Learn More About Your Pregnancy

Bleeding During Pregnancy 

One of the scariest things that can happen  when you are pregnant is  vaginal bleeding or “spotting.” Fortunately, not all bleeding means that something is wrongbut it is important to know what to do if it happens. 

What’s normal 

Spotting is typically a small amount of blood-tinged mucous that you only see when you wipe with toilet paper after going to the bathroom or that you notice as a few pink spots on your underwear. The spotting that you may notice early in your pregnancy can be a sign that the embryo is implanting into the wall of the uterus. Known as implantation bleeding, this often occurs about two weeks after you have missed your period. This spotting is very short-lived and should not continue or get heavier. 

Another kind of spotting can happen after you have sex. During your pregnancy the hormones that are keeping the pregnancy moving along also make the cervix very soft. The blood vessels in the cervix become engorged and can bleed easily. You may notice a little pink or brown mucous-like spotting up to 12 hours after having sex. This is one of the most common reasons that moms call their providers early in the pregnancy. If you go to the hospital or call the office to tell them you have some spotting, they will likely ask you when you last had sex.  

When should you worry? 

Sometimes bleeding in early pregnancy can be a sign that you might be starting to miscarry the pregnancy. This type of bleeding is bright red and heavier, more like the start of your period. A persistent dark brown discharge may also be a sign that something is going on. Any bleeding that is also accompanied by cramping needs further evaluation and you should call your provider right away.