As we saw above, your period is the result of the uterine wall shedding. When pregnant, the uterine wall will not shed as pregnancy hormones have been released and the embryo has implanted in it. Therefore, if you bleed whilst you are pregnant it is not your period.
Bleeding can happen during your pregnancy, however, and it can be easy to confuse it with a period. “Women don’t get their period when they are pregnant,” says Dr Hana Patel, “but can get vaginal bleeding at certain points in the pregnancy due to reasons such as implantation bleeding, after intercourse, or if you are at risk of a miscarriage, for example.”
Implantation bleeding doesn’t happen to everyone, but if it does it may happen around the time you were expecting your period and so could be mistaken for a period. There are a few things to note, however. Implantation period is considered spotting, and should not be enough to fill a pad. It is typically dark brown, brown or light pink, and may resemble vaginal discharge more than it resembles a period. It is also less likely to cause cramping and should only last about 2 days.
There are other reasons you might bleed during early pregnancy, which could be the result of an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or infection. If you think you might be pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test and see a doctor.