Bleeding During Pregnancy

There are many different reasons that a woman may have vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some women can continue to have light periods or spotting during pregnancy, especially during the first few months. A pregnancy test would probably help to ease your mind. A visit to your practitioner may also be in order, either for early pregnancy care or to find out the reasons for your symptoms. Here is a comprehensive list of the many possible causes.

Early Pregnancy and Implantation Bleeding
Are you experiencing first trimester bleeding? It's estimated that 25% of all women have bleeding in early pregnancy. One possible cause of this bleeding is implantation bleeding.

How Dangerous Is Spotting and Bleeding in Pregnancy

What is Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is lighter than menstrual bleeding, and consists of pink or brown colored blood. Implantation bleeding occurs when the trophoblast, or tissue that surrounds the egg, attaches to the endometrium and slowly eats its way into the lining. As it does so, it eats through the mother's blood vessels, forming blood lakes within itself. When these blood lakes form near the surface of the trophoblast, they often cause implantation bleeding.

Remember, the difference between period and implantation bleeding is the amount; implantation bleeding is considerably lighter than menstrual bleeding. Menses and implantation bleeding should be different enough so that you can tell. Here are some frequently asked questions about spotting:

    When does implantation bleeding occur?
    Usually 5-12 days after ovulation, so just around the time that you would be getting your period. Bleeding during ovulation is something different.

    What does implantation bleeding look like?
    Implantation bleeding signs are a light pink or brown colored spotting.

    How long does implantation bleeding last?
    The duration varies for each woman.

Miscarriage
Bleeding while pregnant doesn't mean that miscarriage is certain, but it can occur. About half of the women who bleed do not have miscarriages. Miscarriage can occur at any time during the first half of pregnancy. Most occur during the first 12 weeks. Miscarriage occurs in about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies. If you think you have passed fetal tissue, take it to the doctor's office so it can be examined.

Most miscarriages cannot be prevented. They are often the body's way of dealing with a pregnancy that was not normal. There is no proof that exercise or sex causes miscarriage.

Ectopic Pregnancy
Another problem that may cause pain and bleeding in early pregnancy is ectopic pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs in a fallopian tube, it may burst. Ectopic pregnancies are much less common than miscarriages. They occur in about one in 60 pregnancies.

Molar Pregnancy
A rare cause of early bleeding is molar pregnancy. It is also called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) or simply a "mole." It is the growth of abnormal tissue instead of an embryo.

Late Pregnancy
The causes of bleeding in the second half of pregnancy differ from those in early pregnancy. Common conditions that cause minor bleeding include an inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix.

Placental Abruption
The placenta may detach from the uterine wall before or during labor. This may cause vaginal bleeding. Only 1 percent of pregnant women have experience placental abruption. It usually occurs during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy. Stomach pain often occurs, even if there is no obvious bleeding.

Placenta Previa
When the placenta lies low in the uterus, it may partly or completely cover the cervix. This is called placenta previa. It may cause vaginal bleeding. Placenta previa is serious and requires prompt care.

Labor
Late in pregnancy, vaginal bleeding may be a sign of labor. A plug that covers the opening of the uterus during pregnancy is passed just before or at the start of labor. A small amount of mucus and blood is passed from the cervix. This is called "bloody show." It is common. It is not a problem if it happens within a few weeks of your due date.

Back to top

 

Worried about spotting? Learn what other women did when faced with a possible complication in the forum

Login to comment
(3 Comments)

Post a comment

prego88
Hi, my partner is about 5 to 6 weeks pregnant (we thought it was around 7 - 8 weeks but could be wrong) and woke up in the morning to find a bit of a bronish pinkish blood on her under wear when she wiped there was a little stringy blood clot, she was so upset it made me feel sick in the stomach, she went to work and after going to the toilet she noticed a little more spotting and a light brown to pink colour when wiping, i took her to the hospital and they did a internal scan to find a sack but no yolk or fetal pole, we have another scan on the 13th of April and we are very nervous, she has had some stomach cramps since and slight burning but no more spotting or bleeding since, what are we expecting can anyone help? any advice is mostly appreciated as its our first pregnancy
2 years ago
Naz786
Hi, I tested positive after I missed my period which was due 30 May. Then a 6 June late afternoon I started bleeding after intercourse. It started out light then progressed like a normal period with stringy clots. Bleeding subsided and lasted till 8 june. I had light period pains, nothing hectic. Could this be a sign of misscarage? I am to afraid to take a test as we have been trying to concieve for more than a year now! I am still feeling nausia and breast are still sore Ect... Any similar experiences ???
3 years ago
ambrosia321
Hi, I read all about bleeding while pregnant and still can't figure out if I am having spotting or if this is something worse. I am so nervous, I am afraid to look but I know this won’t make it stop. I want to have a baby so bad. I had a miscarriage before so i know about bleeding during pregnancy but I think this time it just might be ok. I am spotting and it is not a deep red color but the problem is, it just won't stop. Has anyone had this kind of bleeding when pregnant and then it turned out to be fine?
3 years ago
  • Jennifer
    by Rayann626 posted on Sep 22, 2014 5:57 pm
  • Ellen Dockery
    by Maude120 posted on Sep 17, 2014 3:07 pm
  • ellie15
    by Ms.Moore2006 posted on Aug 25, 2014 8:57 pm
  • Ms.Moore2006
    by Ms.Moore2006 posted on Aug 25, 2014 6:55 pm
  • cloudysun101
    by cloudysun101 posted on Aug 06, 2014 10:38 pm