Am I Bleeding Or Just Spotting
There’s a difference between bleeding and spotting during pregnancy. Spotting is when you notice a few drops of blood in your underwear. If you put a panty liner on, the blood won’t fill it. Spotting during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, is usually not concerning. Bleeding describes a flow of blood that’s greater than a drop here and there. If you need a pad to keep it from ruining your underwear, its usually considered bleeding. Call your healthcare provider if you experience spotting or bleeding. They may want to examine you or perform an ultrasound to determine the cause. Its better to be overly cautious to ensure you and your fetus are healthy.
What Are The Causes For Vaginal Bleeding Later In Pregnancy
Like the first trimester, light bleeding or spotting during your second or third trimester may occur after sex or a cervical exam. It can also be due to a bloody show, a sign that labor is starting.
Problems that can occur later in pregnancy can be caused by placental abnormalities, such as placental abruptions or placenta previa.
Placenta abruptions occur when the placenta separates partially from the uterine wall often resulting in very heavy bleeding, Dr. Valenzuela said. Placental previas occur when the placenta is placed over the opening of the cervix. Both require timely medical care.
What Causes Vaginal Bleeding
Bleeding in the 1st trimester is not always a problem. It may be caused by:
- 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.
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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.
Bleeding During Early Pregnancy
If youve had bleeding early in your pregnancy, youre not alone. Many other pregnant women have early bleeding, too. And in most cases, nothing is wrong. But your healthcare provider still needs to know about it. They may want to do tests to find out why youre bleeding. Call your provider if you see bleeding during pregnancy. Tell your provider if your blood is Rh negative. Then they can figure out if you need anti-D immune globulin treatment.
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What To Do If You’re Spotting And Worried
If your bleeding in early pregnancy is very minimal and you otherwise are not having any symptoms, you may wish to wait until your next appointment to talk to your doctor. But if you experience spotting along with severe cramping, fever, unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, or pain, you should contact your doctor right away.
If you are feeling at all concerned, give your OB/GYN’s office a call. Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and being able to talk to your doctor about your symptoms can be very reassuring.
Molar Pregnancy And Causes Of Bleeding
Molar pregnancy is also known as a hydatidiform mole and is quite rare in pregnancy. Molar pregnancy can lead to a rare form of cancer.
This type of pregnancy is the result of an abnormally fertilized egg and is related to chromosomes.
Sadly, these pregnancies usually miscarry early.
Some signs are:
- Dark brown to bright red spotting or bleeding in the first trimester.
- Severe nausea and vomiting.
- The vaginal passage of grapelike cysts .
- Pelvic pressure or pain.
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Potential Causes Of Bleeding During The First Trimester
You may experience some spotting when you expect to get your period. This is called implantation bleeding and it happens around 6 to 12 days after conception as the fertilized egg implants itself in your womb. This bleeding should be light perhaps lasting for a couple of days, but its perfectly normal.
Since miscarriages are most common during the first trimester, its normal to worry about bleeding early in your pregnancy. But as Dr. Alexis Svokos, an OBGYN at Geisinger explains, Once a heartbeat is seen on an ultrasound, more than 90 percent of women who experience first trimester vaginal bleeding do not miscarry.
During pregnancy, extra blood is flowing to the cervix. Intercourse or a Pap test, which cause contact with the cervix, can trigger light bleeding.
What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For My First Period
There is nothing in particular you need to do to prepare for your first period, besides having feminine hygiene products and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen on hand. If you happen to get your period with no access to menstrual products, toilet paper will work in an emergency. If you get your first period at school, your teacher or school nurse will have a pantiliner or pad on hand.
There are a variety of menstrual products available to you:
These absorbent pads have an adhesive backing that sticks to the inside of your underwear. They are available in different lengths and absorbencies, and some have adhesive wings that wrap around the sides of your underwear. Disposable pads should be changed every 4-6 hours and are thrown out after a single use.
These are small, thin, disposable absorbent pads that can be used on their own on days of light flow. They can also be used in combination with a tampon, in case of leaks or discharge.
These are usually made of cotton, bamboo, or other natural absorbent fibres, and are often available at health food stores. They can be washed with detergent and reused. Some have velcro tabs to secure them around your underwear.
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How Will My Doctor Or Midwife Diagnose The Cause Of My Bleeding
Your doctor or midwife will ask you questions about the bleeding, any other symptoms you have been having and about your pregnancy and general health. Your doctor or midwife may also perform a vaginal examination to check the bleeding and look for any visible cause.
You may be referred for a blood test to check your human chorionic gonadotropin level. hCG is a hormone made by the placenta that can be found in your blood and urine. Your hCG level can give your doctor important information about how your pregnancy is progressing.
You may also be referred for an ultrasound scan, which may be used to:
- check your babys heartbeat
- check for signs of a miscarriage
- look for signs of an ectopic pregnancy
- check the position and health of the placenta
It may take some time to work out what is causing your bleeding. You may need to have several blood tests or ultrasound scans over a few days or weeks. This can be a stressful time, so consider seeking support from your partner or someone else you trust.
In some situations, your bleeding may resolve on its own without your doctor or midwife finding a cause.
How Will I Know When My Periods Are Going To Start
Signs that your period is on its way are if youve grown underarm and pubic hair. Typically, youll start your periods about 2 years after your breasts start growing and about a year after getting a white vaginal discharge. The average girl will get her first period around 12 years old, but it varies from person to person.
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Bleeding Vs Spotting: Whats The Difference
Spotting is considered light bleeding. This might mean a few drops of blood at a time. Spotting during early pregnancy is normally not a concern. However, if the blood is heavy enough to cover a panty liner, that is considered bleeding. This type of flow is usually heavy enough to soak your clothes. Talk to your healthcare provider about heavier bleeding. They may want to set up an exam or perform an ultrasound to determine if the cause is something underlying.
Unidentified Causes And More
Its also possible to have spotting for an unidentifiable reason. In early pregnancy youre going through so many bodily changes.
In some people, changes to the cervix can cause mild spotting. Other times, hormonal changes may be responsible. You may also experience mild spotting after sexual intercourse or if youre very active.
Infection is another possible cause for spotting, which is why its important to talk with your doctor about any spotting during pregnancy. They can rule out more serious causes and put your mind at ease.
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Is Spotting During Early Pregnancy The Same As Implantation Bleeding
While many sources call spotting in early pregnancy âimplantation bleeding,â there is not 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 .
What Are The Causes Of Early Bleeding
There are a number of causes of bleeding in early pregnancy which include:
Spotting or bleeding may occur shortly after conception, this is known as an implantation bleed. It is caused by the fertilised egg embedding itself in the lining of the womb. This bleeding is often mistaken for a period, and it may occur around the time your period is due.
Hormonal bleeding is when some women experience a light bleed at around four to eight weeks of pregnancy, or around the time their period would have been due. This can be very confusing for women who are pregnant and is the reason many women do not realise they are pregnant for a while. Again, it is totally normal. This usually settles around the 13th week of pregnancy as by this time the placenta is sufficiently developed to produce all of the hormones needed to sustain the pregnancy.
After the egg is fertilised, the fertilised egg then goes on to implant itself into the lining of the womb . Sometimes this results in a little bleeding that shows up on an early scan as a haematoma. This is not anything to worry about. When it happens the woman may notice a small amount of vaginal bleeding, but this is not necessarily the case.
The haematoma will gradually disappear and in most cases, the pregnancy remains safe.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Bleeding In The First Trimester
Bleeding or spotting in the first trimester can be common and doesnt always mean there is something wrong. Try not to worry. Take notes of the type of bleeding you see and call your healthcare provider to let them know your symptoms.
Some causes of bleeding in the first part of pregnancy are:
- Implantation bleeding: This is when the fertilized egg implants in the wall of your uterus and causes light bleeding. Its considered a normal part of early pregnancy.
- Molar pregnancy: A rare condition when a fertilized egg implants in your uterus, but a tumor forms instead of a baby.
- Ectopic pregnancy: When a pregnancy forms outside of your uterus . It can be life-threatening.
- Subchorionic hematoma: Bleeding from one of the membranes that surround the embryo inside your uterus. Subchorionic hematomas usually resolve on their own.
- Cervical polyps: A noncancerous growth on your cervix that bleeds in pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels.
- Miscarriage: The loss of the pregnancy before 20 weeks. It usually starts as light bleeding and gets heavier. It can be accompanied by severe cramping.
Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage
You can ovulate and become pregnant as soon as 2 weeks after a miscarriage, but many healthcare providers recommend waiting a bit longer. Abstaining from sex for a few weeks after a miscarriage due to a risk of infection is also a good idea. Ask your doctor whats best for you.
If you experience two or more consecutive miscarriages, your doctor might recommend testing to determine if theres an underlying cause. A simple blood test can be used to detect potential issues with your hormones or immune system. Other blood tests can be done on you and your partner to see if genetics are a factor. Testing for uterine problems may also be recommended.
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When Should You See A Doctor About Your Period
Though that first period after baby can be a doozy, the flow should not be so heavy that youre going through one pad per 1-2 hours. Call your doctor if youre experiencing any of the following:
Though you may wish your period would just stay away forever, remember that its a sign of your body functioning normally after pregnancy. Practice self-care by getting plenty of rest, taking walks to relieve cramps, and snacking on healthy fats and iron-rich lentils, prunes, meats, and foods cooked in a cast iron skillet.
When To Call The Doctor
David McKenna, MD, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist with Perinatal Partners, advises calling your doctor if you see any sign of bleeding during pregnancy and have not yet talked to your doctor about it. This is especially the case for women who are pregnant for the first time. Explain whats happening to your doctor. Talk about your next steps and if and when you should call back, he says.
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Is Consulting A Doctor Good
If you notice bleeding or anything, it is important to call your doctor to avoid mishappenings. Therefore, never neglect any small change in your body. Let your doctor know so that they can provide you with appropriate medications and care. Some blood tests can be taken to examine if there are any genetic abnormalities of bleeding during pregnancy.
Is bleeding normal during pregnancy? Yes. But if you have any of these signs in your pregnancy, call your health advisor now:
Secretion of abnormal tissue and blood clots
pain in the waist and lower body.
How Can We Treat Bleeding At Home
Besides taking medicines, and proper tests, it is necessary for the mother to nurture themselves at home also. Is bleeding normal during pregnancy?
Following are some of the effortless ways and treatments by which you can control bleeding at home:
Avoid standing for a long time.
Use pads instead of cups.
Avoid using tampons before going to the emergency room
Consume mild pain relief with less dose, only if consulted.
Most of all, hospitalized if the situation goes out of control
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Is It Normal To Have Spotting In Early Pregnancy
However, in the early stages of pregnancy, some women have spotting or mild bleeding, which is normally normal. This is known as “implantation bleeding,” and it occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining.
Light bleeding or spotting does not always indicate pregnancy, however some women do have implantation bleeding in early pregnancy, shortly after conception. Here’s how to identify if your spotting is due to pregnancy, your menstruation, or something else.
Do Other Mammals Also Have Periods
The answer is yes, but. All female mammals that produce offspring with a placenta, build up a uterine lining in the fertile phase of their cycle and dismantle it in the infertile phase. Some species have an estrous cycle, in which, if no conception takes place, the endometrium fluids are reabsorbed into the body . Other species, like the human have a menstrual cycle, where the body expels the endometrium lining . Primates, some bat species and elephants also experience overt menstruation. But, heres an inspiring detail: Before menstruating, humans do in fact also reabsorb two-thirds of the liquid in the endometrium .
Food for thought: If human beings actually do have the ability to reabsorb endometrial liquid, why do some women menstruate so much blood? Maybe there is something about human beings that can cause this? Could this possibly be a factor we can influence and reduce strong periods? Could we humans maybe also manage to live without menstrual products?
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Whats The Difference Between Bleeding And Spotting
Bleeding or spotting can happen anytime, from the time you get pregnant to right before you give birth. Spotting is light bleeding. It happens when you have a few drops of blood on your underwear. Spotting is so light that the blood wouldnt cover a panty liner. Bleeding is when the blood flow is heavier, enough that you need a panty liner or pad to keep the blood from soaking your underwear and clothes.