Are you pregnant and have been spotting? It might look scary if this is your first baby. However, there is nothing to be worried about. Not just yet. To answer all your queries, we spoke to Dr Rijaphin R, Senior Consultant - Obstetrician & Gynecologist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Chennai.
Bleeding During First Trimester
Any pregnancy is divided into three phases or trimesters. Causes and treatments vary depending upon the phases. The chances of bleeding in the first three months or 12 weeks of pregnancy are between 15% and 20%. It means that two in 10 expecting women can experience bleeding in the first trimester.
There are various causes for it. However, the doctor would first rule out miscarriage. The chances for it are in the range of 10% to 15%. The rate of miscarriage remains to be between 45% and 55% in the first 14 days of conception.
In the case of early-stage miscarriages, a person experiences heavy bleeding. It can be followed by abdominal cramps and passage of some elements.
Bleeding During Second And Third Trimesters
In the second or third trimester of pregnancy, a woman can experience bleeding due to cervical incompetence. In this case, the water bag ruptures. It is followed by blood and the expulsion of the baby.
It is a condition in which the placenta occupies the lower part of the uterus. It either partially or completely covers the birth canal. In such cases, the expecting woman might present with painless bleeding, which would need the immediate intervention of the doctor.
In about one percent of pregnancies, the placenta separates prematurely even before the labour pain starts. It can result in heavy bleeding, which can be harmful to the mother and the baby. It requires the immediate attention of the doctor.
Vasa previa is a condition in which the blood vessels cross the opening of the birth canal. It can be hazardous for the baby and needs immediate intervention from the doctor. The baby can be deprived of oxygen which can lead to bleeding.
Bleeding towards the end of pregnancy can be a sign of labour. It shows that your baby is ready to come out into this world.
Uterine rupture is also a rare condition in which the uterus tears apart or breaks open. It can be life-threatening for the mother and the baby.
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Ectopic pregnancy is when the foetus starts developing outside the uterus, mostly in the fallopian tubes. The chances for this are about two percent. In such cases, the woman might experience lightheadedness, syncopal attacks and severe abdominal cramps. In such cases, medical, surgical or conservative intervention might be required. This is checked in the first trimester, possible when the expecting women visits the doctor for the first time.
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Molar pregnancy is a rare case when a tissue instead of the baby grows inside the uterus. In such cases, a woman is not expecting but experiences similar symptoms, including vomiting, severe nausea and rapid enlargement of the uterus. In such cases, the only way to keep the patient healthy is by evacuation of the tissue. This is also checked in the first three months of pregancy to ensure that the symptoms do not worsen in the patient.
Sometimes, a woman can experience bleeding during the implantation period. It can last about 10-14 days. Other reasons for bleeding during pregnancy include polyps in the cervix, infection of the cervix or vagina, cancer, polyps and cervical changes during the gestation period.
Some reasons are harmless, while others can be life-threatening. In any case, one must not overlook bleeding during pregnancy. It is always best to consult a gynaecologist to rule out any complications and receive immediate attention if required.