Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is common, and it happens for some reasons. Usually, it’s no cause for alarm; it’s common to have bleeding at some point in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Most women who experience bleeding during pregnancy go on to deliver healthy babies. But it’s important to take vaginal bleeding during pregnancy seriously because bleeding can sometimes be a sign of something serious.
Bleeding during pregnancy can indicate an upcoming miscarriage or a condition that needs immediate treatment. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the possible causes and get examined by a doctor to ensure you and your baby are healthy.
By understanding the most common causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, you’ll know what to look for and when to speak with a medical specialist. Here’s what you need to know about bleeding during pregnancy.
Bleeding in the first trimester
Bleeding (or spotting) in the first trimester can be common and doesn’t often mean there’s something wrong. You shouldn’t worry about it. Just take notes about the bleeding you see and speak to a doctor to let them know your symptoms. Below are some of the causes of bleeding in the first trimester;
— Miscarriage: This is the loss of the pregnancy before 20 weeks. Usually, it starts as light bleeding and later gets heavier. Severe cramping may be accompanied.
— Molar pregnancy: It is a rare condition that instead of a fertilized egg implanting in your uterus, a tumour is formed (rather than a foetus).
— Implantation bleeding: When a fertilized egg implants in the wall of your uterus and causes light bleeding, implantation bleeding is said to have occurred. During early pregnancy, it is considered normal.
— Ectopic pregnancy: This occurs when a pregnancy forms outside of your uterus (like in your fallopian tubes). Ectopic pregnancy can be lethal.
— Subchorionic hematoma: When bleeding from one of the membranes that surround the embryo inside your uterus occurs, this is termed subchorionic hematoma. It usually resolves on its own.
— Cervical polyps: A noncancerous growth on your cervix that bleeds in pregnancy due to elevated estrogen levels.
Bleeding in the second or third trimester
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can also occur in the second or third trimester. But when it does happen, it is associated with more serious conditions, indicating a problem with the baby or the mother. Some possible causes of bleeding during this period are;
- Incompetent cervix
- Placenta previa
- Preterm labour
- Placental abruption
- Problems with the cervix like growths on the cervix, cervical infection, or inflamed cervix.
Book an appointment to speak with a doctor immediately if you experience bleeding in your late pregnancy.