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Author Topic: Is This My Period,or Something Else?
pocket_mouse_531
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Hey! I just wanted to confirm that what I experienced was, in fact, my period.

I started bleeding about two days earlier than I expected my period to start. The bleeding was light at first. The next day it began to bleed more heavily. This heavier bleeding lasted for about three days before slowing down and gradually becoming lighter.

I'm concerned that this wasn't actually my period because I was worried about a possible pregnancy scare (see most recent topics I posted), even though logically, none of the incidents I experienced could have constituted a substantial pregnancy risk. I did some research online though and found that sometimes women can have regular bleeding during their pregnancy that LOOKS like a period, but actually isn't.

Does what happened to me seem like a period? Or could it be something else?

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Karybu
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It sounds like you got your period, just a couple of days earlier than you expected it. That's not anything unusual, really, cycles tend to vary by a day or two either way, and even someone with very regular cycles will experience that variation.

The idea that women can have bleeding throughout their pregnancy that looks like a period and shows up when a period would is just, well, not sound. Bleeding can happen sometimes during pregnancy, but what's most common with pregnancy is a lack of bleeding. However, you haven't had a pregnancy risk, so you can assume this was your period.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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pocket_mouse_531
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Would it be normal then for me to still have slightly tender boobs even after the bleeding has stopped?
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Heather
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People can experience breast tenderness at any time in a cycle without it being due to pregnancy.

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pocket_mouse_531
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Is there any reason at all why a woman would bleed during a pregnancy, other than a miscarriage or spotting?

I'm certain this wasn't spotting, because it wasn't just a tiny bit of blood for a day or two; it certainly looked like a normal period. I guess I'm just overly concerned because I feel like every little thing that feels weird in my body (stomach aches, tender breasts, slightly cloudy urine, etc) is a pregnancy symptom.

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Robin Lee
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Hey There Poket Mouse,

I think it might help you to take a look at this.
Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul

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Robin

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pocket_mouse_531
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Hey Robin!

I've read the article, and I totally understand what it's saying. I'm kind of scared to just go and get a home pregnancy test because 1) there could be an answer I don't want to see, and 2) I could get a false negative and still be worried.

What do you advise I do?

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Robin Lee
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Looking back at your last thread, in which you assessed your own risk, it looks like you determiend that you did not have any risks.

Your options at this point are to take a pregnancy test to ease your anxieties, or to wait for your period to arrive, which will indicate that you are not pregnant.

What would you like to do?

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Robin

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pocket_mouse_531
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Well I already got what I THOUGHT was my period after any possible risks I might have had. I got it about a week and a half to two weeks ago. I don't think it was an implantation bleed or spotting because it got heavier on the second day.

Do you think I need to take a test? Should I just wait for my next period a few weeks from now?

What would you do in my situation?

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Robin Lee
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As we often say, if it looks like a period, feels like a period, and comes when you expect your period, chances are good that it's a period, particularly when we know there's been no risk. So, given that, where is this anxiety and doubt coming from?

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Robin

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pocket_mouse_531
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To be honest, it comes from a couple of places.

First, I made the stupid mistake once of researching on the internet whether people bled at all during their pregnancies, and of course on places like Yahoo Answers or Wiki Answers, there were people telling their stories about how they would bleed regularly during their pregnancies and whatnot. That kind of freaked me out a little and made me worry that what I'd had wasn't a period at all, but was a bleeding during pregnancy.

Second, I have never quite understood why having a period means that you are not pregnant. That has always confused me.

I'm sorry to have so much doubt though [Frown]

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Robin Lee
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To be frank, pregnancy concerns are only relevant when there has been a risk of pregnancy. You have already determined that there hasn't been.

Deciding whether you need to take a pregnancy test is something you need to do for yourself, based on what you're comfortable with and what you think would best help you right now.

As to why having a period means you're not pregnant, take a look at these articles to understand the biology of it. If you have questions about what you've read we can talk about them.

On the Rag: A Guide to Menstruation

Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction

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Robin

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pocket_mouse_531
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Thanks for the "On the Rag" article! I hadn't read that one before and it was actually really helpful.

I do still have questions though. The article said that period flows can vary, as in, they can be either light or heavy. How do you distinguish a lighter period from an implantation bleed or spotting? And could having what appears to be a normal period actually be an implantation bleed whilst pregnant?

Also, suppose you have vaginal intercourse (my boyfriend and I never have) and the man ejaculates inside, but then the very next day, you get your period. The sperm wouldn't have had enough time to get to your uterus yet, so could they still survive the journey to the uterus even if you're bleeding from your period?

Thank you so much for all your help!!

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Robin Lee
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Implantation bleeds are very very light, so no, a "normal" period wouldn't look like that at all. Plus, implantation bleeds are very rare.

Again, though, it's really not sound to imagine that a period might be something it's not when one has already determined that there is no pregnancy risk.

As you will have read in the "where did I come from" piece, it's not the sperm that gets to the uterus, but rather the fertilized egg which has been fertilized in one of the fallopian tubes, and gone through a few cell divisions before it gets to the uterus. As to whether implantation can happen if there is a period after fertilization, that's one of those things that we just don't know; it probably happens to a few people, but it's not something that's overly likely. Again, since you don't engage in sexual activities that could lead to pregnancy, this isn't something you need to even be worrying about.

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Robin

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pocket_mouse_531
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Thanks so much for the explanation!

I had another question. Recently I have also been feeling the need to pee, even when I don't have that much to actually pee out (please excuse my vulgarity). Is this normal?

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Heather
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If you've been staying very hydrated, and this has lasted more than a couple days, that can be something people commonly experience with a urinary tract infection or the start of one.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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pocket_mouse_531
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I would actually say that I haven't been too crazy hydrated. I don't drink too much, but I still feel as though I have to pee. [Frown]

Should I get this tested?

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Karybu
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It wouldn't hurt to have it checked out. Sometimes, if you're not hydrated enough, your urine is more concentrated and can be a bit irritating to the bladder (in which case drinking more water is an easy solution) but as Heather said, it may also be the start of a UTI, which is very easy to test for and treat.

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pocket_mouse_531
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Oh wow, I didn't know that! Should I try drinking more water first to see if that helps, or should I just get it checked out right away?
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Karybu
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Try drinking more water, but if it doesn't improve in a day or so, check in with a healthcare provider.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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pocket_mouse_531
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Okay thanks! I will try that [Smile]

I have also been peeing a lot more often than usual (or at least that's how it feels to me). Is this a UTI symptom or a pregnancy symptom?

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Claire P.
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Hi Pocket Mouse!
So, for you, it is not a pregnancy symptom, because it has been established that you are not at risk for pregnancy. A parallel situation could be saying you have a fever, and wondering if that means you have TB, even though, say, you happen to know you have never been exposed to TB- but it just so happens people suffering from that illness can have fevers. How does that sound to you?

And I actually would not rush to label anything you are feeling or experiencing a "symptom" of any kind- once you are already concerned and then you get into that mindset, it is hard to get out, and you could find that you are no longer sure whether you are actually experiencing certain "differences" or if your mind is somehow inventing them to fit the current obsessive worry.

On a similar note, I would suggest you try to stay away from Wikianswers and the like. Those posts are notorious for sensationalized misinformation, especially for topics that not as many people have a solid understanding of- like the kind of issues we cover here at Scarleteen.

Back to the UTI possibility: if you are really this worried, just go get tested. It's a very quick and easy test, and you'll be able to put this concern to rest very soon.

[ 09-08-2012, 04:33 AM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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Claire P.
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Another thing: I am not sure of your feelings about, or access to, birth control methods other than condoms, and this is in no way me advocating that you make any kind of particular choice regarding this, but just wanted to share-- when I was in my first year and a half of college, I was almost constantly freaking out about the possibility of pregnancy just like you. I used to have really irregular periods that came with weird side effect sometimes and not other times, which altogether could be really confusing and make me kind of paranoid in spite of being a health educator!
I eventually talked to my doctor about it, and after a long discussion, she recommended I try out Nuvaring. That was four years ago now, and I rarely experience that same obsessive concern, because my periods are now regulated, and even if I *did* somehow expose myself to a pregnancy risk(against all logical odds), I knew I was protected, so could relax.

Not saying my story should be yours, but while you are at the doctors for your UTI test, maybe see if you can also schedule to meet with him/her for a consultation appointment to discuss this? They may have a bunch of insights that wouldn't have otherwise occurred to you (or Wikianswers).

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pocket_mouse_531
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Wow, I hadn't thought about that! I will definitely consider Nuvaring. Did you have any side effects?

I also wanted to ask another question that I think will help to clear my pregnancy fears. Sperm can only live in a woman's body for about 5 or 6 days right? Because if that's true, then since the last time I did anything sexual with my boyfriend was on August 15th, and I got what I believed was my period more than a week after that date (I got what I think was my period on August 25th), even if any sperm had somehow gotten into my vagina, they would have died before I got my period, right?

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September
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The NuvaRing, like all hormonal birth control methods, does also have side effects. Whether the Ring is a good choice for you is something to discuss with your gynecologist. They may also recommend another method of hormonal birth control to you, depending on your personal needs and medical history. But all methods of hormonal birth control create an artificial cycle where you have a withdrawal bleed in the fourth week of the cycle.

As for your question, I am not sure what you are asking in terms of the sperm "dying". But since you did have a period, you can be sure that you did not become pregnant, as you would not have experienced your period if you had.

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Johanna
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pocket_mouse_531
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Oh, when I talked about sperm "dying," I just meant at the point that they would no longer be able to fertilize an egg. I thought I read in one of the articles here that sperm can only survive in a woman's vagina for 5 or 6 days. Is this true, or am I getting my information mixed up?
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pocket_mouse_531
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Oh, when I talked about sperm "dying," I just meant at the point that they would no longer be able to fertilize an egg. I thought I read in one of the articles here that sperm can only survive in a woman's vagina for 5 or 6 days. Is this true, or am I getting my information mixed up?
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pocket_mouse_531
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I guess what I'm asking is, if sperm did enter my body and more than 5 days later, I got what I believe was my period, is there any chance at all that I could be pregnant or that the sperm survived?
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Claire P.
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Nope- if you got your period, you are not pregnant.
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pocket_mouse_531
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Well see, I don't know why I'm so nervous about this, but I'm concerned that what I got wasn't really my period :/ it only came two days early, but there weren't any symptoms/warning signs that it was coming (cramps, bloating, etc) except some breast tenderness, and that makes me think it might have been something else.
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Heather
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Would you like to try and talk a little to see if we can't find what's at the root of your pregnancy worries, emotionally, intellectually, interpersonally, in terms of not having enough education about your menstrual cycle or reproduction...whatever is really going on here?

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pocket_mouse_531
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I'd love to, yeah [Smile]

To be honest, I don't know what the exact root of my pregnancy worries is. Definitely not knowing enough about my personal menstrual cycle could be a contributing factor. I was always under the impression that all menstrual cycles were exactly 28 days long, so it was kind of weird to me that they could be so irregular.

Also, when I started researching pregnancy symptoms and scares, I found a lot of people online stating that unusual things could happen, such as getting pregnant from just being touched with a little pre-ejaculate or having what appears to be a period even though you're pregnant. Reading things like that made me super nervous that anything that was happening with my body was a pregnancy symptom.

I also wanted to ask another question. Like I said before, I got what I believe (but am not sure) was my period on August 25th, and my next one is supposed to be coming up around the week of the 22nd of September. If it doesn't come, should I take a pregnancy test just to be safe?

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Karybu
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28 days is the average length of a menstrual cycle - it's definitely not everyone's normal, and even a regular cycle can vary by a few days here and there. It would actually be more unusual to have each cycle exactly the same length; our bodies just don't work that predictably. Have you ever charted your cycles? Keeping track of when your period starts, and how long the bleeding lasts can help you get an idea of what patterns there are over time, and can also make it really obvious when a period IS actually early or late, as opposed to your cycle just being a day or two longer or shorter that month. You can even keep track online, using tools like this one: http://www.mymonthlycycles.com/

Per online information, unless that information is coming from a source you know to be a sound resource for health info, it really isn't relevant. There's a rundown of how to tell good online resources from bad right here: Legit or Unfit? Finding Safe, Sound Sex Educators & Support Online

With your period, I'd say you can assume that what you got on August 25th was your period, so if you're expecting another one around the 22nd of September based on that date and don't get it, you can absolutely take a pregnancy test if you want. There's not really a need for one, but if it would help lessen your stress, go for it. (Really, you don't even need to wait, you could test now if you like.)

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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pocket_mouse_531
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Is there any way to tell if vaginal bleeding is anything other than a period? I mean, I'm pretty sure it wasn't spotting, because from what I understand, spotting is very light, just a few drops and whatnot. But could that bleeding have been caused by anything else?

Also, I'm kind of nervous about taking a test. How should I handle that?

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pocket_mouse_531
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And also, if I do miss this upcoming period, should I be concerned? I have not done anything sexual since the start of my possibly-period on August 25th.
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