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Bleeding during Early Pregnancy
Gynaecology Obstetrics 


Pregnant women are most likely to experience vaginal bleeding in their first trimester (i.e. the first three months of pregnancy). This phenomenon is reasonably common – in fact it is believed that about 20% of all pregnant women will experience spotting or light bleeding during their first trimester of pregnancy and still go on to deliver a healthy baby.

There are different types and causes of bleeding during pregnancy. These include –

  • Spotting:

This usually occurs when a few drops of blood is noticed on the underwear, pad or liner.  This type of bleeding may not even soak the pad or underwear.


  • Changes in the cervix:

Hormonal changes in pregnancy can lead to changes in the cervix that rendering it softer and the blood vessels a little more fragile and more prone to bleeding. Bleeding can also result from a benign overgrowth of tissue in the cervix known as cervical polyp. Bleeding associated with this condition may be provoked by sexual intercourse or after a pelvic examination.


  • Implantation bleeding:

This is one of the more common forms of bleeding which occurs during pregnancy. It may be mistaken for a period since it may occur even before a woman realizes she is pregnant.  Implantation bleeding occurs immediately when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. It may occur when the next menstrual flow is expected. The signs and symptoms of this type of bleeding may include; bleeding or spotting around the time of the expected menstrual period.


Other Causes of Bleeding During Pregnancy


  • Miscarriage: this may be characterized by back pain, abdominal pains and the opening of the cervix which may occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Molar pregnancy: in molar pregnancy, there is an abnormal fertilization which may result in the growth of abnormal tissues within the uterus. This is also known as a hydatidiform mole or gestational trophoblastic disease and is quite rare.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: in this case, the fertilized egg may implant outside the uterus where there is an inadequate supply of blood. This is characterized by mild vaginal bleeding and may be experienced and accompanied with abdominal pain. If you know you are pregnant but have not yet had an ultrasound confirming that it is located in the womb and you experience bleeding or pain, you should seek attention quickly to rule out ectopic pregnancy



Bleeding during pregnancy can be due to a range of conditions. Please see your doctor if you experience bleeding during pregnancy.

You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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