Pregnancy bleeding is alarming for every woman, even those who aren’t sure they want to keep the pregnancy. You may know that bleeding doesn’t always indicate a problem, but the possibility is still unnerving.
Use this blog to understand the difference between dangerous and normal bleeding. You’ll also learn when to seek medical care and why getting an ultrasound for your pregnancy is so important.
Spotting v. Bleeding
Not all pregnancy bleeding is the same. Spotting, for instance, is a common experience that many pregnant women have. It can be startling to see, but it’s usually not a sign of a problem.
Spotting typically involves a few drops or streaks of blood from your vagina. It isn’t enough to fill a panty liner. It might not even be enough to stain your underwear.
Bleeding, however, is a heavier amount of blood. You may need a panty liner or pad to contain it. Generally, you’ll see a more consistent flow of blood with bleeding and only sporadic drops with spotting.
Seeing your doctor is a good idea with either type of early pregnancy bleeding. They can check to see if the blood indicates a more serious problem or if it is normal.
4 reasons for early pregnancy bleeding
1. Implantation bleeding
After fertilization, your egg will implant into the wall of your uterus. This connection forms the base of the umbilical cord that will grow later on.
Some women bleed lightly from their vaginas during the implantation. It doesn’t hurt and you won’t even know it happened, but your body may still show this small sign that something has changed.
Since implantation bleeding happens so early in pregnancy, you may confuse it with your period. Unfortunately, it’s a common practice to calculate the age of your pregnancy from the first day of your last period. If you use the wrong date, you may be farther along than you think.
It’s always crucial to get your pregnancy measured with an ultrasound to protect your health and understand your options.
2. Ectopic pregnancy
Up to 5% of women experience an ectopic pregnancy. In these cases, the egg implants outside of the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies implant in the fallopian tubes, which is why they’re also called tubal pregnancies. The egg may also implant in the cervix, ovaries, abdominal cavity, and other parts of the lower body.
Unlike the uterus, these body parts can’t stretch to hold a growing embryo. When the embryo gets big enough, it will rupture the organ it is growing in. This kills the embryo and may kill the mother as well.
The only way to see if the embryo is in the uterus is through an ultrasound. Without this medical service, you may not know you have an ectopic pregnancy until it ruptures.
If you are bleeding because of an ectopic pregnancy, it may be close to rupturing. You may have other symptoms, such as low abdominal pain, discomfort when using the bathroom, shoulder pain, or a brown discharge. You should go immediately to the emergency room.
It’s also important to note: An abortion, either through surgery or the abortion pill, will not remove the embryo. Instead, you may develop a severe infection that may threaten your life.
Always have an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
3. Molar pregnancy
This rare condition affects the cells that usually become the placenta. In a molar pregnancy, these cells grow into cysts or tumors instead. Some are complete molar pregnancies while others are partial molar pregnancies.
In a partial molar pregnancy, an embryo may form but the placenta won’t. Unfortunately, the embryo can’t survive in this type of pregnancy.
A complete molar pregnancy, however, will have a placenta but no embryo.
If you’re bleeding because of a molar pregnancy, you will need an ultrasound to diagnose the condition and a procedure to remove the molar tissue.
Bleeding is often an early sign of a miscarriage. If your bleeding gradually becomes heavier and contains clumps of tissue or clots, you are likely losing the pregnancy.
You may also experience strong cramps, an ache in your lower back, and abdominal pain. Some women notice that their pregnancy symptoms lessen as well.
Miscarriage has many causes, not all of them understood. Most likely, you did nothing wrong to cause the loss.
It’s also okay to feel a bit of relief if you miscarry. You shouldn’t feel guilty, but you should seek support from loved ones and be honest about all of your feelings as you heal.
If you think you’re having a miscarriage, contact your doctor or visit the emergency room ASAP. You may be able to save the pregnancy. Additionally, you may need a procedure to remove tissue from your uterus if the miscarriage is incomplete.
Get a free ultrasound at Thrive Orlando
An early pregnancy ultrasound will give you important information about your pregnancy. You’ll know how far along you are and if you need to see a doctor for a potential problem.
Find the judgment-free care you deserve for your pregnancy. Book an appointment at our clinic today.