Bleeding during pregnancy

It's a fact universally acknowledged that pregnancy equals no periods, which is why bleeding during pregnancy can be such a shock.

The Mumsnet Talk boards are packed with women asking for advice about bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. Given that about one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, this isn't that surprising.

Bleeding can be a danger sign for miscarriage, so it's always advisable to contact your GP or midwife straight away. But try to remember that lots of women who experience bleeding go on to have successful pregnancies.

In the early stages of pregnancy, bleeding can also be a sign of ectopic pregnancy (where the foetus is developing outside the womb). Again, the only way to set your mind at rest is to get medical advice.

Other causes of bleeding during pregnancy can be:

  • Placenta implanting in the lower part of the uterus (placenta praevia)
  • Placenta beginning to come away from the uterus (placental abruption)
  • Vaginal infection
  • Cervical erosion

You may have a 'show' in later pregnancy. This is a small amount of blood mixed with mucus and is a sign your cervix is getting ready for labour.

If you're bleeding early in pregnancy, you will probably be given a trans-vaginal ultrasound to try to determine whether you're still pregnant and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

One mum explains what happens: "Basically they let you strip off your bottom half, you lie down with a cushion under your bum. They put a blanket over you to cover your lady bits and then they put some jelly on the end of the probe thing before inserting into you. Believe me, that bit doesn't hurt. It may be slightly uncomfortable at most but it really doesn't hurt."

What Mumsnetters say about bleeding in early pregnancy

  • I bled during pregnancy with both babies. With the first it was at eight and 10 weeks and like a period for one week each time. With my second pregnancy it was at 10 weeks again and lasted for a week. I never did find out what caused it, but each time it was so heavy that I was convinced it was all over. Both daughters were born fit and well. Mirage
  • I bled until 23 weeks, sometimes brown, sometimes red and had lots of pains, too. In my case, the placenta had torn away slightly, but bed rest and all was OK. Lucykate
  • Any bleeding during pregnancy should be taken seriously but most bleeds especially those that are brown result in the pregnancy continuing. Every time I have had any bleeding I always ask for a scan and you are entitled to it. You will only know what your outcome is by having a scan. Don't worry and suffer alone. I have had bleeding every pregnancy. Two have been fine and two haven't. Quackers 


Last updated: 8 months ago