Bleeding during early pregnancy can be caused by several things, but they don’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
In early pregnancy, if you discover you’re bleeding, it’s natural to assume the worst.
While most instances are fortunately nothing to worry about – nine out of 10 women who bleed in pregnancy go on to have healthy babies – it helps to stay informed so you can feel reassured and in control.
Any bleeding during pregnancy should be discussed with a doctor or midwife. If the bleeding is light, see your doctor or midwife in working hours, and they’ll send you for an early scan at your local hospital to check everything is OK.
If, however, the bleeding is very heavy, you have a lot of pain, you feel unwell, light-headed or dizzy, you should seek urgent medical help and go to A&E. If you do have any bleeding during your first trimester, your midwife or doctor can work out what’s happening and the best action to take.
Getting your head around the different reasons can take some of the edge of the panic before you get medical help.
Here are six reasons why you may be bleeding during the early stages of pregnancy...
If you find a small amount of pinkish or brownish blood, you have probably had an implantation bleed, something around a third of pregnant women experience.
It can happen up to 12 weeks after conception, as the embryo embeds in the wall of the uterus.
3) Cervical erosion
Bleeding can be caused by your cervix softening, forming a raw area. This is called cervical erosion or ectropion and the blood loss is small.
can cause changes in the cervix, making it more likely to bleed,’ says Philippa. This can be a particular problem during or after sex.
5) Threatened miscarriage
Heavy bleeding can be a symptom of threatened miscarriage, which is a term used when a woman experiences bleeding but the cervix is still closed. It can sometimes proceed to a full miscarriage.
See your doctor or go to A&E if they’re not available. The hospital will offer you a scan to check what’s happening and take appropriate action.
This is when the embryo has implanted itself outside your uterus – often in one of the fallopian tubes. The bleeding is usually accompanied by severe abdominal pain.
Because your baby cannot survive like this, an ectopic pregnancy requires surgery and your pregnancy, sadly, can’t continue. However, it’s extremely rare, occurring in fewer than one in 200 pregnancies.
Whatever you think may be the reason, remember that only a medical professional can give you a proper diagnosis.
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