Can I Be Pregnant If I Had a Lighter Period Than Normal?

Two pregnancy test: One positive, one negative
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A lighter period than normal can be caused by many things, including pregnancy, stress, illness, and other things. Sometimes a woman will have spotting and think her period is about to start and not see any more bleeding. This is usually implantation bleeding that has been mistaken for a menstrual cycle. It can also be that your period simply is lighter, but the same length of cycle. There are numerous ways that your cycle might be different.

"We had been trying to get pregnant, so I was paying very close attention to my periods," says Angela. "My period was on time, and I was bummed. But then it just acted weird. It was really light and sort of stopped and started, more spotting than anything. At first, I didn't think much of it, but then I read that this might be a sign of pregnancy. My friend talked me into taking a pregnancy test - I was really surprised when it said positive! Then we had an issue with how far along I was since I technically had had a period. A quick ultrasound solved that issue."

If you experience any form of abnormal period, I'd recommend a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test is the best way to tell if you are pregnant or not. Though you must wait until you miss your next period to get the most accurate results. This can be a home pregnancy test or a pregnancy test from your doctor, midwife or health department.

In most cases you do not have to notify anyone of the test or the results.

Even if you know you're pregnant, if you had a lighter than normal period, you should tell your doctor or midwife. This can alter your due date, making you further along or less further along than you had previously thought. Having the wrong date can shift some tests and other parts of your prenatal care.


The pregnancy test is usually the first step when anything is being strange with your period or menstrual cycle. This is an expensive and simple way to determine if you're pregnant, the most likely cause of something being different in your cycle, particularly if you have not been using birth control.

"I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant, but you never know," says Hillary. "So I took a pregnancy test after someone told me that a light period could mean pregnancy. Thankfully, I wasn't pregnant. I did go to my doctor for a check up, he thought it was related to my increasing activity at the gym."

If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant, find a real method of birth control. Condoms (male and female), birth control pills (oral contraceptives), intrauterine device (IUD), foams, Depo provera shots, patches... there are plenty of birth control methods to choose from and a variety of reasons why each one might be right for you. Be sure to ask your midwife, doctor or local health department for advice on the method that is best for you.


Menstrual Cycle: What's Normal and What's Not. Mayo Clinic. April 13, 2013.

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