It is unusual for a pregnant woman to have any bleeding during pregnancy because once your body starts producing the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), your periods will stop.
However, during the early stages of pregnancy, the original menstrual hormones may break through, past your pregnancy hormones. This may cause some break through bleeding which may seem like a period but it is actually just your body slowing to adjust to the pregnancy hormones
There may also be bleeding when the fertilised egg implants into the lining of your uterus. This often occurs approximately around the time that your period would have been due during your normal menstrual cycle.
Unfortunately, in some cases, bleeding can be the first signs of a miscarriage. A miscarriage is when a birth ends before the 24th week of pregnancy. This is very common and can happen in one in five cases of pregnancy. A miscarriage appears a bit like a period at first however it is usually a lot more painful with heavier bleeding and worse stomach and back cramps.
If you have dark or watery bleeding, and sharp pains in your lower tummy, especially on one side, call a doctor straight away. You could have an ectopic pregnancy, which will need swift treatment.
An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
This means the egg will not develop into a baby, which can be detrimental to the health of the pregnant woman.
Sometimes, an ectopic pregnancy doesn't cause any obvious symptoms and one can only recognise it in a routine pregnancy testing. However, most women do have some symptoms, and these usually become apparent between week 5 and week 14 of pregnancy.
They include some abnormal vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, typically just in one side and an absent period.
It is always wise to go to a doctor if you feel something abnormal happening to your body, especially during pregnancy. It can erase anxieties that could occupy your mind for far longer than they should or save further damage from occurring later on in the pregnancy.