Does Bleeding Mean Miscarriage – The Complete Answer

Bleeding during the pregnancy period is fairly normal. Pregnant women who already feel anxious due to their pregnancy will tend to overreact and worry about this condition.

So, if you run into these circumstances and wonder about the question, “does bleeding mean miscarriage?”.

This article will give you all the information and details you need to solve those worries. Scroll down for more!

Does Bleeding Mean Miscarriage?


What Is A Miscarriage?

A miscarriage is an unexpected fetus loss in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It happened when the fetus didn’t develop as expected and eventually came to life early.

Miscarriage often occurs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy with vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, lower back pain, or vaginal pain symptoms.

You should seek medical care as soon as possible after encountering any suspicious symptoms.

There’s about a 10-20 percent chance of this situation happening. However, there are hardly any clear reasons to clarify why this happens.

Thus, we can better prevent it by learning the different causes of this condition.

The most common reasons for this incident are food or medical poisoning, strong physical activities, and stress.

Controlling what you ingest and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to a lower miscarriage probability.

Does Bleeding Mean Miscarriage?

Because blood loss is usually spotted in the first trimester, it is often falsely assumed as a sign of miscarriage.

Unfortunately, pregnant women get highly alarmed when they spot any trace of blood.  So does bleeding in pregnancy always mean miscarriage?

Bleeding doesn’t always mean pregnancy losses. More than 90 percent of pregnancies experience bleeding in the first trimester without miscarrying.

In addition, after getting educated in pregnancy care, women realized that vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is a natural occurrence and should not raise any distress.

Moreover, bleeding causes can be minor and cause no harm to your baby.

Possible causes of pregnancy bleeding include implantation of the embryo into the uterine surface, body infections, or soreness. However, worrying is unnecessary when you experience light spotting only.

In most cases, vaginal bleeding is just the hormonal withdrawal of the placenta before it fully develops.

Thus it’s normal to experience this in the first 12 weeks. Additionally, cervix irritation or cervical misalignment can also be responsible for bleeding.

There are also cases when women are not aware of their pregnancy because they still experience bleeding similar to their monthly periods.

However, their babies are completely healthy. Thus it is safe to conclude that bleeding isn’t a direct indication of a miscarriage.

Bleeding During The Stages Of Pregnancy

First Trimester

Almost 1 in 5 women experience bleeding in the first trimester, and it doesn’t always result in a miscarriage.

There are many possible answers to the question, “does bleeding in early pregnancy mean miscarriage”.

  • Procreation Bleeding

Women may feel light spotting during the first 12 days after the embryo is attached to the uterus lining.

This bleeding can be mistakenly assumed as a light period when the woman is unaware of the pregnancy. Normally, this occurrence can last for a few days.

  • Ectopic pregnancy

There is a chance that the embryo attaches to the outside of the uterus inside a fallopian tube.

Following the embryo’s growth, the fallopian tube could be overloaded and burst. This could be a threat to both the mother and baby.

Although it is life-threatening, ectopic pregnancy is extremely rare, with only a 2% chance of happening.

However, it is still important for pregnant patients to be extra mindful. Common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are abdominal pain, heavy cramps, and light headaches.

  • Miscarriage

A miscarriage should not be your main concern during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Though you may experience light bleeding, it is not certain it’s a miscarriage.

It is more likely that other factors are responsible for your spotting.

  • Molar Pregnancies

Molar pregnancy (also known as hydatidiform mole) is a health condition where abnormal tumor-like tissues grow inside the uterus instead of a placenta.

In rare cases, this tissue is cancerous and can spread, resulting in damage to other parts of the body.

  • Cervical modification

During pregnancy, extra blood flows to the cervix. Intercourse or certain specific tests can trigger bleeding by making direct contact with the cervix. However, this type of bleeding isn’t a big concern.

  • Infection

Specifically, any infection of the cervix or a sexually transmitted infection (such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or herpes) can lead to bleeding in the first trimester.

Second Trimester

Light bleeding or spotting can occur in later stages of pregnancy due to similar causes to the first trimester.

Set a schedule with your medical provider to identify your condition to see if they lie in the following list:

  • Incompetent Cervix

An incompetent cervix is when cervical tissues are weak, resulting in the premature opening of the cervix. This can eventually lead to the risk of a miscarriage or preterm birth.

Unfortunately, this critical condition is the culprit of 25 percent of second-trimester miscarriages or preterm births.

  • Placenta Previa

This condition happens when your placenta is positioned lower than the belly and somehow blocks your delivery line.

Placenta previa may prevent babies from developing and cause mothers to bleed heavily.

If you are diagnosed with placenta previa, you should take lots of rest, ideally in a hospital where you can receive professional support in cases of emergency.

This medical phenomenon is extremely rare and only affects 1 in 200 pregnancies.

  • Placenta Accreta

If the fetus breaches into the uterine wall during development, a natural delivery on the due date can be difficult.

This phenomenon is called placenta accreta. It can be fatal if not detected early because it can cause severe late-pregnancy bleeding.

Fortunately, your medical counselor can detect this condition easily over periodical prenatal ultrasound analysis.

If there are signs of placenta accreta, your doctor will develop a specialized treatment plan for the delivery.

  • Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is when the baby is delivered prior to the 37th-week mark of the whole pregnancy and can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Unfortunately, this condition is sometimes mistaken as  normal pregnancy bleeding.

Mothers usually experience mucus plugs in early pregnancy. As the cervix prepares for delivery, mucus plug production will stop.

Thus, it is abnormal if you can still spot mucus plugs at later stages. Consequently, mucus plug can be an indication of preterm labor.

Seeing a doctor in person is necessary if you experience bleeding in the second trimester.

Make sure you notify your doctor if there is heavy, concentrated-red blood combined with other symptoms like abdominal pain or contractions.

Other symptoms of preterm labor may include soreness, abdominal pain, cramps, lower back pain or pressure, and diarrhea.

Third Trimester

Only one in 10 women bleeds in the third trimester. Therefore, it is a serious sign of possible dangerous complications with your pregnancy.

For safety reasons, you should frequently report to your local health care provider or a medical assistant.

During later stages of your pregnancy, you should be on higher alert as there are many severe late-term symptoms to watch out for:

  • Placenta previa

As briefly mentioned before, this is a condition when the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb, thus partially or fully covering the opening to the cervix.

This can cause serious problems if the mother opts to deliver the baby the natural way.

  • Placental Abruption

As described above, placental abruption describes the incident when the placenta detaches from the inner walls of the uterus before labor.

When this happens, the baby’s supply of nutrients and oxygen is cut off, causing life-threatening impacts on both the mother and the baby.

However, new mothers should not be too concerned because this condition only affects 1 in 100 pregnant women.

What To Do When You Encounter Pregnancy Bleeding?

While Bleeding

If you do experience pregnancy bleeding, the bleeding is often light and will stop in a day or two.

Moreover, most people go on to have a healthy baby at full term after the minor blood loss.

However, in cases when there is heavy bleeding, the risk of a miscarriage can increase exponentially.

In such circumstances, you will need to contact your primary care doctor or OBGYN immediately for professional advice and further instructions.

Sometimes, some of the pregnancy tissue may remain inside your body during blood discharge.

This can lead to heavy bleeding if not carefully treated. During a consultation, your doctor will tell you if you need further treatment.

Although bleeding does not necessarily mean miscarriage, heavy bleeding or discharge of pregnancy tissue at any point will require a visit to your healthcare provider.

If you’re experiencing bleeding, follow the steps below:

  • Note all remarkable factors related to the bleeding when it started.
  • Place a pad or panty liner to control the amount of bleeding. It is recommended that you use a pad instead of a tampon.
  • Make sure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration and get enough rest to reserve strength.
  • Be mindful of symptoms like distractions, lower back pain, nausea, vision reduction, etc.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until pregnancy bleeding has stopped.
  • Take pain relievers, such as paracetamol, if needed.
  • Inform your doctor of any problematic symptoms.

Post Bleeding 

Whether miscarriage or not, you should take extra care of your body after bleeding.

Make sure you do all the essential things for the body to heal properly, like drink enough water to ensure hydration, consume lots of minerals and vitamins, and take enough bed rest.

Most importantly, seek medical support immediately if your symptoms become severe and cannot be treated at home.

Furthermore, you should postpone sexual intercourse according to your doctor’s recommendation.

Experiencing bleeding while pregnant may create unwanted stress and anxiety, which can be harmful to new mothers and their unborn babies.

Doctors often suggest pregnant women communicate with their family members more to receive additional emotional support.


Does Cramping And Bleeding Mean Miscarriage?

Most women experience intense cramping and bleeding during the first trimester of their pregnancy.

Cramping and bleeding may appear as occasional symptoms even in successful pregnancies and thus do not necessarily indicate a miscarriage.

If you can only observe light spotting or mild abdominal pain and cramping, there is no need to worry.

On the other hand, strong cramping or heavy bleeding during the earlier stages of pregnancy could be a serious concern. You should visit a doctor for a professional exam and an accurate diagnosis.

Does Bleeding With Clots Mean Miscarriage?

In addition to cramping and bleeding during pregnancy, women may detect a few blood clots when bleeding.

However, the chances of you discharging pieces of detached tissues are very small.

Bleeding with a clot may not be a significant symptom that indicates miscarriage.

Nevertheless, you should acquire urgent medical support if your bleeding is severe because it could be a sign of labor or miscarriage.


Bleeding During The Stages Of Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and physical transformation.

This can cause symptoms such as bleeding, stinging, cramping, etc. These symptoms are sometimes mistaken as a miscarriage by new mothers.

However, we hope that this article provides you with sufficient information to answer the question, “does bleeding mean miscarriage?”.

Lastly, it is clear that bleeding does not always indicate a miscarriage since miscarriage symptoms can be quite vague and difficult to interpret.

Therefore, it is absolutely crucial for mothers to seek medical help immediately if they experience any form of discomfort.

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