One advantage pregnant women often joke about regarding a pregnancy benefit is no more periods for the next nine months. Because many women do not bleed while pregnant, if you do, it’s natural to be scared or worried. Take some comfort in knowing that it is common to bleed while you are pregnant and is not always a harbinger of trouble.
About First Trimester Bleeding
Bleeding is fairly common, occurring in 20 to 30 percent of pregnancies in the first trimester, and does not always mean there is a problem, according to the American Pregnancy Association. If you are bleeding, wear a pad so that you can monitor how much you are bleeding and what the blood looks like. Never use a tampon while pregnant. If you are bleeding, you should not douche or have sexual intercourse. Some causes of bleeding that are of minor concern are due to implantation bleeding, which causes light spotting, an infection in the pelvic cavity or urinary tract, or after intercourse. If you are bleeding after intercourse, discuss this with your doctor before having any more intercourse.
Most Common Cause of Problem Bleeding Early On
Bleeding in your first trimester could signal a miscarriage. This happens about half the time when there is bleeding during the first 12 weeks, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Signs of a miscarriage include bleeding, cramping (like menstrual cramps, but stronger) and tissue passing through the vagina. A miscarriage is the body’s way of dealing with a problem pregnancy, and you cannot do much to prevent one. Chromosomal problems that develop when the embryo grows are the usual reason women have miscarriages. This has nothing to do with the parents at all, according to MayoClinic.com. More rarely, the mother’s health is the reason, such as if she has uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid disease, infections or hormonal problems.
Additional Early Bleeding Problems
An ectopic pregnancy is one where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. These pregnancies cannot proceed. Symptoms are vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. Call your doctor if this happens to you. A molar pregnancy happens when the placenta develops into an abnormal mass, according to MayoClinic.com. Blood with a molar pregnancy looks dark brown to bright red. Other symptoms include severe nausea, vomiting, passage of grape-like cysts and pelvic pain. Consult your doctor immediately.
About Second Trimester Bleeding
If you bleed at all during the second or third trimesters, call your doctor. Bleeding this late into the pregnancy could pose a threat to you or your baby, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Placenta previa causes severe vaginal bleeding and happens when the placenta attaches to the lower part of the uterus and covers the cervix. Your doctor can determine if you have this by doing an ultrasound. You may be on bed rest until time for delivery. You may be able to deliver vaginally. Otherwise, you will have a C-section.
Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterus, either partially or completely. Symptoms are vaginal bleeding, uterine contractions and back pain. This situation requires emergency care.
Normal or Not?
Bleeding may also be a sign that you are in preterm labor. If you have bloody, watery, mucus-like discharge before your 37th week, you should see your doctor immediately, because labor is happening too soon. After week 37, this type of bloody show is normal.