Your human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, levels can tell your doctor quite a bit about your pregnancy. Your doctor will confirm your pregnancy by testing your hCG levels and the same hormones will tell your doctor more about your pregnancy later on, especially if you begin to experience bleeding or cramping.
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Initially, your doctor will perform a qualitative test, which tells whether or not hCG is present, at the beginning of your pregnancy. Your body doesn’t produce hCG hormones until you become pregnant, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Later in your pregnancy, your doctor may recheck these levels, which can help determine gestational age, how many fetuses are present and whether or not you’ve miscarried.
It is very possible that you may bleed early in your pregnancy, according to KidsHealth. Around your fourth week of pregnancy, you may experience bleeding and cramping as implantation takes place. This is often mistaken as a period for many women since it’s so early in the pregnancy; some women may not know they’re pregnant at this time. The bleeding can range from light spotting to a light flow. The implantation is the process where the egg begins to settle into your uterine lining. Another possibility, if you’re further along in pregnancy, is that you are going into labor. When you begin to labor, you may see blood and discharge, which is very normal.
Bleeding is not normal if it’s very heavy, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Bleeding heavily, or even just heavier than a normal menstrual period, can be an indication you are having a miscarriage. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding, you may also have cramps. The cramping is often low in your abdomen, as this is where the fetus is.
If you experience any type of bleeding during your pregnancy, tell your doctor right away. If your due date is not near, it could indicate a possible miscarriage. Your doctor can test your hCG levels to see if they’ve dropped to tell whether or not you’ve miscarried. He may also perform a physical exam. If your due date is close and you experience bleeding, this can indicate you’re going into active labor.
If you are unable to see your doctor right away while experiencing bleeding, take it easy and stay off your feet. You may even want to lie in bed with your feet elevated as sometimes doctors may order bed rest to prevent the loss of a pregnancy. Use caution while you’re pregnant when it comes to physical activity.