Cases of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy are relatively rare, but it should always be promptly reported to your doctor or another medical professional, according to both the Mayo Clinic and MedlinePlus. While not every type of pregnancy complication or unpleasant side effect can be prevented, you can reduce your chances of vaginal bleeding by avoiding tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs, as well as eating a balanced diet. Also, taking prenatal vitamins with plenty of folic acid can help reduce your chances of pregnancy-related bleeding. Finally, if you do experience vaginal bleeding, drink plenty of water and avoid sexual intercourse until a medical professional determines the cause of this potentially serious pregnancy-related symptom.
Not all vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is bad, even though the situation is usually frightening to an expectant mom, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most women who experience unexpected bleeding while pregnant go on to deliver healthy children.
Potential causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy include early labor, trauma to the cervix due to sexual intercourse or an infection of the cervix, according to MedlinePlus. Also, significant bleeding may indicate a miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy, especially during the first weeks of pregnancy.
Distinguishing between the different types of pregnancy bleeding is important, according to MedlinePlus. Clot-like bleeding is usually more common with a miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, if you are suffering from pain and bleeding at the same time, you may have an ectopic pregnancy; these pregnancies have a fetus resting in a fallopian tube rather than the uterus and cannot normally proceed. Ectopic pregnancies can lead to life-threatening bleeding and fertility loss if not promptly identified and treated surgically or with injections that dissolve the fetus.
Not all pregnancy bleeding can be prevented, but you can reduce your chances of pregnancy-related problems by limiting the number of sexual partners before conception, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some cases of pregnancy bleeding must be treated by bed rest in a hospital or a Cesarean section, according to MedlinePlus. Others, especially those related to infections, can be treated with antibiotics on an outpatient basis.
Prevalence and Time Frame
Only about 10 percent of pregnant women will experience any type of vaginal bleeding, according to MedlinePlus. Also, these symptoms are far more common during the first trimester. Women expecting twins or other multiples are more prone to vaginal bleeding.
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