Bleeding during pregnancy is relatively common and doesn’t always mean there is a problem. It can be daunting and scary. However contrary to common beliefs, bleeding need not be a necessary harmful to a pregnant woman. However, it is important to take bleeding seriously at any stage of the pregnancy.
What are the possible causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?
Causes of vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy include
1.Implantation bleeding: It is a harmless light bleeding that often occurs around the time your period would have been due. It occurs when the developing embryo implants itself in the wall of the womb.
2.Cervical changes: Cervical changes due to pregnancy may sometimes cause bleeding specifically after sex.
3.Miscarriage: During early pregnancy vaginal bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage. About 1 in 5 pregnancies miscarry and usually, the cause is in the fetus and not the mother or the partner. At the same time, it is important to note that many women who bleed at this stage of pregnancy go on to have normal and successful pregnancies.
4.Ectopic pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy is when fertilized egg implants outside the womb, for example in the fallopian tube. It can cause bleeding and is dangerous.
Early detection and appropriate management is a must in this case, so as to prevent any life-threatening complication. Other less common causes are molar pregnancy (a mass that forms inside the uterus that does not result in a baby) and problems with the cervix such as a cervical growth or cervical or vaginal infections. Vaginal bleeding might also occur during the later second or third trimester of the pregnancy.
Some of the commonly occurring includes
1.Placenta praevia (low lying placenta): This is when the placenta is attached in the lower part of the womb, near to or covering the cervix. Bleeding from a low lying placenta can be very heavy and put you and your baby at risk
2.Placental abruption: It is a serious condition in which the placenta starts to come away from the womb wall.
3.Vasa praevia: A rare condition where baby’s blood vessels run through the membranes covering the cervix. When your water breaks, these vessels are torn and cause vaginal bleeding.
Vaginal bleeding towards the end of the pregnancy is normal. Often bleeding mixed with mucous (which is called show) can be a sign of the starting of the labor.
When to visit a doctor?
It is important to keep the doctor informed about any bleeding that may have occurred at any stage of the pregnancy. A woman should carefully note details such as the type of bleeding, its texture, whether it included any tissue or clots, other symptoms such as pain and dizziness To work out what is the causing the bleeding, you may need to have a vaginal or pelvic examination, an ultrasound scan or blood tests and according to the cause and how many weeks pregnant you are it would be advised whether you need to be admitted to hospital or not and further treatment would be planned and advised.