Pregnancy is an exciting time for you and your family, but it can also be confusing. Changes to your body abound, and sometimes you may experience light bleeding or spotting. Approximately 20% of women experience spotting during the first 12 weeks, but it’s usually a lot lighter in flow than a regular period. This bleeding should catch your attention, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should panic. Heavy bleeding is of concern and warrants immediate medical care.

If you have spotting or bleeding and want to get checked out, Clear Creek Emergency Room is open for walk-in patients 24/7, even on holidays. We’re a Village Emergency Center facility located in League City, Texas. As a private, freestanding emergency room, we offer the same care and services as a hospital emergency room, but with minimal wait time.

Spotting is usually not an emergency

Spotting may happen anytime during your pregnancy, from conception to the end of pregnancy. Spotting can be identified as a few drops of blood on your underwear or a little discoloration when you wipe after going to the bathroom. Spotting usually doesn’t involve enough blood to cover a panty liner.

Causes of light spotting during pregnancy include implantation bleeding, which happens very early on in your first trimester. The point at which the fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining can trigger a day or two of light bleeding. It often occurs when you don’t even know you’re pregnant yet.

You may also experience normal spotting during your first trimester due to a cervical polyp, which is a harmless growth on your cervix. The higher estrogen levels that occur with pregnancy may make this polyp more likely to bleed.

Sexual intercourse, a gynecological exam, or heavy exercise can also cause you to spot harmlessly. If spotting continues more than a day or is accompanied by changes in your pregnancy symptoms, you should get checked out, just to be safe. And if you’re concerned about the spotting, give our office a call to ease your mind or to make a precautionary appointment.

Bleeding should cause concern

A heavier flow of blood that is most certainly not spotting deserves an immediate visit to Clear Creek ER. Bleeding requires a panty liner or pad to prevent soaking of your clothes. Bleeding can indicate a serious emergency with your pregnancy if you pass tissue from your vagina, have abdominal pain along with bleeding, or experience chills and fever.

What bleeding indicates

Bleeding can indicate a miscarriage. Most miscarriages do happen during the first trimester, but bleeding doesn’t automatically mean you’re having a miscarriage, especially if you don’t experience other symptoms, such as cramping. It’s important to seek care just in case, so the experts at Clear Creek ER can help determine other possible causes, such as infection.

Bleeding that is similar to a period may also indicate you have an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg attaches somewhere other than your uterus and is just not viable. One in every 50 pregnancies is an ectopic pregnancy.

The bottom line

If you have any concerns about bleeding during your first trimester of pregnancy, call your OB/GYN. Clear Creek ER is open all the time, so we’re available if bleeding occurs at a time when your doctor is unavailable or their office is closed. Bleeding or spotting during your first trimester isn’t always a medical emergency, but seeking ER care can put your mind at ease. Don’t hesitate to call the office, request an appointment online, or just walk in.