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Brown Discharge in Early Pregnancy

Any bleeding during pregnancy is going to cause worry for the mother, however bleeding is very common and normally poses no risk to the mother or baby. This is particularly common around the 6 to 8 weeks pregnant mark.

When does bleeding indicate something more serious?

If the blood is red or is accompanied by pain or cramps please phone for medical assistance. Please do not panic – this does not necessarily mean you are having a miscarriage. Many mothers do experience this and go on to have healthy babies.

When is the cause of brown blood bleeding?

If your blood is brown then it is old blood. The likely cause is implantation or cervical erosion. Neither of these two are a cause for concern.

What is the cause of red blood bleeding?

This could indicate a number of different pregnancy complications.

Placenta previa – This is a condition where the placenta cover part of the cervix (your doctor will be able to spot this on an ultrasound). Usually the placenta will move away before birth, however if this does not occur then it can lead to more serious conditions such as vasa pravia (your cervix getting blocked by your umbilical cord).

Miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy– Light bleeding followed by cramps and or tummy pain.

Molar pregnancy – This condition only occurs in around 1 in 1000 pregnancies so this is not the likely cause. Molar pregnancy is when the embryo does not develop correctly but some of the cells that form the prcenta continue to grow. This needs to removed from the body as soon as possible.

Blow to the stomach/accident – Any fall accident can trigger the bleeding. If you have fall or accident during pregnancy you should seek immediate medical attention.

What to do about bleeding during pregnancy?

Please contact your midwife/doctor/hospital to seek advice. Explain in detail what is happening and let a doctor decide what to do next.

Around 20% of pregnant women experience bleeding during pregnancy (that figure is probably much higher due to number of women who don’t report the bleeding) so do not panic.

Go to pregnancy tips main page

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