The simple answer is no. However some women can experience false periods, also known as decidual bleeding, which resemble the consistancy and regularity of a period for the first few months, or even the entire length of pregnancy.
Before you read any further, please be aware that you should always check with your doctor if you are experiencing any type of bleeding during pregnancy. A lot of pregnancy bleeding is benign but some pregnancy bleeding can be a sign of a miscarriage or issues with your placenta, too.
The technical stuff: After ovulation, if the egg is not fertilised, your body sends signals for your hormone levels to drop and the internal lining of the uterus is shed in menstruation. If the egg is fertilised, then your body sends signals for the hormone levels to increase, instead of drop. However if your hormones get out of wack, sometimes your uterus can shed some of the lining of the uterus, which can cause decidual bleeding. It’s more common in the first few months of pregnancy, before the placenta implants into the uterine wall, but some women experience it throughout pregnancy. Scientists are still unsure what causes decidual bleeding in pregnancy, but in most cases it doesn’t seem to have any adverse effects on mother or baby.
Other types of first trimester pregnancy bleeding:
- Egg implantation bleeding. Generally 5-10 days after conception. Can vary from spotting to heavier bleeding, as the fertilised egg implants into the uterine wall – some women do not experience it at all.
- Placental implantation bleeding. Generally 6-14 weeks gestation. This is when the placenta implants into the uterine lining. Some women do not experience it at all.
- Placental Tear (Subchrionic Tear or Hematoma) – Most will heal but you may need to take extra pregnancy precautions. Read more here.
- Miscarriage. The risk of losing a baby is at its highest in the first trimester. Some bleeding, especially bright red blood, may be a sign of an impending miscarriage.
- Missed miscarriage. Some women miscarry before realising they are pregnant (also known as a chemical pregnancy). The number of early pregnancy tests available has increased the number of women who experience these short pregnancies, because before, many women would have considered the early miscarriage bleeding to just be a normal period.
- Side effect bleeding. Some things can cause bleeding, such as sex or over exertion. Most of the time it’s benign, but it’s still important to get checked if you’re worried.