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.
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.