Bleeding during pregnancy is considered by many women as a nightmare scenario. And the thought alone can incur morbid “what if’s” that can send stress levels up into space.
That is why in this article, we decided to explore the different factors associated with it. Why does it happen, what are the factors that contribute to it, and most importantly – how to deal with it effectively.
What Does It Mean If You Are Pregnant And You Start Bleeding?
Roughly around 20% of pregnant women experience some sort of bleeding during early pregnancy, making it somewhat part of the “package”.
But then again, seeing blood pouring out of our bodies is not something we humans associate with as natural. And with the sensitivities of having a baby growing inside of you, seeing this abnormality does do any good for a woman’s mental health.
On that note, allow us to give you several scenarios that can lead to bleeding during pregnancy.
Bleeding During The Early Stage Of Pregnancy
Cervical Changes are completely common and can be caused by a Pap Smear test that disturbed the cervix, intercourse or just added blood flow to the cervix. This is something you shouldn’t be concerned about.
Infection of the vagina or cervix region brought about by STD’s such as herpes, gonorrhea and/or chlamydia.
Implantation Bleeding which is nothing that normal spotting caused by the egg implanting itself into the uterus lining. Since this usually happens within the first twelve days after conception, most women still aren’t sure that they’re pregnant, and just mistake this as part of their monthly period.
Ectopic Pregnancy is when the fertilized embryo implants itself within the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. Though rare, it can be life threatening if the embryo is allowed to grow in its current location as it can lead to the fallopian tube bursting.
Miscarriage usually is the biggest concern when it comes to bleeding during pregnancy – especially during the first trimester. Though bleeding during this time of the pregnancy doesn’t usually mean a miscarriage, we highly advice that you check with your doctor and conduct an ultrasound. If it’s any consolation, figures state that 90% of women that had bleeding during their first trimester did not experience miscarriage – so don’t worry about it too much.
Bleeding During The Later Stage Of Pregnancy
Placenta Previa is when the opening of the birth canal is obstructed by the placenta. Though this condition is painless and rarely happens in the late stages of pregnancy, it is deemed as serious and should be addressed immediately.
Placental Abruption happens during or before labor. It is the pooling of blood between the uterus and the placenta due to the latter detaching from the uterus wall. This is considered a life threatening condition for both mother and her baby.
Uterine Rupture can be caused by a previous C-section scar opens up. Again, this is a serious condition and should immediately be addressed.
Vasa Previa though rare, is a condition that can be very life threatening to the baby. It’s when the baby’s blood vessel within the placenta or umbilical cord crosses with the birth canal’s opening. If the blood vessel ruptures, it can cause severe bleeding and oxygen loss for the baby.
Premature Labor happens when the protective mucus that covers the uterus gets flushed out of the vagina. If this happens before you reach your 37th week, and if signs of labor starts to manifest, immediately contact your doctor.
How Much Bleeding During Pregnancy Is Normal?
The question of it being normal completely depends on when it happens, why it’s happening, and how much bleeding is experienced.
As stated earlier, there are numerous factors that contribute to a pregnant woman bleeding – with some less dangerous than others.
So we believe that the correct question to make would be to ask yourself “why” you’re bleeding – and of course, your doctor has the final say on that.
But for the sake of conversation, it’s usually like this:
If the bleeding happens during the early part of your pregnancy, and it’s volume is just light, then it’s just normal.
But if the bleeding occurs around the second trimester or further, and if its volume is heavy with you experiencing a bit of pain, then it’s no longer normal and you should immediately seek medical help.
Does Bleeding Always Mean Miscarriage?
To really find out if the bleeding you’re experiencing is a miscarriage is to have yourself checked by your doctor.
Now in the event that a miscarriage has indeed happened, then the next step would be to ascertain your current health by measuring the amount of blood you’re losing.
For example, if your bleeding is able to go through a couple of maxi pads an hour, for two straight hours, then you might be hemorrhaging and might need to undergo a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure to resolve the bleeding.
Now in the event that your bleeding is not that heavy, but continues for the next couple of days, then you still contact your doctor and get tested for other complications.
How Do I Know If I’m Having A Miscarriage?
These are the common symptoms a pregnant woman may have when experiencing a miscarriage. If you have more than one of these symptoms, we strongly suggest that you immediately contact your doctor and have your condition checked.
- Severe back pain and not just the usual pain from menstrual cramps
- Sudden weight loss
- Excretion of white and pinking mucus
- Very painful contractions every 5 to 20 minutes
- Bleeding of brown or bright red blood with experiencing any cramps
- Excretion of tissues and clotted materials from your vagina
- Sudden loss of pregnancy signs
How Can I Stop Bleeding During Pregnancy?
We used this header as a way to highlight the fact that this is not the correct way of dealing with the issue of bleeding. The correct question would be “How can I minimize the prospect of bleeding during pregnancy?”
A word of caution though before we proceed. The things we are about to give you are but suggestions and not to be taken as professional medical advice, or a magic pill that can get rid of bleeding. That only true solution is for you to consult you doctor about your condition.
Moving forward, here are some of the things you can do to lower the possibility of you bleeding during pregnancy.
- Try to keep a healthy lifestyle
- Go for an organic diet
- Consistently drink a lot of water
- Try to not get yourself injured
- Do not smoke, drink or do drugs
- Try to minimize stress
- Try to get enough sleep each night
- Make sure to get prenatal care
- Religiously take the supplements your doctor gave you
- Always keep your doctor in the loop with your pregnancy
Having to go through the stress of bleeding during pregnancy can be a very physically and psychologically draining experience for any woman.
But we hope that by sharing what we know about the subject, we are able to help you navigate this exciting, but sometimes demanding, time of your life.
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