Bleeding in Early Pregnancy Due to Cervical Erosion

I am eight weeks pregnant and have had bleeding and dark coloured discharge. Although ultrasound verified that baby is okay, I had been told by two different physicians that I have an "eroded" cervix. Could this be responsible for the bleeding and could it endanger my pregnancy?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Early spotting during pregnancy can be due to many different things, and you are correct that yours could be cervical in origin.

A cervical erosion is a term used to indicate that the cervix is inflamed and "rough" in appearance. In the extreme, it can take on the look of ground beef.

It can be caused by a number of things: infection, childbirth, and use of an IUD or oral contraceptives. However, it may be a variation of normal.

The infections that can cause this also include such things as human papilloma virus (venereal warts), chlamydia, chronic bacterial and yeast infections. Unless the pap is abnormal, providers seldom worry about cervical erosions.

During pregnancy, the cervix becomes softer and is more prone to bleeding. If the cervix bleeds during intercourse or with a pap smear, it is usually painless; although it may recur, typically, in a few days it turns brown and goes away .

All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea and syphilis and should have a pap smear. If all of these are negative and there is no evidence of vaginitis, a "cervical erosion" is of no consequence and will have no bearing on the pregnancy at all.

If the pap shows changes or inflammation, the cause should be investigated and treated; a colposcopy and biopsies may be required.

If the bleeding is related to intercourse, you may have to find alternatives until the second trimester, when everything is a bit more stable and you are more confident about the pregnancy.

I hope this helps, and my best to you and your family.

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