Is It Normal To Bleed During Pregnancy

Haematomas In The Uterus

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Haematomas in the uterus can also manifest themselves in the form of bleedings that come out. The detection of a haematoma is done by ultrasound examination, and the findings are harmless in most cases. Ruptures of blood vessels can cause haematomas in the uterine lining, and rarely a premature placental detachment is responsible.

When To Get Emergency Care

If you are experiencing heavy bleeding or bleeding that is accompanied by cramping, pelvic pressure, contractions, or a fever, you may want to head to the emergency room for an evaluation. But even in this situation, try not to panic. There is still a chance that the bleeding you’re experiencing is nothing to worry about.

In the meantime, be sure that you wear a pad and not a tampon so that you can keep track of how much you are bleeding. Doctors often want to know how quickly you’re filling a pad end to end. Likewise, if you pass any tissue or clots, save those if possible for the doctor to examine.

When Should I Go To The Doctor For Spotting Or Bleeding During Pregnancy

If youre at all concerned, don’t hesitate to talk to your physician. Heavy bleeding at any point in pregnancy should be reported to the doctor immediately, but spotting or light vaginal bleeding during the first trimester that goes away in a day or so can be brought up at your next prenatal checkup.

At this appointment, your doctor may order a blood test to check;hCG levels;or perform an ultrasound to check and see that your pregnancy is progressing.

But bleeding during the second trimester, even if its not much to see, should be discussed with your health care provider the day it happens. And if you spy blood during the third trimester, get in touch with your doctor right away.

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How Quickly Should Bleeding In Pregnancy Be Clarified

In case of heavy bleeding or pain occurring at the same time, it is advisable to go to a clinic immediately. The respective gynecologist can clarify mild bleeding and spotting. How much bleeding is normal during early pregnancy? and How quickly bleeding should be defined also depends on its appearance.

When Is Bleeding During Early Pregnancy Serious

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Although its quite common for vaginal bleeding to occur during early pregnancy, it shouldnt be dismissed.

There are signs to indicate bleeding might be due to more serious conditions. They include: heavy bleeding ; passing tissue or clots; and bright red blood rather than brownish coloured blood.

The most serious conditions will include other symptoms such as cramping, fever, pain in the abdomen or back, and tenderness in the uterus.

If you experience bleeding with other symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance.

If your bleeding is light or spotting, and lasts only a few hours or a day, without any other symptoms, contact your care provider for peace of mind.

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Some Pain Is Normal During Pregnancy

Growing a new life is hard work. And like most hard work, it can cause some aches and pains in muscles and ligaments. One ligament in particular is notorious for causing discomfort.;

Round ligament pain is common in pregnancy, particularly during the 2nd trimester, Arbuah-Aning says, noting that the pain is usually located in the lower back, groin, and pelvis and often worsens with prolonged activity. A maternity support belt can provide relief, as well as warm compresses and Tylenol as needed.

Expectant moms can also expect some muscle cramping during pregnancy. These cramps can be alleviated through light stretching, yoga, or increased hydration.;

Spotting Throughout The Trimesters

In general, doctors dont tend to panic about light bleeding in the first trimester, when spotting is the most common. If spotting happens early in pregnancy, we dont get too hot and bothered about it, Alyssa Dweck, M.D., a gynecologist in Westchester County, New York, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and coauthor of The Complete A to Z For Your V, tells SELF.

But if youre bleeding during the second half of your pregnancy, that could indicate a placental issue like placenta previa, says Dr. Dweck. Placenta previa is a condition where the placenta, the structure that provides oxygen and nutrition to the baby during pregnancy, implants over the cervix, the outlet for the uterus, the Mayo Clinic says. Placenta previa can be full or partial.

Thats a problem since the cervix is the passageway for your baby during birth. Any irritation to the cervix can lead to heavy bleeding and could be cause for emergency, says Dr. Dweck. If you have placenta previa, your doctor may recommend avoiding certain activities including sex, using tampons, or doing anything that could increase your risk of bleeding such as jogging, doing squats, and jumping, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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What Are The Causes Of Early Bleeding

There are a number of causes of bleeding in early pregnancy which include:

Spotting or bleeding may occur shortly after conception, this is known as an implantation bleed. It is caused by the fertilised egg embedding itself in the lining of the womb. This bleeding is often mistaken for a period, and it may occur around the time your period is due.

Hormonal bleeding is when some women experience a light bleed at around four to eight weeks of pregnancy, or around the time their period would have been due. This can be very confusing for women who are pregnant and is the reason many women do not realise they are pregnant for a while. Again, it is totally normal. This usually settles around the 13th week of pregnancy as by this time the placenta is sufficiently developed to produce all of the hormones needed to sustain the pregnancy.

After the egg is fertilised, the fertilised egg then goes on to implant itself into the lining of the womb . Sometimes this results in a little bleeding that shows up on an early scan as a haematoma. This is not anything to worry about. When it happens the woman may notice a small amount of vaginal bleeding, but this is not necessarily the case.

The haematoma will gradually disappear and in most cases, the pregnancy remains safe.

Can You Bleed Heavily And Still Be Pregnant

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Bleeding during early pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage, but miscarriage is not always the outcome of bleeding when pregnant.

Its thought up to 30% of women have some bleeding or spotting; half of them go on to have healthy pregnancies.

1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage in the first 12 weeks. Often a woman isnt yet aware shes pregnant and will have what seems like a heavy menstrual period.

Miscarriage bleeding can vary and is usually accompanied by cramping and pain in the lower belly area.

If you are having a miscarriage, there can be clotty material along with other tissue. Once this is passed, the bleeding and pain will;generally slow and then stop.

If you continue to bleed and have pain, medication and surgical treatment might be required.

Your doctor or midwife should provide information about bereavement support. The loss of pregnancy can be traumatic for women.

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Second And Third Trimesters

Second- or;third-trimester spotting or;bleeding is;concerning and is;more likely to be due to a pregnancy complication. Late bleeding can sometimes put your fetus and you in serious danger.

Always call your doctor;right away if you notice any spotting or;bleeding after the first trimester

The bleeding could indicate one of the following:

  • Placental abruption: This is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before or during labor.
  • Preterm labor: Labor has begun prior to week 37 of gestation.
  • Placenta;previa: The placenta is low-lying in the uterus and either partially or totally covers the cervix.

Tests For Bleeding Problems During Early Pregnancy

It can take some time for your doctor to be sure of what the bleeding means. You may need a number of tests, which could include:

  • Vaginal examination to check the size of your uterus and the amount of bleeding. This examination lasts a few minutes and may be a bit uncomfortable.
  • Blood tests to check your blood type and, sometimes, the levels of pregnancy hormones in your blood.
  • Ultrasound scan gel is rubbed on your abdomen. A hand-held scanner uses sound waves to provide pictures of the pregnancy. In very early pregnancy, more information is gained by placing a small, slender scanner in the vagina. You will need to have a full bladder before the scan. An ultrasound scan takes around 15 to 20 minutes. If an ultrasound is needed, it can be arranged through the emergency department of your nearest hospital or your local doctor.

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Potential Causes Of Bleeding During The First Trimester

You may experience some spotting when you expect to get your period. This is called implantation bleeding and it happens around 6 to 12 days after conception as the fertilized egg implants itself in your womb. This bleeding should be light perhaps lasting for a couple of days, but its perfectly normal.

Since miscarriages are most common during the first trimester, its normal to worry about bleeding early in your pregnancy. But as Dr. Alexis Svokos, an OBGYN at Geisinger explains, Once a heartbeat is seen on an ultrasound, more than 90 percent of women who experience first trimester vaginal bleeding do not miscarry.

During pregnancy, extra blood is flowing to the cervix. Intercourse or a Pap test, which cause contact with the cervix, can trigger light bleeding.

Preventing Miscarriage Next Time

Why you shouldn

Since most miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities or other health factors that are beyond anyones control, its important for women to understand that it isnt their fault, says Dr. Svokos. There isnt much you can do to prevent miscarriages. But staying healthy while trying to conceive and while pregnant is definitely the best approach. Her recommendations?

  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid alcohol, recreational drugs and cigarettes
  • Reduce caffeine intake to one cup a day

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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Many moms-to-be experience bleeding while they are pregnant. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association says studies show that 20-30 percent of women experience some degree of bleeding during early pregnancy. But how do you know how much bleeding is normal and when its a cause for concern? It depends on how far along you are, and how severe the bleeding is.

First, know how to tell spotting from bleeding.;

Spotting is very light bleeding. It is common in the first trimester. The blood will be light brown or pink, similar to what you see at the end of a period.

Bleeding is heavier. The blood is bright red and is more like the bleeding you experience when having your period.

If youre thinking about it, call your doctor.

How Can I Know Whats Happening

If you have vaginal bleeding or spotting at any time during your pregnancy, it is worth talking first to your GP. S/he may refer you to hospital for an ultrasound scan to try to see whether the pregnancy is developing as it should.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many GP practices are under severe strain, so you might need to contact 111 rather than your GP.

Many hospitals now have a specialist Early Pregnancy Unit or Emergency Gynaecology Unit .; They usually require a GP referral but you might also be able to contact them direct for advice. You can find information about your nearest Early Pregnancy Unit here;or you could just contact the nearest hospital that has maternity facilities.During the coronavirus pandemic, most early pregnancy or emergency gynaecology units are assessing patients by phone to begin with, to reduce the number of people coming to hospital.; Be clear and honest in describing your symptoms so they can give you the best advice on coming in or not.

If you;have acute, sharp abdominal pain, pain in your shoulders and/or pain on moving;your bowels, contact your GP,;EPU or midwife or if necessary, go to A&E .;Tell them that you are pregnant and describe your symptoms so they can arrange an emergency scan.

If you have;previously had an ectopic pregnancy, ask your GP or EPU for an early scan to make sure the baby is in the right place.

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What Other Problems Cause Bleeding During Early Pregnancy

Changes in the cervix: The normal hormone production during pregnancy can cause changes to the cervix, rendering it softer and more prone to bleeding. In addition, a cervical polyp may form, and this may bleed more easily during pregnancy. In both cases, spotting or light bleeding may be provoked following sexual intercourse or a pelvic examination.

Infection: A vaginal infection may cause spontaneous vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. The bleeding may be accompanied by an abnormal vaginal discharge.

Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy may sometimes indicate a serious problem. Serious causes of bleeding in pregnancy include:


  • Bleeding, abdominal pain, and back pain are common signs of miscarriage.
  • An exam shows that the cervix is open.
  • Tissue may be extruded through the cervix and vagina.
  • A miscarriage occurs in an estimated 15% to 20% of pregnancies, usually during the first 12 weeks of gestation.
  • A genetic defect confined to the specific embryo in question represents the most common cause of miscarriage.
  • Few circumstances exist wherein a miscarriage in progress can be prevented.

Molar pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy

Threatened miscarriage

Subchorionic hemorrhage

But I Really Want A Scan

Is bleeding during pregnancy normal?

If you want a scan because of bleeding or spotting, and you cant get an appointment at an Early Pregnancy or Emergency Gynaecology Unit, you could go to your nearest Accident & Emergency Department.; Bear in mind that you might have a long wait and that they may not be able to scan you there and then. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic is putting additional strain on many NHS services, including emergency services and unless you have extremely heavy bleeding or acute pain, it might be best to phone 111 instead.

If you want a scan for reassurance, you might decide to go for a private scan .; Clinic standards do vary so it is best to check on each clinics website:

  • if their sonographers are qualified radiographers, or midwives or nurses who are trained in ultrasound scanning
  • if they offer diagnostic scans
  • if they state that they refer women to NHS services if there or any concerns or uncertainties
  • if they are registered with the Care Quality Commission if in England, or adhere to the same standards if in other countries.;

Some private clinics are limiting their appointments during the coronavirus pandemic but most are still operating.

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Scanning In Early Pregnancy

An ultrasound scan is used during pregnancy for a number of reasons. In the first three months of pregnancy it can be used to check the presence of the babys heartbeat, which can be reassuring if you have experienced a problem, such as vaginal bleeding or pain. A scan will also be used to check to see if the pregnancy is in the correct place and to accurately predict the estimated date of delivery by measuring the end points of the embryo or fetus.

What Causes Heavy Bleeding During Early Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy may sometimes indicate a serious problem. Serious causes of bleeding in pregnancy include:


  • Bleeding, abdominal pain, and back pain are common signs of miscarriage.
  • An exam shows that the cervix is open.
  • Tissue may be extruded through the cervix and vagina.
  • A miscarriage occurs in an estimated 15% to 20% of pregnancies, usually during the first 12 weeks of gestation.
  • A genetic defect confined to the specific embryo in question represents the most common cause of miscarriage.
  • Few circumstances exist wherein a miscarriage in progress can be prevented.

Molar pregnancy

  • Molar pregnancy, also known as gestational trophoblastic disease or hydatidiform mole, is an abnormality of fertilization that results in the growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus.
  • Molar pregnancy is not a typical pregnancy, but the growth within the uterus leads to the typical symptoms of early pregnancy.
  • In a complete hydatidiform mole, there is only abnormal tissue in the uterus .
  • In a so-called partial mole, there is abnormal tissue growth along with the presence of a fetus with severe birth defects.
  • The fetus is typically consumed by the abnormal growth of tissue in the uterus, and a molar pregnancy cannot result in a normal fetus or delivery.
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding can be a symptom of molar pregnancy.
  • A sonogram or ultrasound is used to diagnose a molar pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy

Threatened miscarriage

Subchorionic hemorrhage

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What You Should Know About Bleeding In Early Pregnancy

Seeing any vaginal blood when you are pregnant can be frightening, but its important not to panic.

Its estimated 25-40% of women will experience some light bleeding or spotting during early pregnancy.

In most cases, the pregnancy progresses normally after the bleeding, without any further problems.

Its always important, however, to have any bleeding in early pregnancy checked by your care provider, to give you peace of mind.

What Will My Provider Need To Know

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Your provider may need to know these things to find the cause of your vaginal bleeding:

  • How far along is your pregnancy?
  • Have you had vaginal bleeding during this or an earlier pregnancy?
  • When did your bleeding begin?
  • Does it stop and start, or is it a steady flow?
  • How much blood is there?
  • What is the color of the blood?
  • Does the blood have an odor?
  • Do you have cramps or pain?
  • Do you feel weak or tired?
  • Have you fainted or felt dizzy?
  • Do you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
  • Do you have a fever?
  • Have you been injured, such as in a fall?
  • Have you changed your physical activity?
  • Do you have any extra stress?
  • When did you last have sex? Did you bleed afterward?
  • What is your blood type? Your provider can test your blood type. If it is Rh negative, you will need treatment with a medicine called Rho immune globulin to prevent complications with future pregnancies.

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