What Causes Rh Sensitization During Pregnancy
Rh sensitization can occur during pregnancy if you are Rh-negative and pregnant with a developing baby who has Rh-positive blood. In most cases, your blood will not mix with your baby’s blood until delivery. It takes a while to make antibodies that can affect the baby, so during your first pregnancy, the baby probably would not be affected.
But if you get pregnant again with an Rh-positive baby, the antibodies already in your blood could attack the baby’s red blood cells. This can cause the baby to have anemia, jaundice, or more serious problems. This is called Rh disease. The problems will tend to get worse with each Rh-positive pregnancy you have.
Rh sensitization is one reason it’s important to see your doctor in the first trimester of pregnancy. It doesn’t cause any warning symptoms, and a blood test is the only way to know you have it or are at risk for it.
- If you are at risk, Rh sensitization can almost always be prevented.
- If you are already sensitized, treatment can help protect your baby.
Advice For Heavy Bleeding
If bleeding is heavy or if bleeding is accompanied by pain or cramping, a pregnant woman should call her health care provider immediately or go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation, according to the March of Dimes. A woman should also seek emergency medical attention if she experiences dizziness while bleeding or feels pain in the abdomen or pelvis.
Causes Of Spotting During Early Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy– Spotting or bleeding during early pregnancy can be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy where the fertilized egg attaches to someplace outside of the uterus. It is also sometimes called a tubal pregnancy if it attaches to one of the fallopian tubes. If you experience bleeding or spotting accompanied by abdominal pain or dizziness, you could be having an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy can be an emergency situation. If you experience sharp pain or bleeding seek emergency care.
Miscarriage– About twenty to thirty percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. A miscarriage may start off with light spotting or bleeding. Other signs of miscarriage include cramping, bleeding and loss of pregnancy symptoms. Keep in mind that many women have spotting during pregnancy and do not go on to miscarry. About fifty percent of women who experience spotting during early pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding– Spotting during pregnancy may be caused by implantation. Implantation bleeding occurs after the egg burrows into the lining of the uterus. As the egg implants into the lining sometimes a little bit of bleeding will occur. This bleeding may be noticed at the time of implantation or a few days later as brown spotting.
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What Should I Do If I Experience Bleeding During Pregnancy
If you experience bleeding, it is wise to have this checked out. If you have been seen in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit during your pregnancy, you may contact us directly, up to 15 weeks + 6 days of pregnancy. Your GP or midwife can also help you.
If you have been seen in the EPAU and you then experience more bleeding contact the EPAU. Depending on how much bleeding and for how long the nursing staff will decide if you need to be seen again. A rescan is not always necessary. Sometimes the nurse will advise that you monitor this bleeding at home. A rescan will only be performed if bleeding heavy with clots. If there is a significant change in your symptoms then the nurse will make an appointment to come to EPAU and be either rescanned or to be assessed by the doctor. If bleeding unmanageable then the nurse may advise to be assessed on ward 30 or the Emergency department depending on your symptoms.
Causes Of Vaginal Bleeding In The First Trimester
Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus. This typically happens around the time of your expected period, so sometimes you dont even know youre pregnant yet.
Hormone production during pregnancy can change and soften your cervix, making it more likely to bleed during pregnancy. You could also have a cervical polyp, or benign overgrowth of tissue, that can bleed easily. You could experience some spotting or light bleeding after sexual intercourse, or after a pelvic examination. A vaginal infection could cause some vaginal bleeding as well, and is usually accompanied by an abnormal vaginal discharge.
Vaginal bleeding could also be a sign that you have an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually within one of the fallopian tubes, where the blood supply isnt enough to sustain a normal pregnancy. About one in every 60 pregnancies is ectopic. The most common signs are increasing abdominal pain, the absence of menstrual periods, and spotting. About half of women with an ectopic pregnancy wont have all three signs, so if you notice any of them its a good idea to talk to your doctor.
When blood collects between the gestational sac and the wall of the uterus, a subchorionic hemorrhage occurs. Your body frequently reabsorbs clots like these, but sometimes you may experience a passage of old, dark blood or even small clots from your vagina.
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How To Tell If Its A Problem
To reiterate, pregnancy spotting is usually nothing to freak out about. But its good to know whats normal and whats not. Below are the signs that something might be up with your pregnancy and when you should call your care provider.
If youre going through more than one pad or tampon in three hours, that’s considered moderate bleeding, Dr. Ross says. Anything more than that is heavy bleeding. During pregnancy, both moderate and heavy bleeding can be worrisome, she explains. If you think you’re experiencing either of those, get in touch with your doctor ASAP. This is especially important if you see a lot of tissue or clots in the blood, the Mayo Clinic notes.
Cramps often accompany spotting, so you might feel some twinges of discomfort here or there. But anything that morphs into more significant pain is worth noting and potentially calling your doctor about. “Mild cramping can be considered normal, but if you have to sit down or put a hot water bottle on your lower back or it’s anything more than a little cramping, it’s more of a cause for concern,” says Dr. Ross.
Dr. Abdur-Rahman agrees, saying a lot of pain with spotting is one key sign there may be a problem. Similarly, unusual accompanying symptoms like fever or chills along with your bleeding are a sign that you should talk to your doctor or midwife immediately, the Mayo Clinic says.
What Will My Provider Need To Know
Your provider may need to know these things to find the cause of your vaginal bleeding:
- How far along is your pregnancy?
- Have you had vaginal bleeding during this or an earlier pregnancy?
- When did your bleeding begin?
- Does it stop and start, or is it a steady flow?
- How much blood is there?
- What is the color of the blood?
- Does the blood have an odor?
- Do you have cramps or pain?
- Do you feel weak or tired?
- Have you fainted or felt dizzy?
- Do you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
- Do you have a fever?
- Have you been injured, such as in a fall?
- Have you changed your physical activity?
- Do you have any extra stress?
- When did you last have sex? Did you bleed afterward?
- What is your blood type? Your provider can test your blood type. If it is Rh negative, you will need treatment with a medicine called Rho immune globulin to prevent complications with future pregnancies.
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Bleeding During Early Pregnancy Is Common
Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of early pregnancy. About 1 in 4 people experience spotting during early pregnancy, usually in gestational weeks 5 and 8 â this is about 1 to 4 weeks after someone expects their period . This bleeding can sometimes be confused with a light period .
Bleeding During Early Pregnancy And Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
You may feel a range of emotions over this time. Guilt is a normal feeling, but dont blame yourself, as you have done nothing wrong. Your body will be going through changes in hormone levels and this can make you feel very emotional. It may help to talk to family or friends.While there is no specific treatment to prevent a miscarriage, things you can do that may help include:
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Using pads rather than tampons while you are bleeding.
- Avoiding sex while you are bleeding. Sex can resume once the bleeding has stopped.
- Taking mild pain relief medication, such as paracetamol, if needed.
- Reporting any changes in your condition to your doctor.
If you are finding your mood remains low for an extended period of time, you may be experiencing depression and require the assistance of a professional.
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What Is Spotting And What Causes It
Generally speaking, spotting refers to the light vaginal bleeding that can sometimes occur between periods. However, it can also occur during early pregnancy. Although the sight of blood early in your pregnancy can be unnerving , it’s helpful to know that this is quite common and doesn’t usually mean there’s a problem.
As many as one quarter of moms-to-be experience some spotting during early pregnancy. Two common causes are described here.
Pregnancy Bleeding: Whats Normal Whats Not
With your body going through so many changes during pregnancy, its no surprise that most women are constantly reaching for the phone to give their doctor a call. It can be difficult to know whats serious and whats just another symptom, so keep reading for everything you need to do about vaginal bleeding while pregnantbecause its not all serious.
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How Common Is Bleeding During Pregnancy
Bleeding is relatively common during pregnancy. How often it occurs and the reasons behind it differ throughout the trimesters. Up to 30% of women experience bleeding during their first trimester and as many as 20 percent of women thats one in five have bleeding at some point throughout the entire course of their pregnancy .
Youre most likely to experience bleeding at certain points along your pregnancy like toward the beginning to middle of the first trimester, or toward the end of the third. Report to your doctor any bleeding you might notice at any point during pregnancy.
What Are The Signs Of A Miscarriage
Call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately if you have any of these signs of miscarriage:
- Severe pain or cramps low in the abdomen
- Severe bleeding, with or without pain
- Vaginal discharge containing tissue
- Fever higher than 100.4° F
If you have heavy bleeding during pregnancy, dont use a tampon. Wear a pad and dont change it before heading to the emergency room, says Dr. Svokos. Doctors need to know how much youre bleeding whether the blood is pink, brown or red and if its smooth or full of clots. Be sure to bring any tissue that passes through your vagina in for testing, too.
Your doctor will use vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds to determine the cause of your bleeding. If a miscarriage does occur, it often means the baby wasnt developing normally.
Most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies, but having a miscarriage is one of the most challenging things a woman and her partner can go through. Dont rush the grieving process. Finding a support group or counselor can help a lot.
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What Causes Spotting During Pregnancy
Implantation bleeding is a common cause of spotting early on in pregnancy. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This can trigger a few days of light bleeding or spotting. This spotting occurs before a woman even knows she is pregnant and is often mistaken as a pending period. Bleeding that occurs after the day a woman expects her period is typically too late to be considered implantation bleeding, and is more likely related to early pregnancy in general.
Another common cause of spotting is a cervical polyp , which is more likely to bleed during pregnancy due to higher estrogen levels. This may occur because there is an increased number of blood vessels in the tissue around the cervix during pregnancy. As a result, contact with this area can cause bleeding.Even without the presence of a cervical polyp, there are a few things that may cause some spotting in the couple days after:
- Sexual intercourse
- Gynecological exam, such as a vaginal ultrasound
- Heavy lifting/excessive exercise
Can Bleeding During Pregnancy Be Prevented
The best way to prevent any complication in pregnancy is to have a good relationship with your health care professional and to maintain close contact throughout your pregnancy. This is especially important if you have had prior pregnancies complicated by third-trimester bleeding.
Avoid bleeding in pregnancy by controlling your risk factors, especially the use of tobacco and cocaine. If you have high blood pressure, work closely with your health care professional to keep it under control.
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Difference Between Spotting And Bleeding
Spotting is another word for light bleeding, ACOG says, and thats definitely different from having a heavy flow. But spotting is technically still bleeding. Your cervix may bleed more easily during pregnancy because more blood vessels are developing in this area. ACOG specifically says that its not uncommon to have spotting or light bleeding after sex, a Pap test, or pelvic exam when youre pregnant. If youre soaking through less than one pad or tampon in three hours, thats generally considered mild bleeding or spotting and is likely no big deal, Sherry Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn and womens health expert at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. Still, if youre concerned or it continues, thats certainly worth bringing up with your doctor, midwife, or care provider.
First Trimester Pregnancy Spotting
During the first trimester, pregnancy spotting can occur at the time of egg implantation and during times of physical distress. Pregnancy spotting due to implantation is typically light and often associated with the coming menstrual cycle. Later, after pregnancy is verified, pregnancy spotting can occur if the pregnant woman overexerts herself by lifting too much or exercising too hard.
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First Half Of Pregnancy:
Miscarriage: Bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage, but does not mean that miscarriage is imminent. Studies show that anywhere from 20-30% of women experience some degree of bleeding in early pregnancy. Approximately half of the pregnant women who bleed do not have miscarriages. Approximately 15-20% of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage, and the majority occur during the first 12 weeks.Signs of Miscarriage include:
- Cramping pain felt low in the stomach
- Tissue passing through the vagina
Most miscarriages cannot be prevented. They are often the bodys way of dealing with an unhealthy pregnancy that was not developing. A miscarriage does not mean that you cannot have a future healthy pregnancy or that you yourself are not healthy.
Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that implant somewhere outside the uterus. The fallopian tube accounts for the majority of ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies are less common than miscarriages, occurring in 1 of 60 pregnancies.Signs of Ectopic Pregnancies:
- Grape-like clusters are seen in the uterus by an ultrasound
Other Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy
The color and consistency of implantation bleeding may vary from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. But if you think you might be pregnant, there are other symptoms that you can watch for.
Frequent urination, fatigue, and nausea are some of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. Your breasts may also become tender or swollen due to the hormonal changes that occur shortly after conception.
Other pregnancy symptoms include:
- food aversions
Early symptoms arent always the best indicator of whether youre pregnant. Some women will have all of these symptoms even when they arent pregnant, and others may have none of these symptoms even though they are pregnant.
If you do think youve missed a period or are experiencing other unusual symptoms it may be time to pick up a home pregnancy test. You can also get a pregnancy test done at your doctors office.
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Is Spotting During Early Pregnancy Implantation Bleeding
While many sources call spotting in early pregnancy âimplantation bleeding,â there isnât strong evidence that this bleeding is associated with an embryoâs implantation in the uterus.
Bleeding in early pregnancy may actually be related to hormonal changes, as the production of progesterone switches from the ovary to the forming placenta .
Bleeding From The Cervix
One possible reason for spotting during pregnancy is that your body is now pumping almost 50 percent more blood. With more blood vessels forming in your pelvic region, your cervix may bleed more easily. You may be more likely to experience this kind of very light bleeding after sex, a pelvic exam, or a Pap test.
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