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What If I am Bleeding While Pregnant?

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be normal and nonthreatening to the baby. Many women experience it, especially during the first trimester, and go on to deliver healthy babies without any complications.

The following are some normal instances of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.

  • Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus 10 to 14 days after conception.
  • Light spotting during the first trimester will typically resolve within a few days. It’s either dark brown or light pink in color, and it’s not enough blood to fill a panty liner.
  • A woman may bleed following a pelvic ultrasound or intercourse, due to increased hormones and a sensitive cervix.
  • A subchorionic hematoma is when blood collects between the wall of the uterus and the chorionic membrane, or the outermost layer that separates the baby’s amniotic sac from the uterine wall. It can shrink without treatment and often resolves on its own, rarely causing any serious issues.
  • Pink or bloody discharge at the end of the pregnancy is a sign that labor may be starting.

Some occurrences of vaginal bleeding may require medical attention, however, so it’s important that you take it seriously. Try not to panic, and let your health care provider know what’s going on. You should call your doctor if:

  • You are bleeding and have abdominal pain or cramping.
  • You have heavy bleeding or you are passing large clots and/or tissue. (If you need to wear a pad, that’s considered heavy bleeding.)
  • You are dizzy or fainting.
  • You have a fever or chills.

It’s good to be overly cautious in these situations. You may need an ultrasound or physical exam to determine the cause. If you have vaginal bleeding during your second or third trimester, call your doctor right away. Go straight to an emergency room if the bleeding is severe.

Serious causes of vaginal bleeding include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy: when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus
  • Miscarriage
  • Cervical infections, growths, or inflammation
  • Placental abruption or placenta previa: when the placenta separates from the uterine wall or covers the cervix (this can cause severe bleeding)
  • Preterm labor (pelvic pressure, back pain, or contractions) between 20 and 37 weeks gestation
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Do your best to keep your doctor informed of any spotting or bleeding you experience throughout your pregnancy. That way, you and baby can be healthy and happy. If you have recently discovered you are pregnant, please contact us at Prestonwood Pregnancy Center to schedule your free pregnancy test today.

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