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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Be advised ladies...

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Author Topic: Be advised ladies...
OnceOnABlueMoon
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Okay, just so you know, as you read this, try not to get too paranoid ladies, but I had to ask the experts this question.

How often do women get pregnant and then continue to have their periods almost normally at least for a few months?

Normally this isn't how our bodies work, I am well aware of this. BUT when I was in high school a girl I knew began a relationship with a man who'd already fathered up to 5 kids (there was one daughter that was disputed). We warned her to be careful, and as far as I know she was using condoms.

One day she told us her period had stopped. All of us anticipated where this was going, and it happened just as she was breaking up with this loser guy. She took a pregnancy test and of course she was pregnant.

She went in for a sonogram and the doctors looked at it and realized that her baby was NOT the age it was supposed to be. The baby, right after she stopped having her period, was dated as being FIVE or six months along in development. Of course she and all of us were baffled because she had regular, normal periods all through those months. Yet she'd had other symptoms: morning sickness which she called a nasty month long flu, and fatigue. Unknowingly she drank and smoked during those months too. Only a few months after she realized she was pregnany her baby was born.

This isn't the only story I've heard like this. So my question is, how often does this happen and are mid-cycle/ovulation pains then the surest way, aside from a test, to be able to tell whether or not you're pregnant?

I of course don't mean to make any of you like a million times more paranoid, but I had to get it out there.

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lexie
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all i can add to this is that: only a fairly small percentage of women get mid cycle or ovulation pains. so no, you could not rely on this as a way to tell you are not pregnant.
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-Lauren-
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It's important that people in this case differentiate between full-on menstrual bleeding, and unexplained vaginal bleeding. Vaginal bleeding can occur with other causes, including ovarian cysts, vaginal infections, placenta problems, or uterine fibroids being agitated by pregnancy.

So, lord knows we see legions of women claiming to have menstrual periods during pregnancy, but they could well be referring to bleeding due other causes.

In reality, menstrual bleeding is a serious threat during early pregnancy, and causes a miscarriage in about 50% of cases. So these women claiming to have full-on periods for months? Are either extremely lucky and/or had medical intervention, or it was not a period at all.

[ 03-24-2007, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]

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OnceOnABlueMoon
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All I know is that she was fooled by these "periods" well enough. She had no fears of becoming pregnant. She even described an instance of it starting on time but catching her at an awkward moment. A different story I heard involved a girl who was cranky and chubby and one day she had intense "stomach" pains. She went to the hospital, was sent away once, and then came back again bleeding and delivered a baby she'd never known she was pregnant with. I must admit I did NOT know this girl, it was told to me second hand. But apparently this girl had no idea either, none at all.
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Heather
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The tricky part with anything like this is that we have a couple extra issues that come into play.

1) We have plenty of urban legend about pregnancy because it is so loaded to be pregnant, and because we have a lot of scaring out and about in the world per women and sex and pregnancy.

2) We live in a culture where accidental pregnancy, and/or teen pregnancy is still so unacceptable that many women do not feel able to be fully truthful about their experiences (and you can hardly blame them).

Your friend, for instance, from the sounds of things, likely wasn't using the condoms you all told her to, and likely had a case of it-can't-happen-to-me-itis if she was that unconcerned about pregnancy. Now, she may well have had some bleeding through her pregnancy, and may well have confused that bleeding for menstrual periods. (Hell, she may have had a common STI like Chlamydia causing bleeding or spotting.)

However, she may just as likely also have felt she needed to find a way out in terms of what to tell all of you when it came to not heeding your advice, and becoming pregnant when that isn't what she wanted, or when she knew it'd be met with disapproval. She may also have been engaging in some denial about actually having become pregnant, again, something we can hardly blame pregnant teens for.

On top of that, younger women often have erratic periods anyway, so are used to bleeding intermittently. And if they're not getting GYN care, and asking about these things, it's unsurprising they're confusing other vaginal bleeding with menstruation. Given all the body changes one goes through in the teens, it's also not a big surprise that some women can be pregnant for a few months and not realize that's what's going on -- this is one of many reasons why we talk a lot here about how going by ideas of what pregnancy symptoms are isn't a reliable guage for knowing if and when one has become pregnant.

Here are some good basics on causes of bleeding during pregnancy, for the curious: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/bleedingduringpreg.html and here's another: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/pregnancy_bleeding/page2_em.htm

[ 03-25-2007, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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OnceOnABlueMoon
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It is possible. She was never really all that close with me and my friends. She was older than us, a senior. She was a source of entertainment and she knew it. Our relationship was more one of disbelief. The only thing she was in denial about was that she had feelings for this loser. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he'd carried some sort of STI. They were only "friends" that had sex together. So technically they were allowed to have sex with other people left and right if they felt inclined to do so. I think he took that oppurtunity a couple times, because she would be upset about things with him and tell us about it and then reproach herself for caring because they weren't truly dating so he wasn't breaking any "laws."

We listened to the situation and shook our heads with disbelief, but she was her own woman, older than us and acting every bit of it. When she was pregnant we were more surprised than she was. She cried at the thought of telling her parents, who thought she was a good girl, but to us she was never upset or outraged. When she learned how old the baby really was inside her she was genuinely surprised then, but never upset. A friend of hers had been pregnant the year before and she and this other girl had this close kinship as a result I think, so she was never alone.

But all that aside...are mid-cycle/ovulation pains a good way to tell if you're not pregnant? For those of us who get them anyway.

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mellygirl
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The RELIABLE way to tell if you are pregnant or not is to take a home pregnancy test. If you feel the results are inaccurate, by all means, make an appointment at Planned Parenthood or with a gyno.

If you're relying on ovulation pains, then what would happen if you miss a period because of stress? What if you ovulate in your sleep and don't feel it? There are too many reasons to not use this as a reliable way to determine if you're pregnant.

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OnceOnABlueMoon
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In conjunction with periods and without other signs, I think for me it's a good way to tell. I can't remember a month when I didn't feel myself ovulate. It's a very painful event for me usually that can last multiple days, I can't just sleep through the event. So for me I think it's a reliable method when joined with periods. Feeling the pain of ovulation comforts me especially if my last period acted strangely or was light, because as far as I know, if I were to become pregnant my body would stop ovulating.

Also I find it fascinating that because I know when I ovulate by pain I can know that almost exactly 14/15 days later my period should roughly start. It's a better predictor than counting days from the last period.

It matters to me because I saw this girl firsthand and heard her claim and it did scare me. I admit because I'm not her I can't tell you how true it is or isn't, if it was an STI or something instead, but in case it was right I like to comfort myself by feeling that each ovulation validates the previous period. Maybe it's all BS but it comforts me and partially makes me feel better about this otherwise annoying, painful habit of my body.

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