The first trimester of pregnancy can be a scary time for many women.
Often joy is eclipsed by worry while they anxiously await the twelve-week milestone when they can breathe a little easier.
As many as one in five women will experience spotting or bleeding in the earliest stage of their pregnancy, and while it may be a sign that something’s amiss, it’s not always a cause for concern.
Spotting is usually brown or pink — similar to what you see at the end of your period — while bleeding is usually lighter in flow than menstrual blood but more likely to be a brighter red, the amount of blood could be significant but regardless, the majority of women who experience a small amount of either go on to have a healthy baby.
If you do experience a touch of blood, the most important thing to do is get in contact with your doctor but here’s what could be causing it.
On Hello Bump Rebecca Judd and Monique Bowley talk all things month one:
About 20 to 30 percent of women will experience spotting at the very beginning when your embryo implants into the uterine wall. It usually happens before or around the time your period was due.
When you’re pregnant your cervix swells with blood vessels, so any kind of bumping — from sex or an internal exam — can cause a bleed.
Another common cause of bleeding is cervical polyps, which are harmless growths on the wall of the cervix. They may bleed due to the higher oestrogen levels of pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. It happens in about one out of 50 cases and requires immediate medical attention. It will often be accompanied by other symptoms including cramping or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or weakness.
A molar pregnancy is a rare condition, which occurs within a few weeks of conception, where a placenta becomes a mass of cysts attached to a malformed or non-existent embryo. Other symptoms, similar to those of an ectopic pregnancy will also likely be present.
You can read more about the first trimester here, and when in doubt, always speak to a medical professional.