There is usually no cause for alarm for women who are bleeding while pregnant. The bleeding can occur at any time during pregnancy, but the first trimester is when it usually happens. However, it is very important to know what causes spotting while pregnant since it can sometimes be a sign of something serious. Getting checked by a doctor is always essential to maintain both your’s and your baby’s health.
About 20% of women experience bleeding during their first trimester. Blood is not a sign of something serious during this period most of the time. However, if you notice bleeding during the second half of your pregnancy you have to contact your doctor and schedule an appointment immediately.
Bleeding During Pregnancy Facts
You should always call your healthcare professional if you notice any signs of vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy. Bleeding may be a serious sign of something dangerous and you don’t want to risk anything.
If you are unsure what is considered bleeding during pregnancy, just pay special attention if you notice any vaginal bleedings during your first and third trimester. You shouldn’t be bleeding while pregnant from your vagina if everything is normal.
Vaginal bleeding during the first trimester is self-explanatory. If you notice blood during the first three months of pregnancy – contact your doctor. Blood may vary during this period from heavy blood clots to just light spotting. About 20%-30% of women experience vaginal bleeding during the first trimester.
Noticing vaginal bleeding during the second half of your pregnancy is a serious sign of something going wrong. Spotting while pregnant during the last trimester involves different concerns from bleeding early in the pregnancy. As already mentioned above, bleeding is abnormal if it happens during the second or third trimester.
There should be no signs of blood after the 28th week of pregnancy. If you, however, notice it go to a doctor immediately because this is considered a true emergency. Bleeding during this period can be either extremely brisk or mild and is sometimes followed by abdominal pain. One of the most common deaths in the United States is associated with hemorrhage and its complications.
First Trimester Bleedings
Several different factors might cause bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. As already mentioned above, about 20%-30% of all pregnant women will experience some kind of bleeding during the first three months of their pregnancy. Most women are concerned about the normal amount of bleeding during this period. Once the fertilized egg is implanted in the wall of the uterus you might be able to notice implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding usually happens around the time you expect your menstrual period to happen. However, the menstrual period is usually thicker than implantation bleeding and that’s how you can make a difference.
Chances of miscarriage are increased if there’s bleeding during your pregnancy. Be aware of the fact that 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic in location. This means that the fetus is not properly located in the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy may be considered if you notice vaginal bleeding during the first trimester. Going through this type of pregnancy may be life-threatening. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you notice bleeding while pregnant, especially if you notice period-like, heavy blood clots during the first three months. There are different reasons why you may be bleeding during your first trimester:
If you notice spotting while pregnant during the first trimester, it is most likely caused by the implantation process. Your embryo has to be implanted into the uterine wall and this might cause a small number of spots. However, this bleeding is usually minimal and you may even miss it. It will most likely happen on the same day as your period should, and this is why it can be troubling. You may mistake it for your regular period and don’t even be aware that you are already pregnant. Still, every woman will have to experience implantation bleeding during pregnancy and there is no reason to worry or to be concerned.
You probably heard of that bleeding or cramping are usually associated with a threatened miscarriage. The outcome of your pregnancy will be in question, but the fetus will stay inside the uterus (usually determined via ultrasound). This unfortunate condition might occur if you become dehydrated if you have been involved in physical trauma, if you have urinary tract infection, or if you use certain medications or drugs. Also, abnormal development of a fetus may trigger this condition, but it can happen even if there is no apparent reason at all.
On the bright side, these are probably the only reasons that might cause threatened miscarriage. Other things you do are most likely not to cause it, such as emotional stress, having sex, or heavy lifting.
If your uterus appears to be empty on ultrasound and your bleeding has slowed down you have probably experienced a completed miscarriage. People also refer to this condition as spontaneous abortion. Unfortunately, this means that you have lost the pregnancy. Things that might cause threatened miscarriage might also cause spontaneous abortion. Bleeding during the first trimester is usually caused by completed miscarriage and that’s why most moms are concerned about bleedings.
Seeing that positive result on your pregnancy test is one of the happiest moments in your life. However, having a completed miscarriage is depressing and some moms deal with it very badly. Talk to your friends and family about it and keep your mind positive.
Another cause of spotting while pregnant is an incomplete miscarriage also considered being a miscarriage in process. It happens if your cervix is open but you still pass tissue, clots, or blood. Your cervix should never be open for too long. A miscarriage is not completed if your cervix is open. This usually happens if there’s an infection or if your uterus starts to clamp down before all of the tissue has passed.
Ectopic pregnancy is also known as tubal pregnancy. Some laboratory results, an ultrasound or your medical history might point at ectopic pregnancy. The most dangerous cause of first trimester bleedings is an ectopic pregnancy.
It happens if the fertilized egg is implanted outside of your uterus, usually at a spot known as the Fallopian tube. This tube might be ruptured by the fertilized egg as it grows and you will be in a life-threatening danger due to excessive bleeding. Symptoms can be different but usually include bleeding, pain, and lightheadedness. Pain before the tenth week of pregnancy is a very common symptom of ectopic pregnancies. The lack of a supply of nutrients will kill the fetus. About 3% of females experience this unfortunate condition.
Spotting while pregnant is considered dangerous during the first trimester specifically because of this condition. It endangers both the fetus and a mother and you have to contact your doctor immediately if you notice blood.
Later Stages of Pregnancy
Problems with the placenta are one of the most common causes of late-pregnancy bleedings. Abnormal vagina or cervix might also cause some bleedings during the second half of your pregnancy. Here are some of the most common causes of bleeding while pregnant during the later stages:
The placenta is a structure that is keeping your baby connected to the wall of your womb. It can completely or partially cover your cervical opening – which is an opening that connects your vagina to your womb. Placenta previa is a condition that causes bleedings due to the above-mentioned reasons. Your cervix will start dilating and getting thinner as later in your pregnancy. This is completely normal since your body will be in preparation for labor. The placenta has blood vessels that will rupture and stretch during this period. About 20% of all bleedings during the third trimester are caused by this and will happen to 1 out of every 200 pregnant women. These are the risk factors for the condition:
- Prior placenta previa
- Prior Cesarean delivery
- Multiple pregnancies
In some cases, a normal placenta will separate from the wall of a woman’s womb before than it needs to. This will cause blood to collect between the uterus and the placenta. Placental abruption will happen in 1 out of every 200 pregnancies. Experts still can’t find the exact cause of this condition. However, there are potential risk factors and they include these conditions:
- Tobacco use
- Cocaine use
- High blood pressure
- Abruption in prior pregnancies
This is one of the most unfortunate conditions that might happen during your pregnancy. It is caused by an unusual opening of the uterus which causes your baby to be expelled into the abdomen, sometimes even completely. Luckily, this condition is very rare but it is very dangerous for both the baby and the mother. It also causes excessive bleeding while pregnant. Having a prior surgery on your uterus increases the chances of experiencing a uterine rupture. About 40% of women who had such a surgery experience this condition.
Other risk factors are:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Abnormal usage of oxytocin
- Certain types of forceps deliveries
- The unusual position of a baby inside a womb
- Baby’s shoulder getting caught on the pubic bone during labor
Fetal Vessel Rupture
Your baby’s blood vessels from the umbilical cord should be attached to your placenta. However, in some cases, they attach to the membranes instead. This is when your child’s blood vessels might pass to the birth canal over the entrance. Experts refer to this condition as vasa previa and it happens only in 1 out of every 5000 pregnancies on average.
Some of the less common causes of bleeding while pregnant during the second half of your pregnancy include injuries. Also, lesions of vagina and cervix such as cancer, varicose veins, and polyps might be the cause of bleeding.
Other bleeding problems are very rare. One of them is hemophilia and it happens only to 1 in every 10000 women. Another uncommon disease is von Willebrand disease. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any uncommon disease that you are aware of to minimize the risks and unwanted bleedings.
Baby Planet Overview
Experiencing bleeding during your pregnancy is not a good thing. It is usually a sign of something unwanted happening in your body, but it can also be harmless. Bleeding during the third and second trimesters is considered abnormal and should never happen if everything is fine. Make sure you visit a doctor if you notice cramping, bleeding, or clots coming out of your vagina.
Some bleeding during the first three months of your pregnancy is harmless, such as implantation bleeding. However, make sure to get checked if you think that bleeding is maybe caused by a miscarriage.