an expert and is often used in conjunction with fertility monitoring devices which check hormone levels in urine.
If youre not interested in having a baby, its always best to speak to your nurse, GP or local family planning clinic for advice, and read our tips on choosing the best method of contraception for you.
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How Does Fertility Differ With The Pill
Birth control pills aim to prevent unintended pregnancy. The pill prevents pregnancy by releasing synthetic hormones that stop ovulation from occurring and the uterus lining from thickening.
So, even if the ovaries do release an egg, a fertilized egg would be unable to implant in the wall of the uterus. The pill also thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach an egg.
According to the CDC , the birth control pill is more than 99% effective with perfect use but only 91% effective with typical use. This means that around 9 out of 100 women would become pregnant in a year of taking the pill with typical use.
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Timing is very important in pregnancy testing as HCG levels in urine help determine that a woman is pregnant. As HCG levels double every 48 hours, we can conclude that a woman is pregnant even in her early days of pregnancy.
The best time to take a pregnancy test is when your period is late. But, if you wish to know sooner, you can wait for two weeks after you had sex and can take the pregnancy test, but still, a test after the period is late is the most effective one.
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When Is The Best Time To Try To Get Pregnant
Your menstrual cycle describes a series of changes that youll experience every month, triggered by the rise and fall of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. It can be split into two phases: the luteal and follicular phases. Their medical names can sound daunting, but theyre pretty easy to understand.
Day one of your menstrual cycle aligns with the first day of your period, and the last day is marked by the start of your next period. The average cycle is 28 days, but if yours is between 21 and 35 days, its still considered typical. You can track your period using an app like Flo to find out how long yours is.
While theres no golden day in your cycle where youre guaranteed to conceive , to understand the best time to get pregnant, it can be helpful to get into the nitty-gritty of what your hormones are doing before and after your period.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation , which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just after your period, although it can happen. It’s important to remember that sperm can sometimes survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.
This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.
You should always use contraception when you have sex if you don’t want to become pregnant.
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Why Did I Miss A Period
Missing a period is not uncommon, and most of the time, it is not a cause for concern. Some of the reasons you might miss a period include:
Normal lifecycle changes
There are a number of changes that happen in the female lifecycle that can result in a skipped period. All of these are normal reasons to miss a period and are not cause for concern.
The most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. If this is a possibility, take a home pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of your missed period. If you skip a period and then have one the next month at the expected time, its possible that a non-viable pregnancy occurred, and the period is actually an early miscarriage.
Breastfeeding can suppress your period, depending on how frequently you are nursing. You may get a period while breastfeeding, and then not have another one for several months or more, particularly if your baby is nursing exclusively. You can ovulate before you get your period, so its important to use birth control during this time, if you dont want to get pregnant.
A skipped period may be a sign that you are entering menopause and your periods are beginning to become less regular, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause . If you are 45 or older, there is a good chance this is the cause of a missed period.
Can I Get Pregnant 15 Days After My Period
The researchers found that the probability of a person getting pregnant rises sharply 7 days after the LMP. This probability of pregnancy is highest at 15 days and returns to zero by 25 days. For the women in the study, the probability of being within the fertile window was: 2 percent at day 4 of their cycle.
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Using Ovulation Test Kits
Ovulation predictor kits are available from chemists and are quite easy to use. They work by detecting a hormone in your wee that increases when ovulation is about to take place. The simplest urine kits test for luteinising hormone , which surges 24 to 36 hours before ovulation. This will help to identify the best 2 days for conception, although you can be fertile for a day or so before and after this time.
It is best to become familiar with your usual menstrual cycle to help figure out when you should start testing. If you have an irregular cycle, then an ovulation predictor kit can help you identify the time of ovulation, but you will probably end up using a lot more of the test strips. There is also no evidence that using an ovulation predictor kit will improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally.
Read more about apps, tools and kits for predicting ovulation.
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
So, now that you know the middle of your cycle is the time youre most likely to conceive, you might be curious if theres a best time of the day to have sex to get pregnant. Sadly, its difficult to be that specific.
While some studies have suggested that sex in the morning is the best for conception, research is really limited.
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Using Ovulation Predictor Tests
Ovulation predictor testswork a lot like pregnancy tests, except they tell you when you’re likely about to ovulate. They come as test sticks or test strips that react with your urine. To use these, you can urinate into a cup and then dip the test strip into the collected urine. You will get your result based on color changes or digital reading.
At-home ovulation tests detect the luteinizing hormone in your urine. LH surges just before you ovulate, so when the test reads positive, this indicates that your body is attempting to trigger the egg release from the ovary and that it is probably your optimal time to become pregnant.
Will It Be A Boy Or Girl
Both the manâs sperm and the womanâs egg play a part in determining the gender of a baby.
Every normal human cell contains 46 chromosomes . Chromosomes are tiny threadlike structures made from DNA, which each carry human genes. Genes determine a babyâs inherited characteristics, such as hair and eye colour, blood group, height and build.
When a sperm fertilises an egg, 23 chromosomes from the father pair with 23 from the mother, making 46 in total.
The sex chromosome from a womanâs egg is always the same and is known as the X chromosome. But the sex chromosome from a manâs sperm may be an X or a Y chromosome.
If the egg is fertilised by a sperm containing an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl . If the sperm contains a Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy .
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How Long Should A Normal Menstrual Cycle Last
An average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, defined from the first day of menstrual bleeding to the first day of bleeding of the next period. However, irregular periods are very common. An irregular period is defined as a cycle that varies by more than seven to nine days.
There are several reasons why women may have abnormal periods, which can include fibroids, ovarian cysts, polyps, and even something as common as stress.
If youve constantly had an irregular period, please contact us for an appointment to determine the underlying cause and initiate treatment, said Dr. Martinelli.
Can You Feel Conception
Not usually. You may notice signs that youâve ovulated, such as changes in your cervical mucus or basal body temperature. However, most people donât feel fertilization. You may feel a dull ache or experience light spotting several days after conception. This could be from the fertilized egg implanting in your uterus.
When do you start feeling pregnant?
How long it takes to feel pregnant varies. Some people may start to feel pregnant shortly after conception, while others dont have any pregnancy symptoms for weeks after a positive test.
Take a home pregnancy test if you have any of the above symptoms and think theres a chance youre pregnant. Your healthcare provider can order a blood test to confirm pregnancy.
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You Can Only Conceive On Two Days Each Cycle
This is not true. The ‘fertile window’ lasts up to 6 days. You are at your most fertile the and the day before. However, because sperm can survive for up to five days, having sex on the days leading up to ovulation can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
- can help you pinpoint up to four days when you are most fertile.
- is designed to identify all of your fertile days by detecting the two fertility hormones estrogen and luteinising hormone .
When To See A Fertility Doctor
If youre having intercourse twice a week for a year and you arent getting pregnant, its unlikely that timing is to blame. Something else could be at play and you should see your doctor to tackle the challenge together. If you are 35 or older, see a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying to get pregnant.
You should also seek care if you know you have polycystic ovary syndrome or irregular periods. For example, if youve been taking birth control for years and dont get your period within three months after you stop taking it, make an appointment. Otherwise, you could waste time collecting data with an ovulation kit and be nowhere closer to conceiving.
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Is The Fertile Method Effective
If you have very consistent cycles, knowing your fertile window can help prevent pregnancy. But keep in mind that your cycle days can still change each month. Factors like stress, diet, or heavy exercise can affect the number of days in your cycle. The day of ovulation can also change every month.
Tracking your ovulation is usually a more effective way to help you get pregnant. If youre trying to avoid pregnancy, talk with your doctor about the best birth control for you.
- using ovulation predictor kits
Getting Pregnant During Ovulation
Typically, between days 13 and 15 of your cycle, youll experience a surge in luteinizing hormone, which signals an egg to be released from one of your ovaries. It will travel down your uterine tubes ready for a sperm to fertilize it. This is called ovulation.
If youre ready with your calendar wondering when the best time to have sex to get pregnant is, its now. Medically speaking, this is the time youre most likely to conceive.
The only time during the menstrual cycle to get pregnant is the six to seven days around the time of ovulation, or midcycle for most people, says Dr. Barbara Levy, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Washington, DC, US. This is known as your fertile window.
Sperm can live in your reproductive tract for up to five days. At the same time, the egg that the ovaries release into the uterine tube is healthy and viable for around 24 hours after ovulation. So even if you dont have sex on the day that you ovulate, the sperm might still be able to meet and fertilize your egg.
You can work out when your fertile window is using an app like Flo. And while it might not sound like the sexiest thing in the world, its recommended that you plan to have sex every day of your fertile window to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.
Your chances of getting pregnant in your first month of trying are around 30%.
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