Pregnancy, Bleeding & Miscarriage
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Pregnancy, Bleeding & Miscarriage

A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy that can include some light spotting or bleeding. Bleeding is also a sign of miscarriage. When a pregnant woman starts to bleed, she panics. It can help alleviate concerns when you understand how bleeding during pregnancy relates to miscarriage and what the signs of miscarriage are.


Miscarriages usually occur before the 20th week of a pregnancy, before the fetus would be able to survive outside of the womb. During a miscarriage, the fetus, the fluid sac and the placenta leave the body, but they don’t always completely expel. Sometimes, they must be completed medically.


Miscarriages can be caused by several problems. When the fetus fails to develop normally, a miscarriage can occur. In addition, issues with the placenta not becoming fully attached to the uterus can cause a spontaneous miscarriage. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Risk factors for miscarriage include maternal tobacco use, not eating properly, hormone imbalance, sexually transmitted diseases and drug use. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic medical disorders, such as diabetes or lupus, can also cause a miscarriage.


Several miscarriage like symptoms, including bleeding and cramps, can occur as part of a normal pregnancy. These symptoms can include slight spotting each month when periods would have normally occurred. In addition, light cramping that feels like a pulling on either or both sides of the stomach also accompanies many pregnancies.


According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), several warning signs will tell you when a miscarriage may be starting. Women are urged to call their physician if they experience back pain–whether it is severe or mild. This back pain will, at times, be more painful than menstrual cramping. In addition, a whitish or pink vaginal discharge can indicate that a miscarriage is underway. A woman who develops contractions that are 20 minutes apart or less should prompt an immediate call to the doctor, according to the APA. Any time signs and symptoms of a normal pregnancy suddenly go away, it may indicate a miscarriage.

Bleeding during pregnancy is not uncommon, according to the APA, but bleeding–whether or not cramps are involved–can also serve as a warning of miscarriage.


Though some miscarriages cannot be prevented, steps can be taken to reduce the chance of having one occur. The APA recommends that pregnant women continue with a regular exercise routine, make sure they are eating nutritious foods, take daily doses of folic acid, do not use tobacco products and avoid tobacco smoke, to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

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  • pregnant woman image by Valentin Mosichev from
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