Why You May Bleed During Pregnancy
First Half of PregnancySpotting during this time is common, especially after sex, a pelvic exam, or a transvaginal ultrasound. In these cases, the blood might be coming from the cervix. It becomes tender during pregnancy and could be a bit inflamed or irritated. This type of bleeding can also occur prior to a miscarriage or with an ectopic pregnancy, but most often it is not a cause for concern.
Heavier bleeding during the first trimester can also be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. This bleeding doesnt mean a miscarriage will occur, or that you have an ectopic pregnancy. About half of pregnant women who have bleeding do not miscarry. The most important thing you can do is to let you doctor know about any bleeding, so that you can evaluated for the cause.
Second Half of PregnancyDuring the late second and entire third trimester, causes of bleeding can include:
Vaginal Bleeding In The First Trimester
During the first trimester, vaginal bleeding is actually pretty commonin fact, it occurs in about 20% of pregnancies, and most of those women go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies. The most important thing to know is the difference between light and heavy bleeding, and when to call your doctor.
For starters, theres a big difference between spotting and bleeding. The term spotting refers to a few drops of bloodnot enough to cover a pad or panty liner. You may already be familiar with spotting from your period days! Bleeding, on the other hand, means a blood flow thats heavy enough to require wearing a pad. If actual bleeding occurs during your trimester, wear a panty liner or pad so you can get a clear idea of exactly how much youre bleeding so you can tell your doctor. Remember that you shouldnt use a tampon or douche while youre pregnant.
Threatened Or Actual Miscarriage
A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation. Most often a miscarriage happens because the fertilized egg has complications that mean the pregnancy wont continue.
Its believed that 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and 80% of these end in the first trimester. The risk of miscarriage decreases once the babys heartbeat has been found on ultrasound. When you enter the second trimester, the risk drops to less than 1%.
Common signs of miscarriage include first trimester vaginal bleeding or spotting, cramping, backache, and stomach pains.
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Can You Spot Every Day While Pregnant
Spotting occurs most commonly during the first trimester of pregnancy it can however occur during any stage of pregnancy. If you experience spotting after your first trimester, this may be an indication that there is an issue with the placenta or cervix and so you should see a medical professional.This said, some women will have spotting throughout their entire pregnancy and will still give birth to perfectly healthy babies, with regular check-ups from their doctor.You can also have light spotting if you have sex while you are pregnant, although this tends to only last a few hours.
When To Worry About Spotting During Pregnancy
Spotting or bleeding during pregnancy is not expected and may be abnormal, but it is not always a cause for concern. However, it is important to contact your healthcare provider to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing. The good news is that 50% of women with bleeding during pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Any spotting or bleeding in the second or third trimesters should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. In the first trimester, spotting is somewhat more common, but should also be reported to your doctor or midwife.
Call your obstetrician especially if you notice heavy bleeding similar to a menstrual period to make sure the bleeding is not a result of pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy. Abnormal bleeding in late pregnancy may be more serious because it can signal a complication with you or your baby. Call your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any bleeding in your second or third trimester. Your healthcare provider will most likely check for cervical polyps, and make sure your cervix is closed.To help manage your spotting during pregnancy and to increase the probability of continuing with a healthy pregnancy, your healthcare provider may encourage you to do the following:
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What Complications Can Arise From Gingivitis
Gingivitis doesn’t only affect pregnant women. According to the statistics published in the Journal of Dental Research, nearly half of adults over 30 in the US have some form of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. This more severe form of gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out. Periodontal diseases in pregnant women are risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes like:
- Preterm birth
- And gestational diabetes
That’s why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and make regular visits with your dental professional when you are pregnant. Give them a call to find out how many visits they recommend for your individual needs.
When Should I Be Worried About Bleeding During Pregnancy
All vaginal blood loss during pregnancy needs medical assessment, even if its normal bleeding in the first trimester.
If you have any cramping, regular period-like pain, or fever, you should seek medical assistance quickly.
You especially need to see a doctor or midwife within 72 hours of any bleeding if you have a rhesus negative blood group .
This is to check whether your babys blood might have mixed with yours. If the blood has been mixed, and your baby is rhesus positive your body will see this as foreign matter and produce antibodies.
In the future, if you have any subsequent pregnancies, these antibodies will attack a baby with a positive blood type.
Find out more in Rhesus Factor And Pregnancy: A Must Read If You Have Rh- Blood.
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When Should I Seek Medical Help
You should always mention any type of bleeding or spotting to your doctor at your next pregnancy appointment. If you want to get their opinion as to whether or not theyd like to see you sooner you can call them between appointments.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with your bleeding or spotting, either ask your doctor for an immediate appointment or head to the local emergency room if they cant fit you in:
- Severe, painful cramping.
- Bright red, heavy bleeding that soaks a pad.
- A rush of fluid in addition to blood.
- Severe nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
- Chills and high fever .
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, use a sanitary pad to manage it until you can be seen by the doctor. If you do not have a pad on hand, you can stuff a baby diaper in your underwear or a washcloth. Never use a tampon while pregnant.
The Difference Between Spotting And Bleeding
Spotting is when you notice a few drops of blood every now and then on your underwear. It is not enough to cover a panty liner.
Bleeding is a heavier flow of blood. With bleeding, you will need a liner or pad to keep the blood from soaking your clothes.
Ask your health care provider more about the difference between spotting and bleeding at one of your first prenatal visits.
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What Should I Do If I Have Heavy Bleeding While Pregnant
Inform your doctor. If due to miscarriage and the baby is alive, your doctor will encourage bed rest with ultrasound to monitor your pregnancy. If your baby is not alive, your doctor will evacuate products of conception to stop bleeding.
In addition, if your bleeding is severe, blood transfusion may be necessary to prevent anemia in pregnancy.
When Should I Go See A Doctor About Spotting During Pregnancy
Make sure that you let your doctor know about all bleeding that you experience, even if it is only spotting. They will be able to tell you whether your bleeding should be monitored or that it is a normal part of your pregnancy.If you have any changes to the intensity of the blood flow within the first trimester you should check in with your healthcare professional straight away, and if you experience bleeding anytime during your second and third trimesters you should seek immediate medical attention.Breakthrough bleeding is often nothing to worry about and it is simply your body continuing with its normal menstrual cycle during pregnancy. However, it is important that you always seek the advice of your doctor or OB/GYN when any bleeding occurs so that you can keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.
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Implantation Bleeding Or Streaking
When a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining, it can result in light bleeding or streaking called implantation bleeding.
Usually, it lasts a couple of days in the first trimester and occurs around the time of implantation or when your period would have been due.
Some mothers mistakenly think they have simply had a light period and dont realize they are pregnant.
For more information please read Implantation Bleeding Everything You Need To Know.
Finding Out The Cause Of Bleeding In Pregnancy
To work out what is causing the bleeding, you may need to have a vaginal or pelvic examination, an ultrasound scan or blood tests to check your hormone levels.
Your doctor will also ask you about other symptoms, such as cramp, pain and dizziness. Sometimes it might not be possible to find out what caused the bleeding.
If your symptoms are not severe and your baby is not due for a while, you’ll be monitored and, in some cases, kept in hospital for observation.
How long you need to stay in hospital depends on the cause of the bleeding and how many weeks pregnant you are.
Being in hospital allows staff to keep an eye on you and your baby, so they can act quickly if there are further problems.
Find the answers to common health problems in pregnancy.
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Second And Third Trimester Vaginal Bleeding
While light vaginal bleeding is fairly common during your first trimester, its more serious in your second and third trimesters. Like the first trimester, however, sometimes having sex or a pelvic examination can cause light bleeding. Problems with your cervix, like cervix insufficiency or infection can also lead to bleeding.
Some more serious causes of bleeding and heavy bleeding later in pregnancy include placenta previa, preterm labor, uterine rupture, or placental abruption.
Any time you notice bleeding at any stage of pregnancy, its reasonable to call your doctoreven if its light bleeding, it could be a sign of some serious problems to come. If youre experiencing heavy bleeding accompanied by pain or cramping, seek immediate medical attention.
For more of what you need to know, at RMC today.
Can I Take Pain Relief Medication During Pregnancy
If you find that you need to take pain relief medication to relieve any pain, it is safest to use something simple such as paracetamol. Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. If you find that you need a stronger pain relief medication, you must always check with your doctor, nurse or midwife first.
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What Are The Causes Of Bleeding In Late Pregnancy
Some women may experience a light bleed later on in their pregnancy. This is may not be from inside the womb, but from the cervix, for example, which can cause bleeding after sex. This may settle and doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem, but you should contact the hospital maternity unit immediately so you can be checked, just in case.
There are two more serious causes of bleeding in late pregnancy:
Vaginal Infections During Pregnancy
If you have any infection during pregnancy, it may cause irregular bleeding. Some of the vaginal infection are:
- Vaginal scratching or itching
What to do if i have vaginal infection in pregnancy?
Inform your doctor ASAP. Most vaginal infections during pregnancy can be treated and cured. Your vaginal samples will be collected and tested before treatment.
If you fail to treat your infection when pregnant, you may have a miscarriage, bleeding or preterm delivery.
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Losing Your Mucus Plug
During pregnancy, your body develops a mucus plug at the opening of your cervix. Sounds lovely, I know, but it has a very important purpose. It helps protect your baby and uterus from bacteria .
Toward the end of your pregnancy, as your cervix begins to open, this mucus plug will release, and you may experience spotting in your underwear. It looks different from typical spotting, however, in that its mixed with stringy or thick mucus.
Some women experience the loss of their mucus plug throughout several days and may notice it as pink-tinged bloody spots or streaks on the toilet paper when they wipe after going to the bathroom. Other women experience the loss of their mucus plug all at once. In this case, the volume of blood will be greater and the loss of the mucus plug will be more noticeable. It can also happen without you noticing it. But, if you see discharge which might or might not be your mucus plug, and it is bright red in color and not just a few drops you should contact your doctor right away, especially if you are feeling any pain.
The loss of the mucus plug usually signals that labor is imminent, though it can be up to two weeks before labor begins. Some women dont lose their mucus plug until theyre actually in active labor. It is also known as bloody show.
If either of these are diagnosed, they can be treated with labor-stopping medications or a cerclage.
When Should You Worry About Spotting Or Bleeding During Pregnancy
Concern about bleeding during pregnancy is completely normal, but remember that light spotting is as variable as it is common and is usually nothing to worry about. Some women spot on and off for their entire pregnancies, while others spot for just a day or two or a few weeks. Happily, women continue to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies in most cases.
Still, heavy bleeding that soaks through a pad always warrants a call to your practitioner, especially if it’s accompanied by cramps or pain in your lower abdomen. But it’s not inevitably a sign that you’re miscarrying. Some women bleed, even heavily, for unknown reasons and still deliver healthy babies.
Period Like Bleeding During Early Pregnancy 6 Weeks
If youre now six weeks pregnant with mild vaginal bleeding you should meet your midwife or doctor for a clinical check-up.
In most cases, its not something you should worry about If there is a problem, you doctor will let your know the best steps to take
Also, the fear of a miscarriage reduces, though it may happen. You doctor will require you rest more, eat healthily and take water a lot.
Is It Normal To Pass A Clot At 6 Weeks
Im six weeks pregn, Ive been having dark brown discharge for 2 weeks with stringy bits and yesterday I passed a pea-sized brown clot. I did a u/s at 5 weeks sac was there but too early to see any hb. I have a scan appointm thu next week. Im so nervous having to wait. Doctors dont seem to have a clue about anything
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What Causes Vaginal Bleeding
Bleeding in the 1st trimester is not always a problem. It may be caused by:
- Having sex.
- The fertilized egg implanting in the uterus.
- Hormone changes.
- Other factors that will not harm the woman or baby.
- A threatened miscarriage. Many threatened miscarriages do not progress to pregnancy loss.
More serious causes of first-trimester bleeding include:
- A miscarriage, which is the loss of the pregnancy before the embryo or fetus can live on its own outside the uterus. Almost all women who miscarry will have bleeding before a miscarriage.
- An ectopic pregnancy, which may cause bleeding and cramping.
- A molar pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg implants in the uterus that will not come to term.
What Kind Of Bleeding Is Normal During Pregnancy
If youre bleeding during pregnancy, you might be wondering exactly how much vaginal bleeding is normal?
Light bleeding during the first trimester or bleeding in early pregnancy is common, and many women go on to have healthy pregnancies.
Second or third trimester bleeding or spotting isnt normal.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Late in pregnancy, vaginal bleeding may be a sign of labor. If labor starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm labor. Other signs of preterm labor include the following:
Change in vaginal discharge or increase in amount of vaginal discharge
Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure
Constant, low, dull backache
Mild abdominal cramps, with or without diarrhea
Regular or frequent contractions or uterine tightening, often painless
How preterm labor is managed is based on what is thought to be best for your health and your fetuss health. In some cases, medications may be given. When preterm labor is too far along to be stopped or there are reasons that the baby should be born early, it may be necessary to deliver the baby.
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Tests For Bleeding Problems During Later Pregnancy
Both placenta previa and placental abruption can cause heavy bleeding of bright red blood from the vagina.A vaginal examination is often used to help diagnose placental abruption, but could trigger heavier bleeding in the case of placenta previa. Therefore, an ultrasound scan should always be taken first, and digital vaginal examinations should be strictly avoided in the case of placenta previa.Tests used to diagnose placenta previa include:
- Medical history
- Ultrasound scan
- Feeling the mothers belly to establish the babys position
- Very gentle speculum vaginal examination .
Having ruled out placenta previa using the tests above, a digital vaginal examination may be used to identify placental abruption.
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