Bleeding during Pregnancy: Why this Happens?
Bleeding during pregnancy is represented by any vaginal bleeding, no matter the cause. It`s important to contact your obstetrician who monitors your pregnancy and talk to him about every detail of your bleeding: the amount of blood, the aspect of the bleeding or the presence of clots or tissue.
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Menstruation & Pregnancy
The general belief is that once the pregnancy was installed, the menstrual cycle stops immediately, this being the first symptom that the woman is pregnant. Still, nothing is certain in this matter. When the tests confirm the presence of a pregnancy, it`s possible for the menstruation to be absent for a long period of time.
Even so, some pregnant women continue to experience during pregnancy similar bleeding to the one from menstruation. This happens most often during the first part of the pregnancy (and even a few spots from time to time along the pregnancy).
It`s possible for a regular menstrual cycle to be present during pregnancy? There are various reasons for the occurrence of spotting or bleeding during pregnancy. Some are serious and require medical treatment, but others are not. Some women have irregular menstrual cycle, even when they aren`t pregnant.
This may happen due to a conception which occurred near the next menstruation and may cause a major confusion in what means the date of menstruation or due date. The baby`s gestational age and due date are, usually, calculated depending on the date of the last menstruation.
An ectopic pregnancy in which the embryo will implant somewhere outside the uterus (most often the fallopian tubes) can lead to similar bleeding to menstruation. Ectopic pregnancies are very serious and can put the life of the mother in jeopardy. If there are cramps and bleeding experienced during pregnancy, medical care is vital.
Bleeding during Pregnancy: The First Trimester
The causes of bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy have different degrees of severity and include:
- Cervical cancer.
- Cervical changes, including the increase of cervical vasculature and softening of the cervix, resulting in bleeding during intercourse or vaginal examination.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Implantation bleeding – appears at 10 – 14 days after fertilization and is associated to the implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall.
- Moral pregnancy – chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo determines an increase of abnormal tissue inside the uterus.
- Cervical infections.
If the bleeding is minimal, like spotting, and disappears in less than a day, you can let that doctor who tracks your pregnancy know at the next visit. If the bleeding lasts for more than 24 hours, you`ll need to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If there`s a significant bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy in which there`s tissue eliminated accompanied by pain and cramps, this consists in an obstetric emergency and needs immediate consultation.
Bleeding during the Second Trimester
The causes of the bleeding in the second trimester of pregnancy include pathologies with an increased risk for the pregnancy, among which:
- Placenta previa.
- Placental abruption.
- Cervical insufficiency – if the cervical canal opens, this can lead to a miscarriage.
- Other cervical pathologies: cervical infection, cervicitis or cervical proliferation.
- Uterine rupture.
The doctor who monitors your pregnancy needs to be announced immediately if there`s any bleeding during the second trimester of pregnancy, if the duration is higher than a few hours or if the bleeding is associated with abdominal pain, cramps, fever or uterine contractions.
Bleeding during the Third Trimester
The causes of bleeding in the third trimester of pregnancy are similar to the ones from the second trimester, with the mention that the bleeding caused by the elimination of the mucus plug isn`t a sign of alarm. Along with the preparation of the cervix for birth, the mucus plug is eliminated with 1 or 2 weeks before birth and there may be a bloody discharge.
The appearance of bleeding during the third trimester before the week 37 of pregnancy and the bleeding accompanied by abdominal pain needs immediate obstetrical consultation.
Things You Should Know
If you are bleeding, you should always wear an absorbent in such a way that you are able to monitor the amount and type of your discharges.
You should never wear an internal tampon or insert anything else into the vagina (like shower gel). You should also avoid sexual intercourse if you are bleeding.
If you also have other symptoms, it`s possible to have other complications which require medical care.