One of the benefits of pregnancy (apart from having a brand new itty bitty puddin’ pie joining your family in a few month’s time) is that there are no more periods. Yip-Pee!
No more bleeding, no more trying to discretely make your way to the bathroom across the office with a tampon slipped up a sleeve or a bulky pad shoved in the waistband of your pants. <this isn’t a joke.
But before you get too excited, keep in mind that there are other types of “bleeding”, such as decidual bleeding, which you ask?
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Decidual Bleeding: A Masqueraded Period
Many new moms mistake decidual bleeding (most commonly referred to as “first-trimester bleeding”) as their period.
This is because decidual bleeding often occurs right around the same time when a pregnant woman would expect her period to make its grand and often unwelcome presence known.
Decidual bleeding can continue to happen throughout the first three or four months of your pregnancy (although it may go on longer for some).
It happens because there has been a partial shedding of the lining of your uterus.
This is the result of the many hormonal upswings and downswings your body has had to endure.
In short, your uterus is a bit confused.
While this may sound bad, this type of bleeding is typically not a health threat to a mom and her growing baby.
Studies have shown that this type of bleeding may happen in as many as 30% of all pregnancies, and most women who have to endure this type of bleeding go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies and deliveries.
Can A Women Have A Period While Pregnant?
Hopefully, the video below will shed some light on this common question I have been getting…
What Does Decidual Bleeding Look Like?
Decidual bleeding can look a whole lot like a menstrual period, but it also may not.
The best way to characterize it is that it has a far more distinct appearance.
You’ll often find these thick and fibrous blood clots that will cause you to mutter, “What the *bleep* is that?!” instead of a smooth sea of red or that rusty color that informs you that your period’s just about to quit.
Another important point to make here is that this is not the same as something which is known as implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding will typically happen before a confirmed pregnancy (when the fertilized egg affixes itself to the wall of your uterus, approximately two weeks after you “did the deed”) and the blood is thin and has a lighter pink or brown hue.
Confirming The Pregnancy
Have you discovered something which may look like decidual bleeding?
Then a pregnancy test may be in order, especially if you are experiencing other early signs of pregnancy like:
- A sudden increase in weight/bloating
- Tender breasts (we’re talking “don’t hug me!” tender)
- A sense that you need to vomit all the time or when smelling/seeing certain foods and drinks
Pregnancy tests rarely deliver false positives, so if you find out you see those two lines, congrats!
If you have a false negative, you may want to test again in three days or step into your doctor’s office for a professional test to confirm or deny a pregnancy.
Contact Your Healthcare Professional Whenever There’s Bleeding
Decidual bleeding is no cause for alarm, but we wouldn’t be doing due justice if we didn’t share some information about it and what else may be causing the bleeding.
I had this roughly about 2 months in. Granted in my case, I was so ill and coughing as if I would deliver my baby through my mouth!
So when I had my “bleeding”, I immediately called the OB and had an emergency ultrasound. Everything was fine and it was only due to my coughing. Residual blood from breaking blood vessels in my cervix. – Point is, ALWAYS call your doctor!
The medical community acknowledges that decidual bleeding may cause some women to suffer from a future miscarriage (thus making it all the more important to give your doctor a call).
While bleeding is common during pregnancy, it’s important to get it checked…
As it may be due to other conditions such as:
- A miscarriage
- An ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the fetus develops outside of the uterus, usually in a woman’s Fallopian tube)
- A molar pregnancy (when a non-viable fertilized egg implants itself into the wall of your uterus. It will never come to term)
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical infection
- Vaginal infection
As a general rule, if it looks like decidual bleeding is probably is decidual bleeding.
But the peace of mind in knowing what’s up with your ever-changing hormone factory which is now home to population: 2 can ease anyone’s mind.
Happening Any Time, Anywhere
Unlike a period which is fairly predictable for most women, decidual bleeding can happen at any time.
Here’s a quick low down on how you can prep for it:
- Wear panty liners. They even make pantyliners specifically designed for us sexy mamas who like our thongs and hate panty lines
- Ditch the light colored pants. Who wants to be caught off-guard?
- Chill out. Alarming as it may be, everything is probably fine.
Think you may have decidual bleeding or have some input on the topic?
Impart some wisdom and experience in the comment section below.