Bleeding during pregnancy can be very frightening for a future mother, but it is important to know that blood loss does not always mean a miscarriage.
Discharge of blood from the genital tract while waiting for the child is more common than you can imagine. Approximately 20-25% of women have this problem. Approximately half of the doctors diagnose miscarriage, but the second half of the women are able to continue the pregnancy. The most likely time for the occurrence of bleeding is the first trimester.
In some women, blood loss may happen only once, the others will have it for all 40 weeks. It varies from slight spotting to severe bleeding.
Do I Need to Report This Fact to the Gynecologist?
Required! Any, even insignificant, bleeding should be reported to the gynecologist at the antenatal clinic. Any loss of the blood of this nature will be considered “threatened miscarriage” or “threatened abortion.”
It is particularly important to see a doctor within 72 hours after the start of bleeding, if you have a negative Rh factor. Usually at the first pregnancy, Rh-conflict is not very sharp, but it is necessary to be safe.
Why Can There Be Bleeding During Pregnancy?
There are a number of reasons that are not always dangerous for a woman and the fetus. Some occur in the early stages, others later, but you need to be sure to pay attention to any strange feeling. Remember that if the bleeding is accompanied by spasms and pain, it is necessary to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Reason №1: Implantation bleeding
When the fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium, this results in the release of blood. Usually it lasts for a day or two, and comes at a time when you would have the next menstrual period. Blood is very bright,like if you cut your finger. It can also manifest itself in the form of small pink spots on the pad. Read more in our article “Signs of implantation bleeding.”
Reason №2: Menstruation during pregnancy
Some women have what is known popularly as the “washing of the fetus” – bleeding occurs at a time when normally the woman had her period.
In addition to bleeding normal feelings that you experienced during menstruation also appear – back pain, stretching the stomach, heaviness in the pelvic area, feeling of bloated abdomen.
During pregnancy, hormones prevent the appearance of menstruation. But sometimes it happens that their level is still not high enough to stop the cycle. In most cases, by the 3rd month the placenta takes over the production of hormones and the problem ceases to disturb the woman. But it is very rare that a woman can have this bleeding during the whole period of pregnancy, and they give birth to healthy children in time, but it is important to always be under the close supervision of the gynecologist.
This situation is not normal for a healthy woman, the reasons must be sought in violation of hormonal background.
Reason №3: Miscarriage or a threat of it
Studies show that about 30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (the medical term – spontaneous abortion). Usually this happens in the first 12 weeks, and the woman may not even know about the situation. The main reason for abortion is fetal abnormalities.
Once you have reached the threshold of 14-16 weeks, you can relax and be sure that your pregnancy is safe. It is therefore considered a norm not to tell the friends about the situation before this period, until it is known to likely have a favorable outcome.
Common signs of miscarriage: bleeding, cramping and pain in the back and abdomen. Women who have experienced it say that if the signs of pregnancy continued, the loss of the fetus could have usually been avoided. But when the woman right before the miscarriage sharply felt the weakening of all symptoms (nausea, swollen belly, chest pain), in most cases, the grief was inevitable.
Sometimes spontaneous abortion occurs without pain in the abdomen, and no bleeding. The level of hCG is increasing, and the signs of baby expectations disappear. To discover this fact is only possible with the help of ultrasound, where a specialist will diagnose the absence of heartbeat of the fetus and the woman will have to go through “cleansing”. For more information, read our article about the causes and symptoms of miscarriage.
Reason №4: Intercourse
Spotting often occurs after a passionate night with a partner. This is completely harmless and is caused by increased blood supply and softening of the cervix. Although this form of bleeding is not serious, inform your doctor. You do not need to completely stop sexual relationships with your husband, but it would be good to reduce too active movements of your partner.
Reason №5: Ectopic Pregnancy
It occurs when your egg is fertilized outside the uterus and is fixed there, usually in the fallopian tube. You may experience severe pain in one side of the abdomen, or general pain, with the feeling of weakness and nausea. If the tube ruptures, the pain may disappear for a few hours or days, but then it comes back and the situation is even more complicated.
There is an urgent need to get rid of an ectopic pregnancy, as it can lead to rupture of the fallopian tube, causing internal bleeding and damage of it. In such cases, the fallopian tube is removed together with the fetal egg, but that does not mean that now the woman can never have children. The chances are pretty high if the second ovary and fallopian tube are healthy.
For more information, read our article on ectopic pregnancy.
Reason №6: Problems with the placenta
Painless vaginal bleeding can be caused by an abnormal placement of the placenta. Sometimes the organ is very low on the wall of the uterus, just above the cervical canal. This is called placenta previa, and it occurs in about 2% of pregnant women. Previa inevitably leads to bleeding beginning at some point of pregnancy, generally after 20 weeks. There are several degrees of severity of this condition, and it will require repeated ultrasound to accurately diagnose it.
Another problem that occurs in 1 out of 200 expectant mothers, is a partial or complete detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall. Symptoms: severe pain and loss of blood. To learn more about the causes and treatment of detachment, read our article here.
What Should I Do?
- Do not use tampons, pads only.
- Regardless of the duration of pregnancy and the diagnosis which you suspect consult a physician as soon as possible.