Bleeding In Pregnancy


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Bleeding can occur either in early pregnancy or late pregnancy.

The term 'early pregnancy' refers to the duration of pregnancy from the first missed period to the 13th week of pregnancy (1st trimester) according to some researchers.

Others however describe 'early pregnancy' to mean the duration of pregnancy from the implantation of the fertilized ovum to the 20th week of pregnancy.

For the sake of convenience, here, early pregnancy means pregnancy up to and including the 20th week of pregnancy.

Late pregnancy is described as the later part of the 2nd trimester and the entire 3rd trimester.

Bleeding in Early Pregnancy is a common complaint of many women. It can be due to a number of causes, some serious and some relatively less serious.

Serious Causes of Bleeding in Early Pregnancy:

Some causes of bleeding can be quite serious and fatal for the baby:

  • Abortion/Miscarriage

    The medical term of miscarriage is abortion. It is defined as the expulsion of a fetus which is less than 500 gms and at less than 22 weeks of pregnancy. There are different types of abortion - Complete abortion, Incomplete abortion, Inevitable abortion, Habitual abortion, Missed Abortion and Septic Abortion. Read more...

  • Ectopic Pregnancy

    When pregnancy occurs outside the normal site in the uterus, it is termed as ectopic pregnancy. The implantation of the fetus can occur at different sites - in the ovaries, in the tubes, in the abdominal cavity etc. Read more...

  • Molar Pregnancy

    Molar Pregnancy occurs due to a chromosomal Defect in the fetus. In this condition, the chorionic villi surrounding the ovum is converted into a mass of cysts or vesicles of varying sizes. Read More...

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Less Serious Causes of Bleeding in Early Pregnancy:

  • Implantation Bleeding

    Implantation bleeding occurs at around the time of the first missed period. The bleeding is believed to occur when the embryo burrows into the endometrium at the time of implantaiton. The bleeding is usually less in amount, pinkish or brownish and not accompanied by pain or cramps. Read more...

  • Cervical erosion

    Cervical erosion, also known as cervical ectopy, is a condition in which the cells that normally line the inside of the cervical canal extend on to the surface of the cervix. This can occur due to either an increased estrogen level in the blood or due to a chronic infection. The cells become fragile and bleed easily. Read more...

  • Cervical Polyp

    A cervical Polyp is a small benign tumor which develops at the mouth of the cervix. During pregnancy, it can enlarge and become engorged, leading to bleeding. Read more...

  • Cervical and Vaginal Hemorrhoids:

    The veins of the cervix and/or the vagina can become enlarged and engorged at the time of pregnancy and bleed easily.

  • Cervical or Vaginal infections:

    Cervical or Vaginal infections can cause the tissues to become red and inflamed. The infections can be bacterial or fungal. The inflamed tissues can bleed easily, even during sexual intercourse.

Bleeding in Late Pregnancy

Bleeding in late pregnancy can occur due to simple causes like cervical erosion and cervical polyps. It can also occur due to serious causes like:

Do You Need to See a doctor if you have bleeding in early pregnancy?

The answer is "Yes, you do need to see a doctor if you have bleeding in early pregnancy".

Conditions like implantation bleeding, cervical erosion and cervical polyp will cause mild to moderate spotting and is generally not accompanied by pain or cramping.

But if you have any of the following symptoms, please consult a doctor as early as you can:

  • Pain or cramps in the lower abdomen.

  • Abdominal pain which radiates down the legs or to the back.

  • Bleeding which increases and becomes reddish to bright red.

  • Pain on one side of the lower abdomen which is worse when you walk or are active. If you are around 6 weeks of pregnancy, this may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, especially if the pregnancy test is faintly positive and does not show a definite line.

  • Backache, which may indicate a miscarriage or an infection.

  • Vaginal discharge with a foul odor.

Also Read-

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