If your period is usually as regular as clockwork, and you’re now late, you may well be pregnant. In early pregnancy, light bleeding or spotting is not uncommon.
In very early pregnancy, spotting may be caused by the fertilised egg attaching itself to the lining of the womb (uterus), known as implantation. Or, a light bleed when your period is due could be caused by menstruation hormones breaking through the pregnancy hormones. If you’re pregnant, you may find that the bleeding settles and your pregnancy continues
On the other hand, your period may simply be a few days late. You could just wait and see. Of course, the quickest way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test.
Pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). Your levels of hCG rise quickly after the fertilised egg implants. If you get a negative result, but your period still doesn’t arrive, try doing another test after a few days.
If the pregnancy test is positive and you’re bleeding, and have pain low down on one side of your tummy, see your doctor immediately. You could have an ectopic pregnancy. This happens when the embryo implants in the fallopian tube rather than the womb. Bleeding from an ectopic pregnancy is different from a normal period. The bleeding may be darker red and more watery.
bleeding with pain in your belly, may also be a sign of an early miscarriage.
There could be other explanations for your spotting. Your cervix could be inflamed, and bleed easily, perhaps because of an infection. If you bleed after sex, or after you’ve had a vaginal examination, tell your doctor.
If you do get your period, and haven’t had a pre-pregnancy visit to your GP, it’s worth doing so now.
Your GP can check that you are immune to rubella, which can be harmful to unborn babies, with a simple blood test. She can also have a chat with you about how to get your body ready for pregnancy.