According to the American Pregnancy Organization, "Pregnant women can have some light irregular bleeding during pregnancy, but it should not be like a normal period."
Some women may confuse this light bleeding with a light or normal period. Because you are expecting your period monthly, you may notice some spotting or light bleeding.
This type of bleeding may occur during the first trimester or 12 weeks of your pregnancy. This early trimester bleeding will be light pink or dark brown in color and is known as spotting. The light bleeding should not produce enough blood to saturate a maxi-pad or tampon. If you believe you are pregnant, do not use a tampon.
The National Institutes of Health said, "Up to ten percent of women have vaginal bleeding at some time during their pregnancy, especially in the first three months (first trimester). Bleeding is even more common with twins."
There are several possible reasons for bleeding. Possible reasons for bleeding during the first trimester include:
• Implantation bleeding
• Trauma to the cervix from intercourse (small amount of bleeding)
• Cervical irritation
• Ectopic pregnancy
• A threatened miscarriage
Bleeding during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may be a result of the following:
• Vasa previa
• Placenta previa
• Placenta abruptio
In very rare instances, a pregnant woman will have a full period. The American Pregnancy Organization said, "This can happen as a result of conceiving close to the time of the next menstrual period and can cause major confusion in terms of due dates."
You may also experience a full or light period if you have an ectopic or tubal pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is very rare and occurs in one out of 10,000 pregnancies.
Some medications or prescription drugs may possibly cause bleeding. If you experience bleeding after intercourse, stop immediately and contact your doctor. Your cervix may have experienced some irritation or trauma during intercourse.
If you experience any type of bleeding, contact your health care professional immediately. Also, do not use tampons if you experience bleeding during your pregnancy.
Reviewed on February 2, 2012
by Maryann Gromisch, RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Pregnancy FAQ: Early Pregnancy: American Pregnancy Association. Promoting Pregnancy Wellness : American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/pregnancyfaq.htm
Ectopic Pregnancy: Learn More on Ectopic Symptoms and Treatment. Women's Health Information: pregnancy, Infertility, PCOS, Fibroids and More!. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.womens-health.co.uk/ectopic.asp
Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003264.htm
Menstruation During Pregnancy. Women's Health Information: pregnancy, Infertility, PCOS, Fibroids and More!. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.womens-health.co.uk/menstruation-during-pregnancy.html
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