It is usually not uncommon to experience some light bleeding during early pregnancy. If you’re 4 weeks pregnant and bleeding like a period, there may be an underlying reason.
Light bleeding often occurs around 2 weeks after conception, which would be around the fourth week of pregnancy. The date of conception is calculated based on the first day of your last menstrual period.
Spotting at the beginning of pregnancy is often referred to as implantation bleeding. This occurs when the embryo attaches itself to the lining of the mother’s uterine wall. After this, the baby can gain access to the necessary nutrients.
This blog includes:
- 4 weeks pregnant and bleeding like a period
- Bleeding in pregnancy: How long does it last?
- Positive pregnancy test but bleeding like a period
- What can cause bleeding during early pregnancy?
- Bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant with cramping
- Miscarriage during early pregnancy
- Complications with bleeding at 4 weeks
- Ultrasound scan when bleeding during pregnancy
4 weeks pregnant and bleeding like a period
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy usually comes as a surprise and can lead to a lot of worry for expecting parents. However, a small amount of spotting is usually nothing to worry about. If you are experiencing more than a small amount, you should speak to your doctor.
The doctor may ask you to estimate how much blood you are experiencing, which can be difficult. They will also ask ‘when did the bleeding start?’ and ask you to describe any pain you may be experiencing. They may suggest that you have some urine tests and blood tests.
These tests can hopefully rule out any serious complications and help to put your mind at ease. The tests may be able to assess the causes of bleeding. If you are bleeding heavy, they may need to perform an ultrasound scan in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Bleeding in early pregnancy: how long does it last?
Light spotting due to implantation bleeding usually only lasts for up to a week. However it is important to remember that everyone is different and may experience symptoms for different lengths of time.
For that reason, it is very hard to say how long bleeding will last in early pregnancy. If you experience heavier bleeding that lasts over a week or changes colour, you should speak to a healthcare provider.
When bleeding during early pregnancy, it is a good idea to use a sanitary pad. This may help you to assess how much bleeding you are experiencing.
Positive pregnancy test but bleeding like a period
For most women, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. So, it can be quite strange when you find yourself bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant. So what does it mean if you have a positive pregnancy test but you’re still bleeding like a period?
While it may still be the effects of implantation bleeding, it may also be due to hormonal changes. After successful fertilisation, your body starts to adjust hormone levels in order to prepare for pregnancy.
What can cause bleeding during early pregnancy?
Vaginal bleeding may occur due to changes to your cervix in early pregnancy. It may also be a sign of cervical erosion, also known as ectropion. This occurs when cells grow on the outside of the cervix. This condition can often cause minimal symptoms or even none, which means it’s usually only diagnosed during a routine assessment.
Cervical ectropion is a common condition and can often be associated with bleeding in pregnant women. It can occur during early pregnancy but is more common in the third trimester.
Bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant with cramping
It is not uncommon to experience some spotting at 4 weeks pregnant and is usually due to implantation bleeding.
It is also not uncommon to have bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant with cramping. This can be a sign that everything is preparing in the right way. It can be a tell tale sign that the embryo has implanted itself correctly.
If you are experiencing more severe cramps or heavy bleeding, you should seek advice from your nearest healthcare professional. These can be symptoms of more serious conditions.
In later pregnancy, bleeding with cramping can be a sign of placenta previa or placental abruption, which can cause premature labour.
A placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches itself from the uterus. These conditions can cause serious complications, so it’s important to seek advice if you think you may be suffering.
Miscarriage during early pregnancy
Unfortunately, having a miscarriage is much more common during the first trimester of pregnancy. This can be a huge worry for expectant parents so it’s important to act quickly if there’s a heightened risk.
You should also seek medical advice if you experience bright red blood when spotting, this could signify something more serious. Light bleeding or spotting is usually brown or light pink in colour.
In some cases, women experience a threatened miscarriage. This occurs when bleeding increases but a pregnancy continues. The cervix may also experience changes and in the case of a threatened miscarriage, should remain closed. This can lead to more monitoring during pregnancy to hopefully reduce the risk of miscarriage or preterm labour.
Complications when bleeding during pregnancy at 4 weeks
Bleeding with cramping at 4 weeks pregnant could be a sign of something serious, including a miscarriage or infection.
Infections could be urine infections or they may be sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes. It is very important to seek medical attention if you believe you have an infection.
There is also a risk that you may experience an ectopic pregnancy. This occurs when the fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb and often in the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can lead to a lot of pain and can be dangerous. Many women experience bleeding early during an ectopic pregnancy.
This must be dealt with at the emergency department. It could lead to a rupture of the fallopian tube, which can be life threatening if not dealt with quickly.
Rhesus disease occurs when a woman with Rh negative blood is exposed to an unborn baby with Rh positive blood. When this happens, the mother’s blood cells will begin attacking the baby’s blood cells. There can be complications associated with this, but most are uncommon due to injections and close monitoring.
In early pregnancy, women are offered blood tests to determine their blood type and assess the risks of some conditions.
Ultrasound scan when bleeding during pregnancy
You may be asked to attend an ultrasound scan at 4 weeks pregnant. At this early stage of pregnancy, this is likely to be a transvaginal ultrasound. This involves a lubricated wand being inserted into the vagina so that the baby can be assessed.
This method is necessary as your baby is so small so an ultrasound of your tummy wouldn’t provide enough information. A transvaginal ultrasound should not cause you pain and usually won’t take long.
It is normal for pregnant women to feel anxious when attending a scan. But there is nothing to worry about. Having a scan means that you will receive the advice and treatment you need if a condition is detected.
Don’t worry if you cannot see your baby, at 4 weeks pregnant your baby is the size of a poppy seed. You will likely only be able to see a small dot and the yolk sac.
Hopefully your early bleeding in pregnancy is nothing to worry about, but it is important to get checked over. If your bleeding gets worse or you experience other symptoms such as pain, seek help. This can help to put your mind at ease and eliminate many factors of bleeding and medical conditions.
Hey there, I’m Abigail!
I recently graduated with a degree in Marketing. I’m currently a freelance blogger and Marketing Assistant. I love learning new things and hope that you find my blogs useful and informative.
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