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Regular and Heavy Periods Since Having Sex - Could I Be Pregnant?

Published: February 14, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
If you I have gotten both regular 4-6 day periods and very long heavy periods (1.5 weeks tops) since having sex can I be pregnant? Also, if you are pregnant, can birth control cause you to continue having periods during placebo week?
Signed: Regular and Heavy Periods Since Having Sex - Could I Be Pregnant?

Dear Regular and Heavy Periods Since Having Sex - Could I Be Pregnant?,

If someone is pregnant they do not get menstrual periods. When you get your period, you are shedding the lining of the uterus (womb). If you are pregnant, the fetus is attached to the lining of the uterus (womb). So you cannot both be pregnant and menstruating.

Some women experience implantation bleeding, but this type of bleeding is usually very different from a period because the amount of blood is significantly less and there is usually a little bit of spotting over time rather than the continued bleeding that happens when you have your period.

If you have missed a period and are concerned you might be pregnant, the best thing to do would be to take a pregnancy test and/or meet with your doctor.

 

As for your second question, if you are pregnant, birth control would not cause you to have menstrual periods. As we stated above, you cannot be pregnant and have menstrual periods at the same time.

It is possible for a woman to be pregnant and then have a miscarriage, which is the loss of pregnancy before 20 weeks of pregnancy. One of the signs of miscarriage is vaginal bleeding or spotting. If a woman was bleeding due to having had a miscarriage she would no longer be pregnant. If you think you may have had a miscarriage, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.

If you think you may be pregnant and have been taking some kind of birth control, it is important to meet with your doctor right away so you can find out if you are in fact pregnant and talk about your pregnancy options if you are. If you take a pregnancy test and find out you are pregnant, stop taking your birth control pills and schedule an appointment with your doctor.

 

If you do not want to become pregnant, TeenHealthFX recommends that you meet with a doctor to discuss birth control options. Doctors generally recommend that teens and young adults use birth control (such as the pill or birth control shot) to prevent unwanted pregnancies along with condoms, which will protect against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

TeenHealth also recommends you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about birth control, STDs, how pregnancy happens, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, safer sex and more. You might also consider reading the TeenHealthFX article, When Am I Ready for Sex?, to make sure that you are not putting yourself in any situations you are not ready for or comfortable with when it comes to being physically intimate with someone else.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about menstruation, pregnancy or anything else related to your health, please schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, adolescent medicine specialist or gynecologist. If you are concerned about cost or confidentiality issues, you can always go to a local Planned Parenthood health center.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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