There are many reasons for bleeding in pregnancy. Not all are serious or mean your baby’s at risk. Here's some info you might need about bleeding
Most pregnant women who experience bleeding go on to have a successful pregnancy. But the sight of blood always makes us worry about miscarriage, so what are the likely causes?
“Any bleeding around 4 weeks could be implantation bleeding, which is probably due to the egg burying itself into the lining of the womb. It’s not uncommon to see spotting when this is happening,” says Virginia Beckett, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
You may also experience ‘breakthrough bleeding’ (caused by the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy) around the time when your period is due, which again usually shows as spotting.
Vaginal infection is another possible cause of light spotting in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
One possible reason for bleeding at around 9 weeks is an ectopic pregnancy, where the egg has started to grow in one of the Fallopian tubes or outside the uterine cavity. It occurs in one in 150 pregnancies.
“An ectopic pregnancy does not cause significant bleeding – the liquid is often described as looking like prune juice,” says consultant obstetrician Virginia Beckett. “But, unfortunately, if it is ectopic, the pregnancy is not viable and will have to be removed.”
So it’s important to get the bleeding checked out by your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Bleeding in pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem is serious, but you should check with your midwife or doctor and ask them to explain to you what’s going on.
Gail Johnson, midwife, from the Royal College of Midwives
“I had a little bit of bleeding at week seven and at first I wasn’t too worried because I knew it was quite common. However, I was still bleeding a little bit a week later so I asked my doctor if he thought it would be OK to fly. As a precaution he said to avoid flying at that point, so I cancelled a trip I had planned, and happily my pregnancy was fine anyway.”
Kim, 26, mum of Jules, 3
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