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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Please help: Decidual Bleeding?

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Author Topic: Please help: Decidual Bleeding?
Hannigan
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I'm sorry this is a long post...
I am freaking out after reading all this stuff online about women getting their "periods," (actually decidual bleeding) including heavy ones, through at least a few months of pregnancy.

Let me explain how this started:
My girlfriend and I started having unprotected sex on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14). That day it was quick in and out, no cumming, and she got her period like 2 or 3 days later.

But then in March we have...probably 5 times, the most recent being on March 15th. One must have been during when her ovulation would be. Every time we had sex, I never came in OR outside of her; I avoided getting close to where it feels like I'm about to.
I've read that precum is very unlikely to cause pregnancy, but still possible, but less likely if you've urinated since the last ejaculation, which I did at least once every day. (urinated I mean)

On March 18th through 22nd we had a big scare that she could be pregnant: on the 17th, her breasts became very sore, which she looked up and realized that's a possible sign of early pregnancy. Her boobs haven't hurt like that (as she can remember) since she was younger (she's 16 now) and they were growing. But we read that stress leading up to the "PMS" time can make worse pain like that, and she was stressed the week before like she couldn't believe because of her parents fighting and school stuff.
The breast pain gradually decreased over the next few days, as cramps came on the 19th, until on the 22nd, the breast pain was gone, the cramps were still there, and she got her period.

According to a 28 day cycle, it should have have started on the 17th, but she says she's always later than that; like she has a fairly regular but longer cycle. (32-34 days)

This period had slightly greater amount of blood than usual, but still within the normal range of what she gets. There was no spotting beforehand, the blood was normal, fresh red color with little clots in it like always, and it lasted 5 days in a normal pattern for her, just somewhat more blood than average.

Now it is April 2nd; her period has been over for exactly a week today. (Well last saturday was the last day of bleeding; it stopped that day.)

She has had no more symptoms in that time at all.

But now I'm paranoid so much from what I've read on google and yahoo answers, that women got heavy "periods" that were actually decidual bleeding, and still were pregnant?!
It freaks me out!

I've read that decidual bleeding, when it DOES even happen, is usually way lighter than a normal period, and is caused by the placenta not being firmly attached in early pregnancy so you get what seems like a period as PART of the uterine lining sheds!

But now...how could PART of the uterine lining coming out look the same as ALL of it coming out, as happens with a normal period?

Would decidual bleeding come with cramps identical to a period?
Could it be identical in timing and blood color and flow and volume to a normal period?

I'm really scared and confused from what I've read online, please help. [Frown]

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OWL Dan
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Hi Hannigan,

Please try to relax, I do not see a pregnancy risk here. [Smile] First of all, what you have described doing sounds like proper use of the withdrawal method; which is 72-82% effective with typical use and up to 96% with perfect use. Since you did urinate prior to intercourse your risk decreases too. Next, usually the first signs of a possible pregnancy would be a skipped period and not PMS like symptoms. Also, from what you have said, it sounds like she has been have her periods (more than once and consistent with PMS & periods) and not decidual bleeding (decidual bleeding is rare). I could go in to better if you want; just let us know and I (or someone else) will when there is more time. For your best peace of mind, it has been a more than long enough amount of time for an accurate pregnancy test (10-14 days from possible risk event or late/missed period) for a clear answer. [Wink]
Please let us know if we can be of futher assistance. [Smile]

PS: Please be careful when surfing the internet for information. Try to choose sites you can trust, like reputable organizations such as “.gov’s” , Planned Parenthood, ours, etc.

[ 04-02-2011, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: OWL Dan ]

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Dan

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Hannigan
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Ok I feel quite a bit better. We'll get tests this Tuesday to be sure, and definitely get some condoms...

I already consciously thought it was very very unlikely that she was pregnant; just this fear in the back of my mind has grown after reading the stories of women who had decidual bleeding that happened at the same time and was just as heavy as a period.

So decidual bleeding would:
-NOT necessarily happen at the same time as a regular period?
-NOT have the same amount of blood as a normal period? (would be less, lighter?)
-NOT have the same cramps associated with a period?
-NOT last the full 5 days (standard for her; 5-6) of a normal period?

Are all those facts correct?

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OWL Dan
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Here is link for some more information about Decidual Bleeding

[ 04-02-2011, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: OWL Dan ]

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Dan

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Hannigan
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But COULD decidual bleeding happen on the same day and amount of length (5 days) with the same amount of blood as a period? How likely is that?

Oh and also, could you provide more detail on that part about the PMS-like symptoms not occurring until AFTER a missed period? So like, "boobs hurt, then hurt less, then period starts, then they don't hurt anymore at all, then don't hurt or any other symptoms after the full period" that would mean she's not pregnant?

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louemma
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Start using condoms!

And it really does not sound like she is pregnant at all.

Take it from me, who has had many irrational pregnancy scares in her life.

If she's getting her period, she is not pregnant. She's not having decidual bleeding!

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Stephanie_1
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If she had 5 days of typical period-type bleeding she simply cannot be pregnant. It's not possible, as the egg implants into the uterine lining to grow and develop, that lining is what is shed with a period, and that amount of bleeding does not allow for anything left or enough left for a safe place to grow and develop. Simply not possible.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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OWL Dan
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Please let me remind you that I do not see a pregnancy risk with what you had described. [Smile] Decidual bleeding is rare and occurs in 25% or less pregnancies and is usually much lighter to lighter than a normal period; it can be mistaken as a period but it is rare to be as heavy as a full period. As to the early signs of pregnancy, “Most of the signs/symptoms of pregnancy don't show up until well after a period has been missed. The typical signs that people talk about (things like morning sickness, breast tenderness, etc.) are related to the hormonal changes that happen in your body when you are pregnant. Those hormone levels won't be high enough to cause those things until well after you would get a positive test. Also, different women experience different symptoms related to pregnancy. Some women have virtually no symptoms (or don't have them until much later), others have only one or two, some have every symptom it's possible to have.” Here is an article that may also be of help Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul .

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Dan

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Hannigan
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I appreciate the info everyone!
But people online have said they got "periods" while pregnant (decidual bleeding) as heavy as a real period...but again that really doesn't make sense.
I don't think it could be as heavy as a real period, for 5 days, and still be pregnant...

louemma, if you don't mind sharing, could you describe a little bit about how your pregnancy scares went?

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Hannigan
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Again;
I know implantation bleeding is usually very light and brief.

What I'm worried about is decidual bleeding in particular; could it last 5 days and be as full as a regular period and occur identically to one?

Also, the breast pain isn't a normal PMS symptom for her. But could that be brought on from great stress leading up to it, which she had?

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louemma
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I don't think hearing about my situations will REALLY help you. They might just make you more anxious because I was so ridiculous with them!

However, you need to stop this decidual bleeding thing. She is getting her PERIOD. She is not pregnant. Have her take a HPT if you are really questioning. I know how this anxiety makes you feel. AWFUL. But you will be just fine.

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Stephanie_1
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The problem with reading things online, is they're SO often NOT accurate information. Too? People tend to class any bleeding from the vagina as a period, and that's not true. Louemma offered some great advice here, have her take a hpt if she's not believing it. But honestly, she simply cannot be pregnant. (Too, when periods come odd times, they can have some different feels to them too, like breast tenderness... as that's working around something hormonally that occurred to cause the period to come when it did.)

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Hannigan
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But the period wasn't really at an odd time for her...has severe stress ever made you get weird PMSy or period symptoms you don't usually get?

And yeah, I'm quite confident she's not.
She doesn't wanna get tests because of the awkwardness involved in buying them, and that she's completely sure she's not pregnant because the period was so normal.

You guys (and girls) have greatly put my mind at ease overall; this is a really great website; I will recommended it to any of my sexually active friends who are interested in general sex-ed information. [Smile]

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Hannigan
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Also I don't mean this to be in any way rude; I'm just sincerely curious:
What makes you volunteers on here so much more experts than the random people on the internet?

Also...you're sure that 5 days of normal quantity and flow period definitely means no pregnancy?
Some women online said they had long heavy periods and still were pregnant...

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Stephanie_1
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The volunteers range in experiences, but we have all gone through trainings, have to exhibit a certain amount of understanding and knowledge of the content (and knowledge of the site itself). As well, a lot of the volunteers are either working in, have worked in or with, or are working towards jobs in the field.

And yep, we're sure [Smile]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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OWL Dan
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She should know her own body. So, hopefully her confidence should reassure you too. [Smile] By the way, there isn’t any reason you couldn’t be the one to buy the tests [Wink] if another scare should occur.

Something to keep in mind about information on the internet that comes from real people, it tends to lean more to be from the less common and sometimes extreme cases. This would lead others to believe it is more common that it truly is.

On a different note, sometimes when a person reacts as strongly as you have with this situation, it may be your mind and body’s way of saying that you may not be truly ready for the level of activities you are participating in or it can indicate that you might not be truly as ready as you thought you were for the possible consequences of them. Please, give it some thought. It might simply mean that the two of might consider using something along with or different from the withdrawal method of prevention.

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Dan

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Hannigan
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Ok, thank you guys [Smile]

If you're sure, I'll trust that, and I trust her, and she's completely sure that it was a totally normal period so I feel completely better. [Smile]

And Dan, about the info from real people; yeah now that I think about it, it makes sense that you'd see a way over representation of very sensational and often false things. For example, conspiracy theories and ghost and UFO stories that "everyone" swears is true and can show all this "evidence" online, or people hearing from their friend's mom's aunt this old wives' tale and then a bunch of other people are all "oh yeah I heard that too!"

We haven't had sex since the 15th of March, and don't plan to do it unprotected (at least use birth control pills) again until we're married and trying for kids!
Intercourse is really fun and really emotionally beautiful for us as a couple, but it's SO not worth even the stress like this, even if she never got pregnant I would worry so much. Manual and oral stuff is still very great and not at all risky. [Smile] (No STDs)

We're not too eager to do sex again anyway, and when we do it will be with at least condoms or birth control; probably condoms first.

Again this is a VERY good site; thank you so much if there was way to tip you I totally would. [Smile]

Ah I feel so much better. ^_^

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OWL Dan
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Thank you for your kind words! It is great to hear that you are able to relax now! [Big Grin] Please feel free to look around our site and to ask us any other questions that you may have.

One last thing, I would recommend (as we would recommend to everyone) that both of you get tested for STI’s since you are sexually active just to know where you both stand. [Wink]

PS: As for a tip, your thanks truly mean a lot! I will mention though that Heather’s running this site does rely a lot on donations. So, if you are so inclined you can click on the “support us” link.

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Dan

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Stephanie_1
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Too? Just to add in on your "when we do it will be with at least condoms or birth control; probably condoms first." We do always suggest using TWO reliable methods on contraception. Then should one fail (like if you have a condom break) then you don't need to be so worried because you have a second method backing up the first. Check it out: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Hannigan
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Now, why do I keep reading on pregnancy info sites that decidual bleeding can have as much blood as a regular period?!
That really really scares me! [Frown]

You're extremely super SURE definitely that decidual bleeding could not last for 5 days and be identical to a period on each one?

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OWL Dan
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Not for five days. To lose the entire lining would end the pregnancy.
You did not have a pregnancy risk to begin with!!! Please trust her and us.

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Dan

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Hannigan
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Ok...if you're all sure...
And yeah I know the risk was very very low but still...paranoia. :/

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Stephanie_1
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Honestly, at this point I think it's important that you speak with someone about the anxiety - whether that be a family member, close adult friend,school counselor if you're still in school.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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OWL Dan
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I agree with Stephanie, anxiety problems can only get in the way of enjoying the fun things in life.

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Dan

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Hannigan
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Why does everything about decidual bleeding say that it's "period like" if it can't be identical to a period?

Like does that mean it could be heavy, but usually isn't and would be shorter?

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OWL Dan
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When it comes to web sites that are static (no live interaction), they have to post all possible situations without regard to how likely something is or isn’t. Here members have the opportunity to interact with people and provide details to us; this way we can give more individual appropriate answers. [Smile]

Once again, you need to trust the fact that there was No Pregnancy Risk to start with. With the specific information you provided, we do not see the possibility of a pregnancy with the number of full periods that she has had.

Please do yourself a favor and stop surfing any further and keeping yourself worked up. Also, seriously consider seeing someone about your anxiety issues. You will be doing yourself a big favor for your life time; I can personally attest to this. [Wink]

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Dan

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Hannigan
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I think you misunderstand how many periods she's had!

We had sex ONCE, then she got a normal period a few days later.

What I'm worried about is that we've had sex several time since that one, then ONE normal period.

There still isn't a risk though if it was that much bleeding over 5 days, correct?

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OWL Dan
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If you still withdrew prior to ejaculation each time then your risks were still low. It still sounds like she had normal periods too! I would highly recomend starting to use two forms of birth control, as Stephanie said, from now on. Your options are condoms and withdrawal or condoms and what ever her choice is.

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Dan

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