Is Bleeding During Pregnancy Ever Normal?

Mar 09, 2023
Is Bleeding During Pregnancy Ever Normal?
Bleeding and spotting during pregnancy are common and normal but understandably raise concerns. They can be a sign of miscarriage or other complications. Here’s what you should know.

Bleeding or spotting during pregnancy affects up to 25% of pregnant women. Even if bleeding is common, it can be scary. While bleeding doesn’t always mean your pregnancy is in danger, it can sometimes indicate serious complications such as miscarriage.

If you have any bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, contact the OB/GYN team at Women’s Care of Beverly Hills in South Bay, Redondo Beach, and Beverly Hills, California. Our specialist team can check the cause of the bleeding or spotting during your pregnancy. Here’s what to consider if you notice bleeding during your pregnancy. 

Is it spotting?

Spotting is light bleeding, usually just a drop or two of blood on your underwear. This blood may appear dark brown, pink, or red. Spotting often occurs in the first 20 weeks, and most women who experience it experience a healthy pregnancy. You should still make an immediate appointment at our office so we can confirm what is causing the spotting.

A heavier flow of blood that requires a pad is of more concern. Bleeding accompanied by cramping, dizziness, and belly pain requires immediate care. If it’s after hours, head to an ER right away.

While pads or panty liners are safe bets to help with spotting, it’s important to note that tampons should not be used during pregnancy.

Light bleeding or spotting

Bleeding and spotting can happen anytime during your pregnancy. Some benign causes of bleeding include:

  • Side effects of intercourse
  • Hormone changes
  • Changes in your cervix
  • Gynecological exam
  • Certain prenatal testing like Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • Heavy lifting
  • Smoking (smoking harms your baby so speak to us about quitting) 

Spotting in the first six to 12 days of your pregnancy could be a sign of implantation – as the fertilized egg settles into your uterus. It may coincide with the regular timing of your period. 

Possible concerns early in pregnancy

When you experience bleeding in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, it’s important to get it checked out. It can be a sign of miscarriage, especially if the bleeding is heavy and period-like. 

Bleeding early in pregnancy can also signal an ectopic pregnancy. During an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg grows outside the uterus. These pregnancies are not viable and threaten your health. 

Our team can check for the rare complication of a molar pregnancy. This is when a tissue mass develops in the womb instead of a fetus. 

Bleeding later in pregnancy

Bleeding later in pregnancy should be evaluated right away. It may be triggered by having sex or a vaginal ultrasound. However, it may indicate that something is wrong with the cervix. This includes infection, polyps, or cervical insufficiency, which is the early opening of the cervix. 

Bleeding during the later stages of pregnancy can also indicate:

  • Preterm labor (before 37 weeks)
  • Placenta previa (when the placenta lies low and covers the cervix)
  • Placenta accreta (when the placenta grows into the wall of the uterus)
  • Placental abruption (when the placenta separates too much from the wall of the uterus)
  • Uterine rupture (when the uterus tears)

We treat the underlying cause of any bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. To protect your pregnancy, we may recommend you rest, stay hydrated, and limit physical activity. Depending on the cause of your bleeding, we may also ask you to avoid lifting items over 10 pounds.

Most women who experience spotting or bleeding during pregnancy do have a healthy birth. However, if you have any concerns, you should still contact us. Call Women’s Care of Beverly Hills at our South Bay, Redondo Beach, or Beverly Hills, California offices, or use the online tool to book.