Breakthrough Bleeding – What Is Breakthrough Bleeding?

Breakthrough Bleeding - What Is Breakthrough Bleeding?

Bleeding during pregnancy can be a very scary thing.

After the joy of finding out you’re pregnant, seeing the sight of blood can make your heart sink.

But not all causes of bleeding result in a miscarriage or mean you’re having one.

Breakthrough bleeding is one of those things.

Some women may experience what is known as breakthrough bleeding at around the time when their period would have normally been due.

So depending on your cycle, this would be at around 4, 8 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is often accompanied by the feeling that you would normally associate with your period arriving i.e. back ache, cramps, a heavy sensation in your pelvis, feeling bloated and ‘off’.

Of course the period doesn’t arrive (even though you feel like it will) because you are actually pregnant!

During pregnancy, hormones prevent your monthly period from occurring. Sometimes the hormone levels are not yet high enough to stop your period and therefore you have what is called breakthrough bleeding.

Breakthrough bleeding can last for around three months – after this time the placenta begins to take over hormone production from your ovaries.

Some women may experience bleeding throughout their whole pregnancy and still have healthy babies, under the close watch of their doctor or midwife.

Breakthrough bleeding is nothing to fear, but please – report any bleeding to your doctor or midwife.

Bleeding During Pregnancy Stories

If you’d like to read real-life stories of bleeding in pregnancy, take a look at our forum discussion on bleeding in pregnancy, where women share their stories of bleeding with varying outcomes. The bleeding during pregnancy discussion is a very long one over the years and has been carried on over three threads as below, so you’ll be sure to read about people in your own situation.

Also, you might like to read our article on bleeding during pregnancy, to read about the various reasons you may bleed during pregnancy.

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Kelly Winder is the creator of, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.


  1. I have only 2 days bleeding from last three months in my periods dates,even though I have regular periods for three to four days heavy bleeding then spotting till seventh day.I am thirty three years old and try to get it implantation bleeding?I am feeling frequent urine and heavy breast.I

  2. I have been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months now. I had my mirena removed 6 months ago. I had a full blown period a few days later around the 15th of the month. I then had another one on the 7th of the next month and then the 5th the next 2 months and then in November on the 1st. I started spotting with cramping the night before last. I spotted all day yesterday and woke up this AM still very little spotting. I usually start my period around this time. I took a pregnancy test and the urine had little blood in it and specks of bright red in it. Test was negative. Could I still be pregnant and to early to tell? Could this be break through bleeding? Any help or advice would be great!!! Thanks!

  3. My daughter is almost 7 weeks and in having bleeding somewhat like a period. She feels light cramping and bloating feeling. She had an ultrasound and baby is still there and has a heartbeat of 115. Is this breakthrough bleeding? Should she go and get checked out?

  4. am 9 weeks pregnant and have been bleeding for about two weeks now went to see the gynaecology and he/she am still pregnant but now am confused I don’t know what to believe is there any one out there in the same situation?

  5. Missed my period and about 3-4 days after I saw some spotting , then it stopped then came heavy for 2 days but it wasn’t consistent started and stopped every time then came more spotting (sorry tmi) . But I had cramping and headaches I never get headaches and this bleeding is not normal for me any ideas of what’s going on ?

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