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You’re not alone if you’ve experienced a little bit of bleeding your first trimester of pregnancy, 20% of pregnant women experience bleeding during the first 12 weeks according to Web MD, and a lot of the time there is no need for alarm.

However, bleeding can be a sign that something isn’t right, so it’s important that you know what could be causing you to bleed, and at what point you should call the doctor or hospital.

While we try to provide the most reliable information we can, if you do bleed during your pregnancy, we recommend that you get the opinion of a trained professional who can assess your individual circumstances.

Reasons you might experience some bleeding in your first trimester:

Implantation bleeding

As your embryo implants, you can experience some spotting. This happens around 6-12 days after you conceive, the bleeding should be incredibly light and last only a few hours or days at most.

Miscarriage

According to the information provided by the NHS, vaginal bleeding accompanied by cramping and pain in your lower abdomen can be a sign that you are miscarrying. Miscarriages occur in roughly 1 in 8 pregnancies. In most cases, the cause of a miscarriage is unknown and couldn’t have been prevented.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo develops in the fallopian tube rather than in the womb. This type of pregnancy occurs in roughly 2% of pregnancies according to WebMD. We have a separate blog all about ectopic pregnancies that you can take a look at here:

Read our Ectopic Pregnancy Blog >

Reasons you might experience some bleeding in your second or third trimester:

Bleeding later on in your pregnancy can often be a sign of a more serious problem. We recommend going to the doctors or the hospital right away if you experience bleeding during your second or third trimester.

Placenta Previa

Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta has moved or developed very low down in the uterus and can even completely cover the cervix. This condition occurs in roughly 2% of pregnancies & is often accompanied by heavy bleeding, stomach cramps and backache.

Placental Abruption

Bleeding or spotting in the late stages of your pregnancy might indicate that a placental abruption has occurred, this means that the placenta has completely detached from the wall of your uterus. This puts mum and baby a high risk as you are both losing blood very quickly. If you suspect this might be happening it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.

Premature Labour

If you are under 37 weeks pregnant and your bleeding is accompanied by regular contractions or a regular tightening sensation you might be going into premature labour. Other signs of premature labour include a “show” or mucus plug coming out of the vagina, or a gush or trickle of fluid (your waters breaking). If you experience any of these symptoms you should call your midwife or local maternity unit straight away.

During any of our scans, our trained sonographers are able to provide medical advice and reassurance if you have experienced any bleeding during your pregnancy prior to attending. This information is easily passed onto the NHS if necessary.

Our earlyAssure scan is ideal if you are seeking reassurance and advice before your first NHS scan, and is available from 8-13 weeks.

Book an easrlyAssure scan >