Continuous bleeding since pregnancy began?
September 13, 2010 3:39 PM   Subscribe

My wife became pregnant near the end of last month. She's been spotting continuously since implantation began, which means roughly 14 days. We're worried, and are looking for anecdotes from others who've had lengthy implantation bleeding.

Most sources online suggest implantation bleeding should only last a few days, but "may sometimes go on for as long as 10-14 days". She's about to pass that, and the bleeding isn't showing any signs of letting up.

She's definitely pregnant -- multiply-tested positive -- so it's not period flow.

The coloration was dark for most of that time, but has been getting brighter red in the last few days. In terms of flow, she describes it as "not enough flow to fill a pad". Basically, every time she pees and wipes, there's a little' bit of blood there.

She does NOT have significant cramping.

The OB/GYN wheels are turning, but they turn slowly, and we won't actually get to meet with one until later this week. Therefore, any accounts from others who've had a similar experience would be invaluable.
posted by Robson to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About 1/3 of healthy pregnancies have some bleeding-- sometimes significant--in the first trimester. It's better if the blood is darker. Two of my friends who have had healthy pregnancies had this issue-- one has a perfectly lovely 3 or 4 year old now and had period-like bleeding for much of the first trimester, the other is in her 4 1/2 month and the bleeding stopped ages ago but I think it lasted several weeks. She even went to ER for the bleeding at one point and was told "threatened miscarriage"-- but her doc just told her it was normal and not to worry and so far everything seems absolutely fine.
posted by Maias at 3:45 PM on September 13, 2010

my mom bled through all three of her pregnancies during the first trimester. it caused zero complications.
posted by nadawi at 3:47 PM on September 13, 2010

I hope that the other folks are correct. Sadly, this was a precursor to a miscarriage for me. However, my pregnancy tests were always positive but fainter than with my other pregnancies, so if she's got big, bold lines, I would worry less.
posted by Gucky at 4:11 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's really hard to say at this point. Plenty of women have bleeding as you describe it and it's within normal. However, for many women, it's the start of a miscarriage; there's no great way of determining which one your wife is experiencing other than waiting it out. Good luck.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:27 PM on September 13, 2010

I had intermittent light bleeding through the first few weeks of my pregnancy. Never did figure out what caused it, but the baby arrived perfectly healthy and at the appropriate time.

If your wife is concerned, she might request a few serial measurements of her beta-HCG levels; the rate of rise can be an indicator of whether the pregnancy is progressing healthily.
posted by Bardolph at 4:30 PM on September 13, 2010

I had that.

The result of that pregnancy is now a 1st Lieutenant.

(This is common. I had it with two of my pregnancies, actually, both resulting in live births.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:32 PM on September 13, 2010

When it comes to pregnancy, there are so many answers out there it is impossible to determine what is rational or reasonable. My advice, which comes from too much experience, is to stay away from doctor google. Your ob/gyn is no doubt ridiculously slow. They all are. But you will get an answer in time. Until then, try to stay as peaceful as possible, which may mean watching an entire season of Glee in one night. My thoughts are with you.
posted by Morpeth at 4:36 PM on September 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

If her HCG test comes back ok, then it's probably not a big deal. Try not to worry until you see the OB/GYN - they don't usually won't even let you make an appointment until at least 8 weeks after her last period.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2010

I had this with all six of my pregnancies. In two of them, it tapered off; in the other four, it got much stronger over a period of 24-72 hours, and turned into a miscarriage. If she's still getting strong dark positives on HPTs after more than a week, I'd say that there's probably every reason to expect that this is just how her body reacts to being pregnant.
posted by KathrynT at 5:02 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had that for about as long, possibly longer, had a scary ultrasound where they couldn't find a heartbeat, waiting another week, got another, and the baby in question is making adorable noises in the other room falling asleep right now as a health and happy 15 month old who had no other complications during the pregnancy. So talk to your OB, take some deep breaths, and try not to worry too much. The first bit of pregnancy is a complete rollercoaster.
posted by katers890 at 5:22 PM on September 13, 2010

I had that the whole first trimester with my first pregnancy. Freaked me out to no end. I sympathize with you guys completely. Nothing scarier in the first trimester than seeing blood. If I remember correctly it stopped at around 14 weeks, but it might have been later.

My second pregnancy I had a ton of bright red bleeding right at 11 weeks (right about the time most ectopic pregnancies are found) and atomic freaked again. Went to the ER for ultrasounds and the full nine yards.

Both pregnancies turned into healthy babies.

I have problems with ovarian cysts and it's my (completely uneducated) opinion that that's what caused the spotting as well as the epic bleed. Since having my kids I've had weird bleeding episodes unrelated to menstruation that mimic what happened during my pregnancies that have been diagnosed as cysts. The problem is that when the bleeding starts the cyst is already gone, so there isn't really a way to tell for sure.
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:31 PM on September 13, 2010

I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant with twins, and am in my fourth week of bed rest due to bleeding. I have had three scary, scary bleeds and have continued spotting. With the first two bleeds, I was under the care of my fertility doctor and he swore up, down, and sideways that they were the result of the progesterone suppositories I was using. After the third bleed, my regular OB found a ping-pong ball sized blood clot resting on top of my cervix. (As of last week, it wasn't visible anymore on the ultrasound and the spotting is decreasing.) And throughout, the babies have been just fine! I would push your OB to see you ASAP. My last major bleed was on a Sunday afternoon, and my OB fit me into his schedule on Monday morning.

I sincerely hope that your wife's pregnancy continues healthily. Try not to panic before seeing the OB, stay away from the medical internets, and take good care.
posted by killy willy at 6:11 PM on September 13, 2010

I wish that we could all offer you reassuring advice and have it help, but this is really an individual thing. And the worst part is that there is nothing to be done either way; it's not as though she can stop the worst from happening at this early stage. You asked for anecdotes-I bled bright red in the first trimester of all three of my pregnancies-like you are describing-not enough to need a pad but enough to see and freak out about on the tissue. One was ectopic, the other two are resisting bedtime as we speak. My mother tells me she had the same bleeding with my sister and I, who were both fine. Try to stay calm and stop reading stuff online, you're going to make yourself crazy. Best of luck-hope everything turns out okay.
posted by supercapitalist at 6:51 PM on September 13, 2010

My wife and I dealt with this. One thing I learned from our multiple visits to the doctors - they won't be able to tell you much more than the people here have about your specific chances. Most of the time, bleeding is not a problem. Sometimes, very sadly, it is. And the only way to find out is to wait and see. There is nothing doctors can measure to rule out miscarriage at this point. That is maddening, but there is little else to be done. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but the ob/gyn visit won't provide the full reassurance you are looking for. That said, every day that goes by the chances of miscarriage go down. And down and down and down. Even if there is continued bleeding. I wish you good luck, a beautiful child, and as much tranquility as is possible while you wait this out. It's definitely hard.
posted by centerweight at 9:45 PM on September 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I had weeks of heavy - like a heavy period - bleeding in first tri, from about six weeks onwards. I now have a healthy newborn sleeping on my lap.

As others have said, it's really scary. The uncertainty is the worst part. You just have to hang in there.
posted by rubbish bin night at 2:58 AM on September 14, 2010

It coudl be something called subchorionic bleeding. I had it but I did not bleed. It's somethign to be monitored but if it's light bleeding, it can be considered "normal".
posted by stormpooper at 7:29 AM on September 14, 2010

she should ask her OB to schedule a series quantitative hCG blood tests, so will just do the qualitative which just says "yes, you're pregnant" not much better than the pee-on-a-stick test. quantitative values will help give clues as to the rate of fetal growth. If the hCG levels aren't rising fast enough, it could be indicate the start of a miscarriage. IANAD
posted by jrishel at 9:14 AM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite] will just do...

I mean "some will just do"
posted by jrishel at 9:15 AM on September 14, 2010

I don't want to mark any "best answers" in here, because it's all equally valuable and equally appreciated, but I do want to thank everyone who replied.
posted by Robson at 12:54 PM on September 14, 2010

Agree with jrishel above. Call the doc and ask them to prescribe two HCG tests starting today. Your wife can go to a lab to have her blood drawn without needing to see the doctor.
posted by jrichards at 1:53 PM on September 14, 2010

Sadly, after tests, it looks like the pregnancy is non-viable. She's either been miscarrying slowly the whole time, or a miscarriage is coming in the next few weeks. We knew that was common in first-time pregnancies, so we were somewhat prepared, but it's still hard.

Thanks again to everyone here.
posted by Robson at 10:29 AM on September 18, 2010

I am so sorry to hear that. Hugs to both of you.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:33 AM on September 18, 2010

Oh, I am so, so sorry. Early miscarriage is devastatingly common, but that doesn't make it not devastating. Please be gentle with yourselves during this difficult time; love and light to both of you.
posted by KathrynT at 3:07 PM on September 18, 2010

Robson I'm so sorry for your loss. Knowing it's fairly common doesn't make it much easier to bear. Take good care of each other.
posted by killy willy at 10:10 PM on September 19, 2010

Sorry to hear that. the benefit of the hCG test is at least you know, instead of worrying about what's happening. It has the same benefit when things are going well. Good luck.
posted by jrishel at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2010

« Older Why can't I delete these folders?   |   Help me find a hat to wear in the desert. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.