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What does it mean to bleed during your first trimester?

Bleeding in early pregnancy, while common, should always be checked out by your healthcare provider. 1 in 4 women experience bleeding in the first trimester and around  70% experience some sort of bleeding during pregnancy. In most scenarios, Most women will go on to have a perfectly healthy baby even if they have bleeding or spotting.

There can be some light bleeding when the fertilised egg is implanted in the uterus. This is also likely to occur around the time of your usual period, making it difficult to tell the difference between implantation and more concerning bleeding.

During pregnancy, your cervix softens and a raw area forms. This raw area may begin to bleed if it is impacted, for example during sex. This is known as cervical erosion or ectropion.

Despite the fact that bleeding during the first trimester is common, it’s important to tell your doctor or midwife when any bleeding occurs, especially if it is associated with pain. . Every pregnancy is different and your situation may require a further investigation into the source of the bleeding. Your doctor may send you for an early pregnancy assessment to make sure everything is ok, which tends to involve an ultrasound to check your baby’s heartbeat, a cervical examination to ensure that your cervix is closed, a scan and a urine or blood test to check your hormone levels.

If your bleeding is heavy, meaning that a pad is soaked after a few hours, is bright red or there is clotting then you should attend the emergency department of your maternity hospital as soon as possible. If you have pain and bleeding, or pain alone, you should attend urgently for review.

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