- Bleeding can be normal in the first trimester
- It can also be a sign of miscarriage
- Ectopic or molar pregnancy can also cause bleeding in the first trimester
- Placental abruption or other complications cause bleeding in second or third trimester
- Doctor may recommend bed rest for bleeding and related complications
Bleeding is nothing new to a woman. It has been a part of her life for years. It is also quite natural to have a little of vaginal bleeding or ‘Spotting’ during pregnancy. But, if the bleeding or spotting becomes heavier than normal or longer than normal, then it should be taken seriously. It can be a sign of any complications including miscarriage.
Spotting is just drops of blood and bleeding is the flow of blood as in regular menstrual cycle. Spotting can appear during the implantation of fertilized egg, mostly when the period date gets nearer for the pregnant woman.
According to American Pregnancy Association, bleeding during the first trimester need not be a health issue, but if it is during the second or third trimester it should be consulted with a doctor as soon as possible.
Spotting or bleeding during the first, second and third trimester has different reasons.
Bleeding during the first trimester:
Though it is common during the first trimester, the bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage. Bleeding with cramps and presence of tissues in the discharge are the signs of a possible miscarriage. If that is the case, call your health care provider.
As per statistics, one in five confirmed pregnancies is lost through miscarriages. It is a natural way of terminating an unhealthy pregnancy and there is no method to prevent it.
Ectopic pregnancy is another reason for bleeding or spotting during the first trimester. Ectopic pregnancy is the pregnancy outside the uterus. Normally, the fertilized egg is implanted inside the uterus walls, but in an ectopic pregnancy, it can happen in fallopian tube, cervix or ovary. Bleeding with severe cramps especially in the abdominal area, low levels of hCG after confirmation of pregnancy can be signs of an ectopic pregnancy.
Similarly, molar pregnancy can also cause bleeding in the first trimester. Molar pregnancy is the formation of noncancerous cells in the womb. The cluster of cells will not develop into a fetus but shows symptoms of pregnancy like missed periods. Bleeding can be a sign of molar pregnancy, and it can only be diagnosed through an ultra sound scan.
Infection in the vagina or uterus can also cause bleeding in the first trimester.
Bleeding in the Second or Third trimester:
Bleeding is not quite normal during pregnancy; hence it should be taken seriously, especially in the last weeks.
Major reasons for bleeding in the second trimester include:
- Placental abruption: It is the condition of moving out of placenta from the womb. It can happen before or during labor also and causes bleeding sometimes. In some cases, bleeding with stomach pain can be there, or only stomach pain can be a sign of placental abruption.
- Placenta Previa: When the placenta gets attached near the cervix part of the womb, it is called placenta previa. It is a serious condition which may lead to a C-section as vaginal birth may harm the placenta. Bleeding can be another sign of this condition.
- Vasa Previa: f the baby’s blood vessels pass through the membranes near the cervix, it is called vasa previa. When the membrane ruptures during delivery, it may affect the blood vessel and causes heavy blood loss to the baby. Bleeding in the second or third trimester can be a symptom of this condition.
- Preterm labor: As you get nearer to the due date, if bleeding occurs, it can be a sign of preterm labor. Usually, the bleeding may be followed by labor like pain, cramps, and contractions in the pregnant woman. Consult with the doctor and decide on managing the situation. Whether to seek medical help at home or to get to the hospital should be consulted with the doctor.
Other than the above-said reasons, having sex, cervical tenderness etc. can also cause bleeding during the pregnancy. It is important to know what causes the bleeding. It may require an ultrasound scanning, pelvic examination or blood test to diagnose the cause of bleeding. So, always seek advice from your midwife or health care provider in case of bleeding during pregnancy.
Sometimes, the doctor may recommend a bed rest in case of bleeding. While it can also be treated with medications if needed, but all those treatment methods are based on the individual condition and causes for the bleeding.