What Are The Symptoms
In many cases, there are no symptoms of vasa previa at all. It often goes undetected until labor, when the fetus is already distressed, or following a stillbirth.
Pregnant women should seek immediate medical attention if they have any painless vaginal bleeding. A sign that a woman might have vasa previa is if the blood is very dark, a burgundy red. The blood of a fetus is naturally lower in oxygen than that of the mother. So if the blood is darker than what is typical, it could indicate that it has come from the fetus and not the mother.
Is Spotting Normal During Pregnancy
Spotting has been found in 30 percent of women during their first trimester of pregnancy, so it is not unheard-of to experience. Having said that, when spotting happens, it is always safer to check with a doctor if you have any of the accompanying symptoms. This is to rule out any of the listed above occurrences or find out any other issues that may exist.;
If At Any Point During Your Pregnancy You Experience Heavy Bleeding Contact Your Healthcare Provider Immediately Or Consider Seeking Emergency Care
If it doesn't stop and gets heavier and heavier and is accompanied by cramping this can be a bad sign. If you need to take her anywhere, use a small cat carrier. In case you have an ectopic pregnancy then the bleeding can be as heavy as a period. But it may also indicate an ectopic or molar pregnancy. Heavy bleeding during early pregnancy can sometimes be caused by: Approximately 25% of pregnant women experience bleeding before 12 weeks' spotting may come and go or stop completely without treatment. However, if you bleed at this stage of pregnancy it is likely you will go on to have normal and successful pregnancies. during the first trimester of pregnancy: Hormonal changes during early pregnancy cause anxiety and stress. With bleeding, you will need a liner or pad to keep the blood from soaking your clothes. Bleeding during the first months. Vaginal bleeding during the second and third trimester could also be a symptom of a problem with the placenta or cervix.
Early Pregnancy Pictures Of Spotting During Pregnancy On Pad : What Is Implantation Bleeding Causes Symptoms Duration / Bleeding or spotting while pregnant doesn't always mean that a miscarriage is imminent.. Or a few drops of blood. What is decidual bleeding during pregnancy? If you are soaking pads quickly, then you are not having implantation bleeding. Bleeding may be accompanied by abdominal cramps.but vaginal. spotting during pregnancy can be a perplexing issue.
Read Also: Is Fatigue An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
Should I Worry About Spotting
Some spotting is normal very early in pregnancy. Still, it is a good idea to tell your provider about it.
If you have had an ultrasound that confirms you have a normal pregnancy, call your provider the day you first see the spotting.
If you have spotting and have not yet had an ultrasound, contact your provider right away. Spotting can be a sign of a pregnancy where the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus . An untreated ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening for the woman.
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
Spotting During Pregnancy Faqs
Its normal to still feel worrisome when talking about any sort of bleeding during your pregnancy. This is especially true if it is your first pregnancy. Thats why we can take this section to talk about the most frequently asked questions that come up with spots.;
Does a missed period and spotting after definitely mean I am pregnant?;
No, definitely not! While spotting and a missed period can be a could tell if you are pregnant, it does not guarantee anything. There are several reasons for spotting when you are not pregnant, such as having an irregular period, to begin with. Its also possible that some women will experience spotting after sex due to similar reasons when they are pregnant. Breakage in the tissue is one of them.;
What are some second-half spotting reasons?;
There are a few different reasons that women will experience bleeding or spotting in the second half of the pregnancy. These are likely more serious than anything that occurs in the first trimester and should be checked out immediately.
Placental Abruption: Only 1 percent of women experience placental abruption. This occurs when the placenta detaches itself from the uterus. This is more common for women who are 35 or older or who have already had children. The symptoms include pain in the stomach and bleeding.
Is it safe to have sexual intercourse when pregnant?
When Bleeding Indicates A Problem
Sadly, sometimes the baby doesn’t develop properly in early pregnancy. These are some of the complications that can arise during a pregnancy and may be indicated by bleeding.
Threatened or actual miscarriage
Research indicates that around one quarter of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but these figures include very early miscarriages that many women won’t be aware of. Of women who are aware that they are pregnant, 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Symptoms of miscarriage include mild to severe stomach cramps, back pain, nausea and passing tissue or clots alongside bleeding from your vagina.
A threatened miscarriage occurs when a pregnant woman experiences bleeding and/or abdominal pain, but the pregnancy continues.
In my first pregnancy I had a small bleed and some spotting at around six to seven weeks. All was fine. At six weeks into my second pregnancy I had the same kind of thing, and sadly that time it was a miscarriage.
Less common than a miscarriage, 1 in every 80-90 pregnancies in the UK is ectopic. This occurs when the fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, where it is unable to develop.
Bleeding is a common symptom, and may be accompanied by severe pain in one side of the abdomen, feeling faint, and nausea. Ectopic pregnancies are serious and need to be treated as soon as possible, so if you are concerned, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional.
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.
How Is A Threatened Abortion Treated
A miscarriage often cant be prevented. In some cases, however, your doctor may suggest ways to lower your risk of having a miscarriage.
As you recover, your doctor may tell you to avoid certain activities. Bed rest and avoiding sexual intercourse may be suggested until your symptoms go away. Your doctor will also treat any conditions known to increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Your doctor may also want to give you an injection of progesterone to increase levels of the hormone. Your doctor will also administer Rh immunoglobulin if you have Rh-negative blood and your developing baby has Rh-positive blood. This stops your body from creating antibodies against your childs blood.
Why See Our Specialists At Uc Davis Health
Our specialists can evaluate you quickly in an office setting. Any laboratory testing or ultrasound examinations that need to be done can be performed easily and conveniently. We perform our own ultrasound examination in the office and can share the results with you immediately.
If we do confirm you have a miscarriage, we can discuss expectant management or treatment options with you immediately. Should you need blood testing to evaluate the pregnancy, the laboratory is in the same building as our office.
If you are having very heavy vaginal bleeding or are feeling very sick, you should go to the Emergency Room to see our physicians.
How Is A Threatened Abortion Diagnosed
Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam if a threatened abortion is suspected. During a pelvic exam, your doctor will examine your reproductive organs, including your vagina, cervix, and uterus. Theyll look for the source of your bleeding and determine whether the amniotic sac has ruptured. The pelvic exam will only take a few minutes to complete.
An ultrasound will be done to monitor the heartbeat and development of the fetus. It can also be done to help determine the amount of bleeding. A transvaginal ultrasound, or an ultrasound that uses a vaginal probe, is typically more accurate than an abdominal ultrasound in early pregnancy. During a transvaginal ultrasound, your doctor will insert an ultrasound probe about 2 or 3 inches into your vagina. The probe uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs, allowing your doctor to see them in more detail.
Blood tests, including a complete blood count, may also be performed to check for abnormal hormone levels. Specifically, these tests will measure the levels of hormones in your blood called human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone. HCG is a hormone that your body produces during pregnancy, and progesterone is a hormone that supports pregnancy. Abnormal levels of either hormone may indicate a problem.
Symptoms And Characteristics Of Spotting
Light spotting can be a normal part of early pregnancy. It might even be so light that it’s only noticeable on toilet tissue after you wipe, or you might see a few drops on your panties. It usually lasts about a day, and is usually light in color. Most of the time it’s lighter in color than your normal menstrual flow, though, sometimes, it can be red or brown in color. It is often painless.
Although spotting is usually nothing to worry about, it’s important to report any bleeding to your healthcare provider just to make sure all is well.
Bleeding In The First Trimester
About 20% of women have some bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Possible causes of first trimester bleeding include:
Implantation bleeding. You may experience some normal spotting within the first six to 12 days after you conceive as the fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of the uterus. Some women don’t realize they are pregnant because they mistake this bleeding for a light period. Usually the bleeding is very light and lasts from a few hours to a few days.
Miscarriage. Because miscarriage is most common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it tends to be one of the biggest concerns with first trimester bleeding. However, first trimester bleeding does not necessarily mean that youve lost the baby or going to miscarry. In fact, if a heartbeat is seen on ultrasound, over 90% of women who experience first trimester vaginal bleeding will not miscarry.
Ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If the embryo keeps growing, it can cause the fallopian tube to burst, which can be life-threatening to the mother. Although ectopic pregnancy is potentially dangerous, it only occurs in about 2% of pregnancies.
Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are strong cramps or pain in the lower abdomen, and lightheadedness.
What To Do If You Experience Bleeding During Pregnancy
Don’t be afraid to seek medical advice call your midwife, GP or nearest antenatal unit. There’s a chance they will want to perform an examination or ultrasound to rule out any possible problems, and they may take a blood test to check your hormone levels and rhesus status if this hasn’t been done yet. If the bleeding is heavy or getting heavier, do call NHS Direct you might be referred straight to the hospital to check everything is OK.
Every time I’ve had any bleeding I’ve always asked for a scan you are entitled to it, and you will only know the outcome by having a scan. Don’t worry and suffer alone.
You should be given an emergency scan if you are experiencing bleeding after previously having had an ectopic pregnancy, or if you have sharp one-sided abdominal pain and/or pain in your shoulders.
Whilst you definitely should tell a doctor if you experience bleeding, you may be told to wait and see’ if it’s quite light, or if it’s very early in your pregnancy . This can be distressing, but take some comfort in the fact that your baby is likely to develop perfectly well.
If the bleeding gets worse, contains clots, or you also start to experience cramps, backache or period type pains, contact someone immediately and explain the situation.
Is there anything I can do?
Not really although it’s likely that you’ll want to take it easy if you’re bleeding. Sadly, if the bleeding is due to a miscarriage, it is very unlikely anything can be done .
How Is It Diagnosed
The best method for detecting vasa previa is to do a transvaginal scan combined with a color Doppler. A transvaginal scan is internal. The transducer that produces the ultrasound waves is shaped to fit inside a womans vagina. It will be lubricated and covered with a sheath. Its far more accurate than using an abdominal scan as it allows the sonographer to see the area of interest clearly.
If the image is viewed in grayscale, it can be difficult to read. This is where the color Doppler comes in. This technique allows color to be added to the image to enable the technician to see which way the blood is flowing and at what speed.
Because of the rarity of this condition, its not routinely screened for. Your doctor will probably recommend these tests if you have one or more of the risk factors described above.
How Much Bleeding Is Normal During Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy is relatively common and usually is a cause of concern for the mother. Women wonder how much bleeding during early pregnancy is normal. While early bleeding may indicate the presence of a serious problem, this is frequently not the case. In fact, approximately 20% of pregnant women experience light bleeding or spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Most women go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies and ultimately deliver a healthy baby.
Spotting: Spotting usually refers to a few drops of blood that would not cover a pad or panty liner. Bleeding refers to blood flow that is heavy enough to require wearing a pad. If bleeding occurs during the first trimester, wear a panty liner or pad so that you are able to get an idea of the amount of bleeding that is occurring and can tell the health care professional. However, you should not use a tampon in the vagina or douche during pregnancy.
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.
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.
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 tell your doctor right away.
If you are feeling at all concerned, give your doctor’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.