july 2019

Bleeding in pregnancy - what could be the cause?

Bleeding in pregnancy can have a variety of causes. Find out the reasons why it could occur and when you should seek help.

3 min read Karen McEwen pregnancy Recommended Products
Bleeding in pregnancy spotting maternity

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Bleeding during pregnancy can be quite alarming and frightening for women as it can indicate that your pregnancy could be having problems. This blog explains the possible causes of bleeding in early pregnancy through to labour, to help give you a better understanding of what is normal and when to contact your midwife or maternity assessment centre.

The 1st trimester- before 12 weeks

Bleeding before 12 weeks of pregnancy can be quite common. Your baby is still an embryo and is developing and changing at a rapid rate, as well as your placenta starting to embed and grow into the blood rich wall of your uterus. Spotting during the 1st trimester can be the result of this embedding process, as the growth of both the baby and placenta may cause a small loss of blood. If the bleeding becomes more than spotting or is accompanied by pain, contact your GP or your local hospital for advice. They will be able to talk about your symptoms with you and may advise that you stay at home or that you need to attend hospital to be checked over. Bleeding and pain can indicate that a pregnancy is miscarrying and will ultimately be lost, but equally it may settle down and you will continue to have a healthy and problem-free pregnancy.

The 2nd and 3rd trimester

Bleeding after 12 weeks of pregnancy is less common but can still happen. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for this, despite investigations that the hospital may do to try to find the root cause. However, these are possible reasons that you might experience bleeding during this time.