Pregnancy cramps
Suffering cramps and spotting in your knickers doesn't always signal the worse

What our doctor says…

“Although it can be alarming, do remember that around 20 per cent of women have spotting. It can be due to the increased blood supply around the cervix, from the changes in hormones, or even after having sex,” says Dr Rob Hicks.

“It’s understandable that you’re worried, but it is always important to mention a bleed to your midwife so that she can rule out any problems, such as an ectopic pregnancy, low-lying placenta or an infection, depending on what stage of pregnancy you’re at,” adds Rob.

“When bleeding occurs later in pregnancy, it can mean there’s a problem with the placenta, so contact your labour ward for advice. And remember, the vast majority of women who experience bleeding go on to have a healthy full-term pregnancy.”

Why am I bleeding?

When you’re pregnant, suffering from cramps or bleeding is bound to get you worried, but it doesn’t always mean problems. As your body adjusts to pregnancy, your hormones can bring on spotting around the time your period is due – known as breakthrough bleeding. This light bleeding should be pain-free and brownish in colour, but if it becomes red or gets uncomfortable, speak to your midwife or GP.

Is it an infection?

Sometimes light bleeding can be the sign of a vaginal infection, such as thrush, which can cause your cervix to become inflamed. If you’re experiencing repeated spotting, ask your midwife to take a swab, so if you do have an infection you can get it treated as soon as possible.

Is it a miscarriage?

The first thing to remember is that the chances of a miscarriage happening are actually much lower than you might think. But, while 75% of women who bleed during pregnancy go on to have healthy babies, sadly there are times when it can be a sign of something more serious. If you notice fresh, red blood with clots, possibly accompanied by pain, it’s best to seek medical advice as this can signal the start of a miscarriage.

Is it an ectopic pregnancy?

Although ectopic pregnancies are rare, occurring one in every 150 pregnancies, they do happen. They occur because the fertilized egg has started to grow outside of the womb and is unviable. If left untreated, it can potentially harm your future fertility. Usual symptoms are bleeding, often described as looking like prune juice, accompanied by a painful cramping in your lower tummy, often on one side. If you’re worried, seek medical advice.

Why am I getting cramps?

Suffering mild cramps is a common pregnancy symptom among mums-to-be and nothing to worry about. The cramping should be milder than your period pains and is a result of your uterus beginning to stretch. But if you have severe or persistent pains, then you should get them checked out by your midwife or GP, especially if the cramps are accompanied by spotting, bleeding, vaginal discharge, fever, faintness or vomiting.

Real mums tell all…

“I had a small bleed at 13 weeks and all was ok. My cousin bled red blood during her pregnancy, and even though they scanned her, they couldn’t find anything wrong. Her and baby are fine though,” says K-Lou

“I had a fresh bleed at seven weeks, so I went for an early scan but they thought it was implantation bleeding. I then had another fresh bleed at 13 weeks, went for another scan and was told they didn’t know why it was happening, but the twins were fine,” says fall3n-ang3l.

For more mum stories, log on to our bleeding and cramping forum.

Did you experience bleeding and cramping when pregnant? Tell us your story below, on our Facebook page or tweet us @Baby_Expert

amanda pauley 23/01/2013 16:24:06
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7 comments on this
tanya123
Silver member

01/05/2013 at 23:49

i have been bleeding a little since i got 10 weeks , yesterday when i wiped it was a little pinksh and brownish mixture of blood and today i am spotting but its golden brownish , i am so scared and concerned , i have spoken to my midwife , i was fine at 7 weeks and things seemed good but she said to me shes not sure whats happening and she needs to see me tomo. i am dead scared and confused. plz help if anyone knows about it .
Cat8
Silver member

05/02/2014 at 17:36

Hi im 7-8 weeks pregnant and im bleeding browny red coloured discharge and im having period pain and backache can anyone reassure me this is normal
As im scared im miscarrieing
Shannon2
Silver member

14/02/2014 at 16:17

Hello. I am about 5 to 6 weeks pregnant and was getting what i felt were pretty severe menstrual cramps. they were intense, and i was convinced it was because my period was coming, which of coarse it never came, and i found out i was pregnant. Once i realized i was pregnant, i thought back to those cramps and it kinda scares me. They started when my fiance and i were "doing it" and lasted about 5 mins. It seamed like i would ony get the menstrual like cramps when i orgasm. Is that normal? I did get them one time in the middle of the night but it wasnt bad at all compared to that time.
Siera miran
Silver member

25/02/2014 at 18:31

I am 4 weeks and 6 days.......I bleed a lottt yesterday, when I went to doctor and checke date u/s, they said, the sac in my tummy was empty........they couldn't see anything. They checked me if I was getting miscarriage but the tube was closed but still
Siera miran
Silver member

25/02/2014 at 18:31

Did anyone go through a similar situation and what was the outcome
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