So, you have PMS symptoms, and you’re bleeding.
You’re on your period, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Although bleeding is often a reliable sign that you’re not pregnant, in some cases, it could actually mean the opposite.
(Say whaaattt? )
Or, of course, it may just be good old Aunt Flo. 🩸
So, what’s the difference between your period and implantation bleeding?
And what if you suspect you actually are pregnant despite bleeding — can you still take a pregnancy test?
Or will that lead to an invalid test?
Let’s find out.
In this article: 📝
- Can you have a period and be pregnant?
- Can I take a pregnancy test on my period?
- Period or implantation bleed?
- So, can a pregnancy test be positive when you’re on your period?
- I’m not on my period or pregnant, so why am I bleeding?
- Why else could I bleed in early pregnancy?
- When can I take a pregnancy test?
Can you have a period and be pregnant?
Firstly, let’s cover the main question we all want to know — no, it’s not possible to have a period if you are pregnant.
Welcome to the rollercoaster that is trying to understand women’s health. 🙃
But that’s why we’re here! 🤗
We’ll help to explain the possible reasons for bleeding, and tell you how to spot an implantation bleed from a regular period.
Can I take a pregnancy test on my period?
Yes, you absolutely can take a pregnancy test on your period.
If the result is positive, this shows that the bleeding is not actually your period, but it could be a number of things — like implantation bleeding.
And if the result is negative, it’s likely that this bleeding is your period.
So how do you tell the difference?
Period or implantation bleed?
Here’s the thing…
It can sometimes be quite tricky to tell whether it’s implantation bleeding or just your time of the month. 😖
Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining.
Typically, this can often be timed with when you’d expect your period anyway. 🙃
But not all hope is lost — there are some ways to tell the two apart without the help of a doctor.
If the bleeding is similar to your regular period flow, it’s most likely your period.
Ah, good times. 🩸
Implantation bleeding hints
If your bleeding is light (spotting), [doesn’t last as long as usual, and doesn’t include any blood clots or heavy bleeding, this could be implantation bleeding.
It can also appear as watery bloody discharge, too. 🩸
But, just when you thought you knew what you were dealing with, Mother Nature is throwing another curveball at us.
It is possible to have heavy implantation bleeding, too (we’re sorry). 🤦♀️
Although this is quite rare, it can last up to three days and is normally “lighter” than your usual period.
So the all-important question may linger — are you pregnant?
If you’re pretty sure this blood just ain’t your period, or you simply just don’t know, it may be time to pee on a stick!
🔎 Read more: How Soon After Implantation Should I Test?
So, can a pregnancy test be positive when you’re on your period?
If you’ve got a positive pregnancy test whilst you’re ‘on your period’, this is probably not your period.
So, in short — yes, the test can be positive, but you’re unlikely to be menstruating.
But, can hCG be present during your period?
Again, technically not — but hCG hormones can be detected during a bleed (but not a period bleed) which is what you’re more likely experiencing.
As well as implantation bleeding (👆), there are other reasons why you might bleed while pregnant.
Let’s explore them together below. ❤️
I’m not on my period or pregnant, so why am I bleeding?
If your bleeding isn’t similar to your regular flow, symptoms, or length, and you’ve had a negative pregnancy test, you may be feeling confused.
What could be causing this?
Well, it could actually be a number of things:
- Contraception: Some forms of birth control (like the pill or the coil) can cause irregular bleeding.
- Infection: Infections, like STDs (like chlamydia or gonorrhea) or other bacterial infections like thrush, can sometimes cause bleeding.
- Hormone levels: Sometimes, your hormones can get a bit out of sync, which can lead to irregular bleeding. This is definitely one to check out with the doc to see how they can help rebalance your hormone health.
- Trauma or injury: Cervical trauma can cause bleeding, and can be due to past obstetric or gynecological surgery (for example, HPV cell treatment), or C-sections. It could even be caused by something like your routine pap smear, or slightly rougher sex than normal.
But there can be many more reasons for irregular bleeding — some of which could be more serious — so be sure to get yourself checked out by the doctor if you’re having any symptoms you’re concerned about.
Why else could I bleed in early pregnancy?
Let’s look at this from another way.
You’ve had a positive pregnancy test and you’re bleeding, but the implantation bleeding window has passed.
What are some of the other reasons for early pregnancy bleeding?
- Cervical changes: Again, changes to your cervix (including cervical trauma, such as rougher sex or previous gynecological surgeries) can cause bleeding. Cervical polyps can also develop, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and, sometimes, bleeding.
- Infection: Similarly, infections can also cause bleeding in pregnancy. Annoyingly, thrush can actually be quite a common infection when you’re pregnant… like you don’t have enough going on right now.
- Ectopic pregnancy: This is when a fertilized egg doesn’t implant to the uterus, but instead, attaches to the fallopian tube (96% of the time, it happens in the fallopian tubes) or somewhere else outside of the uterus. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include bleeding, but also increasing pelvic pain or stomach cramps. Unfortunately, the fertilized egg won’t be able to survive, and the growth can lead to life-threatening complications if not treated. So if you have any bleeding during pregnancy, it’s always worth visiting your healthcare provider, just in case.
- Early miscarriage: Also known as a chemical (or biochemical) pregnancy, this is when you have a very early miscarriage (usually before your 6th week). If you are experiencing heavier bleeding accompanied by pain following a positive pregnancy test, this could be the sign of a chemical pregnancy, and you’ll need to go and get checked out as soon as possible by your healthcare provider.
Generally though, spotting or light bleeding early in pregnancy isn’t usually cause for concern.
But it’s still best to get it checked out by the doc, anyway — better to be safe.
When can I take a pregnancy test?
If you decide to go ahead and take a pregnancy test while you’re bleeding, try to take it first thing in the morning.
This is because the hCG levels in your blood will be the least diluted, and you’ll get the most accurate result.
So, before you hit the hay, maybe set up the test ready to go in the morning straight after you hop out of bed. 🛌🏻
So, although you can take a pregnancy test on your period, whether you should or not depends on a number of things.
Plus, your local drugstore tests aren’t always cheap, so not only could it be unnecessary, but it may also be costing you, too. 💵
Always remember, our Peanut Community is always here, 24/7, so you can talk to other women who get what you’re going through.
You’re not alone. ❤️