Being pregnant is amazing in a million ways, but there’s no denying that it comes with some pretty painful and frustrating conditions. Morning sickness is probably one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, and if you have ever suffered through it, you know that it's literally worse than it sounds. While it’s totally normal to experience bouts of nausea and vomiting with morning sickness, you might be alarmed if you see something out of the ordinary, like blood when you vomit. It sounds kind of scary, but streaks of blood in morning sickness don't have to be alarming.
It's truly the amount that matters. If you're seeing just a few streaks of blood, you may not have anything to worry about. Tasha Kalra, an OB-GYN with MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, tells Romper that it is not unusual for pregnant women to see streaks of pink-red mucus or bright red blood with morning sickness. “Although it is very scary to see blood in your vomit,” says Kalra, "it can be common for women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.”
So why are you finding blood in your morning sickness anyway? In an interview with Romper, OB-GYN Dr. Mary O’Toole of Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills says that when a pregnant mom suffers from persistent and intense vomiting, the force from the stomach up to the esophagus may tear the tissue. Kalra adds that the streaks of blood are caused by the trauma to the little blood vessels in the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) during retching or vomiting.
Additionally, G. Thomas Ruiz, an OB-GYN at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California tells Romper that “if a woman sees flecks of blood in her vomit, it typically means that she has broken some capillaries in the back of her throat or esophagus which is causing the blood spots or streaks.” So if you’ve been suffering from severe morning sickness with intense and prolonged bouts of vomiting, it could be irritating your system and making you bleed.
All three OB-GYNs agree that the amount and type of blood you see in your morning sickness is an indicator of whether or not there is something more serious going on, so it is important to make note of what you see and how you feel when you vomit. “If the amount of blood is ever more than just streaks,” suggests Kalra, “women should be evaluated by their pregnancy care provider.” Heavy or profuse amounts of blood in your morning sickness are worrisome signs, notes O’Toole, and may warrant observation and an evaluation by a gastroenterologist.
If you are experiencing active bright red bleeding however, Ruiz suggests that you may have a Mallory-Weiss tear, so you may need to see a physician immediately. A Mallory-Weiss tear is caused when persistent and severe vomiting tear the inner lining of your esophagus, noted Healthline, which can cause bleeding. “Active bright red bleeding like this may be an emergency,” suggests Ruiz, “and may need to be repaired with an endoscopic procedure by a gastroenterologist.”
So unless you are bleeding profusely, or with pain, it seems that seeing a few streaks of blood here and there is not uncommon with morning sickness. However, it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor about any out of the ordinary symptoms or complications you are experiencing so that they can provide the treatment and relief options that are right for you. Luckily, morning sickness and pregnancy don’t last forever, so it’s just a matter of time before your symptoms subside and your bundle of joy finally comes home to relieve you.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.