4 types of bleeding and spotting in pregnancy

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Bleeding and spotting in pregnancy

Bleeding and spotting in pregnancy can be one of the scariest things to happen to expectant mums.

We don’t know what it means and whether we should worry. We often have to wait and see what the tests and ultrasounds say, just hoping for the best.

We’ve put a quick guide to 4 different types of pregnancy bleeds. No matter how small, always get yourself checked out if you see blood during pregnancy.

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Implantation bleed in the first trimester

Shortly after getting pregnant you may experience an ‘implantation bleed.’

This is when the implantation of the embryo on the uterine wall ruptures small blood vessels in the area that it implants into. This causes spotting.

It typically happens 9 days after ovulation so a few days before your period would normally start.

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Bleeding after sex

During pregnancy your cervix becomes engorged and anything that puts pressure on it, such as sex, can cause a bleed.

Always get checked out but if it is spotting rather than bleeding then most often this doesn’t cause a problem at all.

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Bleeding with abdominal pain

This is always a reason to see your GP.

It could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants outside of your uterus. It’s a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

It can also unfortunately be a sign of miscarriage.

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Bleeding in later pregnancy

Bleeding in your second or third trimester might be a sign of a number of conditions and you should always get it checked straight away.

It could for example, be an indication of placental problems or uterine ruptures from previous C-sections. So bleeding in later pregnancy requires urgent medical attention.

Bleeding is scary

Some women bleed, even heavily, for unknown reasons throughout their pregnancies and still deliver healthy babies. Others have bleeding as a first sign of miscarriage and have to go through the terrible ordeal of losing a pregnancy.

It’s always scary but it’s always worth getting it checked out.

Remember that everything might be completely fine so try to keep control of anxiety until you know the cause and what next steps you should take.

You can see our full guide on Common pregnancy problems and when to worry for more guidance.