Why am I bleeding during pregnancy?

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Bleeding during pregnancy is a common concern for expectant mothers. It can be scary, but it's not a cause for alarm most of the time.

Bleeding is one of the first signs of labour and can happen between 20 and 40 weeks. It can also be caused by an irregular heartbeat, a tear in your cervix, or an infection.

The good news is that bleeding during pregnancy doesn't always mean you're having contractions — it could be normal vaginal discharge or menstruation-like bleeding.

Is bleeding during pregnancy common?

Bleeding during pregnancy is common, but it can be scary! It's important to know that vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is often unrelated to serious complications or problems.

About half of all pregnant women will experience some type of bleeding during their pregnancies, such as vaginal spotting, brown discharge from the vagina, or red blood.

While these types of bleeding are typically harmless, it's always important to consult your doctor if you notice changes in your normal menstrual cycle.

When is it normal to bleed during pregnancy?

Bleeding during pregnancy is typically no cause for alarm.

If you experience bleeding, it's important to know that it's not always a sign of something serious — it could be an early sign of miscarriage or an indication that your placenta has detached from the uterine wall.

While this type of bleeding can be scary, it's usually nothing to worry about and, in most cases, will resolve itself within a week or two.

How much bleeding is normal in early pregnancy?

Bleeding in early pregnancy is normal. It may be spotting, heavy bleeding, or brownish discharge.

Suppose you have bleeding in the first trimester. In that case, it's important to see your doctor immediately so your healthcare provider can check for an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus) and other complications.

The amount of bleeding at eight weeks pregnant will affect how your doctor interprets the cause of the bleeding.

Light spotting or brownish discharge may signify implantation bleeding and is not uncommon in early pregnancy. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the wall of your uterus and bleeds slightly.

The amount of blood loss varies from woman to woman, but some women report spotting while others experience heavier bleeding similar to their period.

What causes bleeding during pregnancy?

It's normal to spot some in the early weeks of pregnancy, but if you're spotting more than one or two days in a row, it could be a sign that something is wrong. There are a few reasons why you might be bleeding during this time:

Implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding, which usually causes excitement and relief, can be tricky to interpret. It's not uncommon to appear similar to a period, especially at the beginning of a pregnancy or when it's light.

Ultimately, it's highly unlikely you are pregnant three weeks after conception. Extra evaluation is recommended if you have been trying for an extended period with no results.

Miscarriage

If your bleeding is heavy and lasts longer than two weeks, it could mean you're having a miscarriage. This is a common occurrence in early pregnancy, but if this is happening to you, see your doctor as soon as possible so they can help you decide what steps to take next.

Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo implants outside the uterus (usually in one of the fallopian tubes), which can cause heavy bleeding and pain in early pregnancy.

If this happens to you and isn't treated immediately, it can lead to serious complications and even death! Make sure you get checked out by your doctor ASAP if they suspect an ectopic pregnancy.

Placenta previa

When the placenta grows low in the uterus and covers all or part of the cervix, it's called placenta previa. This can cause light spotting or bleeding, especially when you're more active or have an orgasm. If you're experiencing this kind of bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.

Can stress cause bleeding during pregnancy?

Yes, stress can cause bleeding during pregnancy.

Bleeding during pregnancy is not always normal, so check in with your doctor or midwife if you notice anything unusual.

However, if you're having a healthy pregnancy, most bleeding is caused by something minor-like a haemorrhoid or vaginal infection-and will go away without treatment.

In some cases, however, stress may be blamed for bleeding during pregnancy. Stress can cause your body to release adrenaline into your bloodstream, which can increase blood flow and cause excess bleeding.

If you're experiencing any unusual bleeding during your pregnancy and need help determining whether it's normal or not, contact your doctor or midwife immediately!

What does chemical pregnancy bleeding look like?

Chemical pregnancy bleeding is a type of spotting that occurs during the first few weeks of pregnancy. It happens when the fertilised egg implants into the uterine wall but then dislodges before it can attach fully.

Chemical pregnancy bleeding usually looks like a pinkish or brownish discharge that's heavier than your usual period but lighter than a period you'd have if you were pregnant.

This type of bleeding signifies that you might be pregnant, but it's not conclusive evidence. It can also result from an early miscarriage or non-pregnancy-related conditions like an infection or trauma to your reproductive organs.

Your doctor can give you more information about what chemical pregnancy bleeding looks like and how long it lasts-but if you're worried about anything going on with your body or health, don't wait to see them!

The symptoms of chemical pregnancy bleeding may include:

  • Extremely light vaginal bleeding (you might not even notice it)
  • Light spotting (you might need to change your pad once or twice)
  • Pinkish or brown discharge

What is spotting?

PHOTO: Unsplash

Spotting is a common symptom of ovulation. A small amount of blood comes from the vagina, usually pink or brownish. Spotting can last up to two days, but it will stop as soon as you ovulate.

Spotting results from the release of an egg from your ovaries, so it's common to experience spotting right before or during ovulation. You might also notice that your breasts become sore, swollen, or tender when you're about to ovulate.

Spotting during pregnancy

It can be alarming when you experience spotting during pregnancy, but it's usually nothing to worry about.

Spotting is common for the first few months of pregnancy and is caused by normal changes in your cervix and uterus. Your cervix is dilated, which means it has opened up to allow your baby to pass through. You may also experience cramping as your body adjusts to this new position.

If you're experiencing spotting for more than two days in a row, if the bleeding is heavy or if you have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever or chills, contact your doctor immediately.

How to stop bleeding during pregnancy

If you're bleeding during your pregnancy, don't panic. It's normal for some women to experience some bleeding in early pregnancy. It won't be a problem if it's just a little spotting or light bleeding.

But if you're experiencing heavy bleeding or bleeding that looks like a period, it's time to get in touch with your doctor.

  • Here are some things that might help:
  • Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, such as spinach and beans.
  • Drink lots of water (at least eight glasses per day).
  • Take a vitamin C supplement every day.
  • Don't take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin during this time because they could cause more bleeding instead of stopping it.

If you noticed bleeding while pregnant, your first thought might have been that you've miscarried. But bleeding during pregnancy can be normal and healthy.

Whether or not you're concerned about bleeding during pregnancy, it's always a good idea to investigate whether it could be something more serious. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor in any case.

ALSO READ: Pregnancy nausea: Have you tried these remedies?

This article was first published in theAsianparent.