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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Threatened miscarriage; previous miscarriage

Question:  I have been bleeding for 5 days, have had ultrasound scan and baby's heartbeat was detected, I am still bleeding 2 days later and a little heavier, how long should i let continued bleeding go on for before i return to early pregnancy unit? I am really worried as suffered miscarriage in Dec. I don’t really have any pain and am 7 weeks pregnant. Thanks. M. (UK)

Answer: I wish I could give you a specific answer on this. The general advice is always that, if the nature of your symptoms change, it is time for that to be looked at again.

If you feel the bleeding has got heavier, even if this is only a couple of days after you had your pregnancy viability scan, you need to be seen again. This is understandably a very worrying time for you especially bearing in mind your quite recent miscarriage. Nobody will criticise you if you asked to be seen again so soon. I hope it turns out well in the end for you.

Unexplained early trimester bleeding

Question:  I am 16 weeks pregnant and began bleeding (brown blood with clots) at 8 weeks then at 13 weeks had heavy bleed, bight red blood with large clots which settled and returned to brown blood after a week. scan shows baby is ok. why is this happening? doctors cant explain here

Answer: Early trimester and even mid-trimester vaginal bleeding is notoriously difficult to explain. This is the reason your doctors appear not to have any answers to your questions of “why?”. In most cases of bleeding at that stage of pregnancy, neither the cause nor the actual source of the bleeding can be conclusively established. This is why it is almost always described using the generic term of ‘threatened miscarriage’. It is therefore not possible for me to be more illuminating on this matter. I do hope, however, that it is all behind you now.

Spotting in early pregnancy

Question: I am 9 weeks pregnant and started spotting on Friday (two days ago). Is this a sign of miscarriage? C (USA)

Answer: Spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy is always regarded as a threatened miscarriage until proved otherwise. The only definitive way you can get clarity about the status of your pregnancy is to have an ultrasound scan. This is regardless of whether the spotting/bleeding stops or not.

Bleeding in early pregnancy getting heavier...

Question:  I’m 5 and a half weeks pregnant and i started light spotting.... the doctor said i should be fine but sent me to have a scan the next day to see what was happening.. At the scan i discovered that the baby was still there and had a heartbeat.. Later that afternoon i started losing small clots and had really bad cramps. The doctor examined me and said that my cervix was still closed so i should be fine. Now the following day i have lost a few bigger clots and am worried i`m going to go to the Early Pregnancy unit on Monday for another scan to check and see if the baby is still there.....
I was wondering if it is possible to bleed and lose biggish clots and still not miscarry? Please help. S. (UK)

Answer: This is a worrying picture. Your situation has been managed correctly so far. Examination findings of a closed cervix were a reassuring feature (though not foolproof) but the abdominal cramps and heavier bleeding are not. Yes, it is still possible to have substantial bleeding in early pregnancy and go on to have a successful pregnancy outcome. Sometimes this signifies loss of one twin in very early pregnancy, which is where you are. However, the reality is that, for many, the sort of clinical picture you are describing characterises a miscarriage. I hope your news are going to be better.

Bicornuate uterus and miscarriage

Question: What is the prognosis for pregnancy outcomes in cases of bicornuate uterus-can steroids help to prevent miscarriage? M.P. (UK)

Bicornuate Uterus

Answer: Let’s get some facts straight first of all. Bicornuate uterus is, strictly speaking, not associated with miscarriage. However, there is a recognised increased risk of preterm labour, sometimes as early as the end of the second trimester. The most common pregnancy complication associated with a bicornuate uterus is an abnormal lie of the baby in the womb. This is, of course, because of the abnormal shape of the womb cavity. When an abnormal lie is found, a caesarean section delivery becomes necessary.

The other fact that is important to stress is that steroids do not prevent miscarriage. In fact they are not used in that early phase of the pregnancy. They could be used late in the second trimester or  beyond if an assessment is made showing a significant risk of preterm labour and delivery.

Periods during pregnancy?

Question: Is it possible for a woman to be pregnant and still experience monthly cycles(menstruation)? F.G. (Nigeria)

Answer: No, it is not possible to have periods when a woman is pregnant. If any bleeding occurs, and that is not uncommon, it won’t be a period. In early pregnancy it will be called a threatened miscarriage and beyond 24 weeks, that is antepartum haemorrhage. It is then up to the doctor looking after the pregnant woman to look for the cause of the bleed.

Anembryonic pregnancy

Question: What are the signs and symptoms of an anembryonic pregnancy? S. (USA)

Answer: Anembryonic pregnancy is difficult to detect early because it behaves exactly like a normal pregnancy with a viable fetus. This remains the case up until around the end of the first trimester when the tendency is for spontaneous miscarriage to occur. Because many women tend to have their first pregnancy ultrasound scan before this stage, it is usually a shock to find that they are carrying a pregnancy consisting of an empty gestation sac. They will, up to that stage, experienced the usual pregnancy symptoms. Anembryonic pregnancy is also known as a blighted ovum and is discussed in more detail here:

More questions and answers on the next page

Bicornuate uterus. The degree of indentation at the top varies , in some instances, virtually dividing the uterus body into two compartments.