Bleeding during Pregnancy, is it Normal? – All you need to know

Well, if you are expecting a baby then it becomes necessary to know what sort of changes are typical or not for your body. Any kind of bleeding during pregnancy is actually very unnerving and quite terrifying. Although apart from bleeding during pregnancy, spotting can be considered quite harmless as it poses no threat to mom to be or baby. To quite a few percentages of women spotting is usually observed but in the case of bleeding during pregnancy no matter how little it is may prove to create complications. Regular bleeding without pregnancy is associated with tearing of vaginal walls or infections but bleeding at the time of pregnancy may happen due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or placental Previa. Hence it is recommended that it should not be ignored. So to be on safer side, one must always know the causes, symptoms and the right time when as to consult the doctor. This article will guide you to avoid any further complications staying healthy during pregnancy.

Is bleeding normal during pregnancy?

Bleeding during pregnancy may prove to be scary to many at first, but it is not always that the bleeding senses sign of something being wrong. The bleeding during the first trimester or first three months is quite reasonable to occur. Approx 20% of women experience this kind of bleeding, but the amount of bleeding can become a concern for some. Bleeding as compared to spotting involves little more amount of blood that requires one to use a pad. This should be done to know the amount of blood giving you an idea for when to consult the health care professional.  Also, tampon should not be used in the vagina during pregnancy.

What causes bleeding during the first half of the pregnancy?

Pregnancy has different stages where your baby grows from zygote to embryo. Vaginal bleeding or bleeding during pregnancy in the first half is a good sign of any critical condition. But there are still many causes and symptoms that let bleeding in the first trimester of the pregnancy. Have a look.

Causes of the bleeding-

Causes of the bleeding during pregnancy

  • A change in the cervix is one of the causes of vaginal bleeding. This happens because of the hormonal production that increases during pregnancy. It makes cervix softer and hence more prone to bleeding. Also, cervical polyp or overgrowth o a tissue leads to increase in bleeding. It may further be provoked due to sexual intercourse or pelvic examination. This type of bleeding is though not a major concern.
  • Secondly, spontaneous vaginal bleeding may also be driven by a vaginal infection or may be by abnormal vaginal discharge.

This vaginal bleeding may act as the indication of serious problems like-

Miscarriage– It is one of the most common risks during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and is of highest concern during bleeding. Vaginal bleeding can just be a sign of miscarriage, but it necessarily does not mean that women will miscarry her child. About 90% of the women who bleed during pregnancy do not experience failure whereas the bleeding during pregnancy is common with around 30% of the women.

Signs of miscarriage may include light vaginal bleeding and apart from that the pain due to cramps in the lower part of the stomach that is usually stronger than menstrual cramping.  Most of the miscarriages cannot be saved for it is the natural way of body to deal with unhealthy pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy– The presence of ectopic pregnancy can be indicated by vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. Basically, in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized embryo is implanted outside the uterus that is usually in the fallopian tube where there is no adequate blood supply to sustain full growth. In this case, if embryo keeps on growing the fallopian tube may burst that can be life-threatening to the mother.

Signs of Ectopic pregnancy-

  •  Cramping and pain in abdomen
  •  Low levels of hCG
  •  Vaginal bleeding in high amount

Usually, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in only 1 out of 60 women and is highly dangerous but less common than a miscarriage. Women who have suffered previously pelvic surgery or any kind of infection in the tube are more prone to it.

  • Molar Pregnancy– It is also called as a gestational trophoblastic disease that is a very rare condition. In this type of pregnancy, the bleeding occurs due to abnormal growth of tissue inside the uterus instead of a baby. It may sometimes be cancerous causing its spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms of this include-
  1.  Nausea and vomiting
  2.  Enlargement of uterus
  3.  Absent fetal heart beats
  4.  Grape-like clusters growth in uterus
  • Implantation Bleeding– Another cause of bleeding during pregnancy may happen due to implantation as well during first 12 weeks. During this period the fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of the uterus. This type of bleeding makes some women skip the thought that they are even pregnant because it looks no different from the usual menstrual bleeding. It occurs for few days and happens in about 30% of women.
  • Subchorionichemorrhage– In this condition vaginal bleeding happens because the blood gets collected gestational sac and wall of the uterus. This can be seen as ultra-uterine clot with the help of ultrasound. This comes out as dark blood or clots from the vagina.

Diagnosing Bleeding During First Trimester-

Firstly you should be aware of the difference between spotting and bleeding. The light spotting can be due to obvious reason, but heavy bleeding can be detected with the help of health care professional using ultrasound and pelvic examination. One must diagnose it using several blood tests recommended by the doctor during pregnancy.

When to call a Doctor?

Now, this becomes the biggest doubt of all as when it is needed to call for health expert or consult some doctor. After when you notice bleeding during pregnancy at any stage, it is appropriate to consult or call a doctor for further supervision. If the bleeding during pregnancy is heavy like menstrual bleeding than the monitoring of a doctor is importantly needed. If the bleeding is accompanied by pain or cramping and it is recommended to wear the pad to have the account of the amount of blood. Also record the color of your blood pink, brown or red to tell the doctor along with bringing any tissue if it passes through the vagina for testing. The doctor will supervise if told on correct time the consequence of pregnancy using ultrasound. Further, if you feel any pain or dizziness along with high fever going for health care expert is a must.

Bleeding During Pregnancy in Second and Third Trimester-

 Where the bleeding during the first trimester is usually not fatal the abnormal bleeding in late pregnancy may be more serious trouble to deal with. Bleeding during this time may prove a problem to mother or baby. This condition needs an emergency appointment with the doctor. The bleeding during second and third trimester may be due to following reasons-

  • Placental Abruption- Bleeding, in this case, is caused due to detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall before or during the labor. The last 12 weeks of pregnancy are more prone to this abruption. Pain in the abdomen, cramping, and uterine tenderness are generally signs of this condition. Women above 35 years of age or ones, who already have 3 or so children, have sickle cell anemia, use cocaine or have the problem of high BP may suffer from this placental abruption. Only 1% of women are known to observe this during pregnancy.
  • Placenta Previa- It is considered as one of the most common causes of bleeding during pregnancy at the later half. It occurs when the placenta covers the part of the cervix or in most placenta moves away before birth only. Ultrasound is the best way to spot this condition. Placenta previa can lead to dangerous conditions like Vasa Previa and immediate attention is must here. Bleeding usually occurs without any pain and women at higher risk are those who had undergone cesarean birth or have twins or triplets.
  • Preterm Labor- Bleeding during pregnancy in later stages is just a sign that you are ready to deliver a baby. The small amount of blood at that point is due to the passing of mucous plug that covers the opening of the uterus. But if bleeding happens before the 37th week of pregnancy the immediate contact to the doctor is needed as it may be premature labor. Vaginal discharge, uterus cramping, lower back pain or pelvic pains are signs of this condition.

Is your Baby Safe?

The next biggest concern of any pregnant women when they spot bleeding during pregnancy is whether your child safe or not. Well in the majority of cases the bleeding seems to be harmless, and your baby is likely to be fine. But still, to be safer, you must consult your doctor or health expert so that they may signal a problem if any.

Anyway, to stay active and healthy is only what you need in your pregnancy period as it will be able to put behind any such consequences.

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