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Bleeding and Spotting in Early Pregnancy

Bleeding and spotting during the first 2-3 months of your pregnancy is a
very common event and is seen in about 1 in 3 pregnancies. Though vaginal bleeding during the first 20 weeks without any other signs like passing tissue or cramps is also known as a “threatened abortion”, most women with early spotting will go on and have a healthy baby. “Threatened abortion” means that it is possible that the early bleeding could be an early indication of a miscarriage. An actual miscarriage is more likely if there is bright red blood, usually heavier than a period, together with cramping.

A miscarriage can happen over a period of several days, but the pregnancy in most women with some bleeding and a threatened abortion will continue normally and they will have a healthy baby.

When you are bleeding in the first 2-3 months and especially if you have pain in the lower abdomen, then the first thing to exclude is an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the uterus. If you previously had a sonogram and your doctor saw the pregnancy inside the uterus, then an ectopic pregnancy is usually not present.

Fetus ultrasound 14 weeks

Many women who bleed are concerned about the possibility of miscarriage and are reassured by a normal test.

Before the 7th week, especially shortly after you miss your period, a normally rising hCG (pregnancy hormone) titer is a reassuring sign that the pregnancy is progressing normally. You can check our hCG tool to verify that your hCG titer is rising normally.

The fetus' heartbeat can usually be seen after the 6th-7th week of pregnancy, so seeing the fetal heart beat on ultrasound after the 7th week is very reassuring, but it's no guarantee that it’s not a miscarriage and that you are not in the process of having a miscarriage. Even if you see the fetal heartbeat, a miscarriage may sometimes develop over several days and become evident only a few days later. If it makes you feel more comfortable to see the fetus' heartbeat then let your doctor know and ask to make arrangements for a sonogram.

The cause of a miscarriage in the first trimester is often poorly understood. It usually  indicates a faulty pregnancy, usually an abnormal implantation or an abnormal fetus. In either case there is no treatment.

Many doctors suggest that patients with a threatened miscarriage or bleeding stay in bed. Staying in bed may decrease the bleeding but no study has shown that this in fact prevents a miscarriage. Unfortunately, at the present time there is no definite treatment for this kind of bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy.

4 Posts
By: kpolo23 On: Nov 13, 2006  3:42PM

I found out I was pregnant in October. Three days later I started bleeding lightly and after a week of that, I miscarried. That was a Saturday. I went in that morning and the doctor drew blood and did an HCG test. I have done one twice a week since then. My tests showed the following levels of HCG (in order): 442, 339, 397, 282, 302. I have been bleeding steadily for 12 of the past 16 days plus the week before when I was spotting. Is this normal for a miscarriage? My doctor has scheduled an ultrasound for later in the week but I am freaking out because I don't know if this just means that some of the "products of conception" are still floating around or if there is something greater going on. My doctor says he doesn't know and wants to wait to see what the ultra sound says. Can you advise me on possible problems?

kitsch's picture
1 Posts
By: kitsch On: Dec 13, 2008  9:10AM

I am 4weeks 5days pregnant and i have been having some bleeding on and off since the day on period was due, tues 9th, i took a test anyway on the 10th and it was positive!! but the bleeding continued to come and go, when i was using the toilet. So i got scared last night as it seemed redder and more than before. I went to hospital today and told them, they checked my blood pressure and took urine to do their own pregnancy test ( still positive!!) and they reassured me that as i have what they see as a tiny amount of bleeding and no cramping pains i should be fine. they class having to use 5 sanitary towels a day light bleeding. So if you are having the same trouble, please get checked and try to keep positive. I was so scared today. And although we arent promised anything, i hope all of us are fine and have beautiful babies in good time! xxx hugs xxx

1 Posts
By: reachcutie On: Feb 8, 2009  9:34PM

I am 4 weeks and 5 days since the first day of my last cycle. I had some bleeding today which coincided with my due cycle date. So far it was only light bleeding for no more than 12 or so hours not enough to require a product just envident when wiping, now stopped. Had vey light cramping. I did get a blood test prior to my due cycle date as I felt I might have been pregnant and my level were 119. My GP did another blood test today and my levels are still rising to 191...he tells me it is good news, I remain worried guess it is a waiting game now fingers crossed all goes well and I am holding my baby in mid October this year. Wish you all well.

160 Posts
By: SKY9904 On: Feb 16, 2009  12:06PM

Hi All, I am new to this website. I have just started trying for my second baby... This time I guess we had unprotected sex on the same day I ovulated though I did not use any kit to predict ovulation. Just the watery CM was my indication. I was due for my AF today and I think it showed up though with a little amount. The things that were unusual this time were I usually have cramps a day or two before my AF. This time I have been having cramps since 6 DPO that is almost for 11 days continuously. I am very light headed. Feeling dizzy. Most of the time, I dint have AF cramps. But had sharp pain on the right side just like my muscle pulling All these, I thought, were symptoms. But today my AF is due and I started bleeding. :(( I think I lost this month. What do you think.. Please give me your valuable opinions.. .HELP HELP HELP

2 Posts
By: LANDONSMOM On: Feb 25, 2009  3:54PM

Hello, all you mommys ....I have recently found out I have miscarried at 11 weeks, I am scheduled for a D&C early tomorrow morning.I was just wondering if any of you ladies have advice as to getting pregnant again afterward,and any other advice you may feel i should know. We are extremely sad about our situation giving we have a beautiful baby boy who is now two and no complications with his pregnancy at all...So if anyone has advice please let me know i'm new to the miscarriage area and exteremly scared for what the future may hold on my chances of expanding our family! Landonsmom

1 Posts
By: Cory On: Mar 9, 2009  12:34PM

My daughter in-law found out last week that she was pregnant on a monday on Thursday she started cramping and bleeding the Dr. did a blood test and told her that the levels had dropped and she was miscarrying the took more blood work today (Monday) and called her and told her the numbers are up? So is she pregnant or Not?? here are the numbers Rachel

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