Bleeding During Early Pregnancy: Should I Worry?

Is a little spotting in early pregnancy a sign of something terrible? We talked to the experts and found out.
woman sitting on toilet

If you see blood on the toilet tissue or your undies once you know you're pregnant, of course you're going to worry. But the presence of blood doesn't always mean there's something wrong.

If it happens in the first two or three weeks, it can actually be implantation bleeding from the fertilized egg burrowing into your uterine lining. But even a little later on, bleeding and cramping is not uncommon in the first trimester, says Freya E. Marshall, M.D., an ob/gyn at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of pregnant women have some bleeding during pregnancy, and half of them go on to have healthy babies.

Still, you should call your obstetrician anytime you have spotting or bleeding, says Dr. Marshall, so he or she can rule out miscarriage or other conditions like ectopic pregnancy or infection. In the meantime, it may help to know some of the other symptoms that often accompany a loss of a pregnancy: white-pink mucus, very painful cramps or contractions, brown or bright red bleeding, clot-like discharge, or a sudden drop in other pregnancy symptoms.

Pregnancy Facts: What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Pregnancy Facts: What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?

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