For women who spend years having a menstrual period, a pregnancy can be time off from those monthly cycles of bleeding. Occasionally, small amounts of bleeding occur during pregnancy, especially in the early weeks, which can be indicated by the appearance of a watery period. While not a true menstrual period, this small amount of bleeding is considered normal if it is infrequent and not associated with cramping or pain.
The body prepares for pregnancy each month by secreting hormones that develop the inside lining of the uterus. Once an egg is released, if it is fertilized, it will implant into the lining and grow. If fertilization does not take place, the lining is shed in menstruation, and blood and tissue from the uterus leave the body. The time of bleeding is a menstrual period, but if conception has occurred, a period will not resume until after the pregnancy.
A Watery Period
Sometimes, spotting or a light amount of bleeding may occur early in pregnancy. For women who normally have light menstrual periods, it may be difficult to determine if the bleeding is a normal cycle or the beginning of pregnancy. Many women also have a clear vaginal discharge during pregnancy, known as leucorrhea. If leucorrhea mixes with blood due to spotting, it can appear as a watery period.
Causes of bleeding early in pregnancy may vary. When the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterine wall, a small amount of bleeding may occur, known as implantation bleeding. A vaginal exam or sexual intercourse may irritate the cervix, also causing small amounts of bleeding. Women who have a watery period early in pregnancy should wear a sanitary napkin to determine how much discharge they are having in case of problems, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA).
Bleeding during pregnancy can also signify other problems. A miscarriage will cause bleeding early in pregnancy, but it will be heavier and may be associated with cramping. Later in pregnancy, bleeding can signify a problem with the placenta. For example, an abruption occurs when the placenta tears away from the uterine wall and causes bleeding. Copious amounts of red blood and pain should be brought to the attention of a physician, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
A short, watery period may indicate that labor will begin soon if it is seen late in pregnancy. When the body is preparing for labor, the mucous in the cervix will come out. This is known as a mucous plug. If there is any leucorrhea or amniotic fluid leaking, it may be a pink or red tinged in color. This can appear as a watery discharge but will not last as long as a typical period. Losing a mucous plug indicates that pregnancy is coming to an end, and labor will begin soon.