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Bleeding During Pregnancy

High-Risk Obstetrics, Bleeding During Pregnancy, Menopause Center of Los AngelesIt’s not uncommon for women to experience spotting, or light bleeding during pregnancy. If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed, especially if you notice it after intercourse.

But, sometimes vaginal bleeding is an indicator of a serious issue.

Should I Call My Doctor About Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy?

If you’re concerned about vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy, even if it is just the first trimester, please do not hesitate to call us. We can perform a pelvic exam and ultrasound, and if there is any cause for concern, we can order other diagnostic tests. Be prepared for your doctor to ask you for a complete history, including how much bleeding you’ve had, and if you’ve experienced any pain.

Miscarriage and Vaginal Bleeding

Miscarriages are most likely to occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. An estimated 1 out of 5 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

Many miscarriages present with severe cramping and vaginal bleeding, with or without clots. However, some miscarriages don’t involve any cramping, and sometimes, bleeding occurs on its own without signaling a miscarriage.

The bottom line is, if you’re experiencing any bleeding, try not to panic. There are many reasons why you may have vaginal bleeding – some are serious, and some are no cause for concern. Call us as soon as you can so we can talk about your symptoms.

Other Causes for Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy

Cervical problems

If the cervix is inflamed or has developed cervical growths, you may experience some light bleeding. Prescription medication and certain procedures can treat both of these conditions.

Placenta previa

The placenta is shaped like a pancake, and when it covers the cervical opening, this is called placenta previa. This condition can cause vaginal bleeding. In about 90% of cases, the problem resolves itself. In the other 10%, an Ob/Gyn may recommend a Cesarean delivery.

Placental abruption

The placenta may separate from the uterine wall before labor, causing pain and heavy vaginal bleeding. This condition requires immediate medical help, as problems with the placenta could prevent the flow of oxygen to your baby.

Ectopic pregnancy

When a fertilized egg implants in a Fallopian tube instead of in the uterus, what results is a dangerous and painful condition called ectopic pregnancy. The rapidly-dividing zygote could rupture the Fallopian tube, causing internal bleeding, weakness, fainting, shock, pain, or even death. An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical treatment.

Vaginal Bleeding and Labor

High-Risk Obstetrics, Bleeding During Pregnancy, Menopause Center of Los AngelesTowards the end of your pregnancy, vaginal bleeding can signal labor. The bloody mucus expelled just before beginning labor is called “bloody show.” This is fairly normal within three weeks of your due date.

Pre-term labor. If “bloody show” makes an appearance earlier than three weeks prior to your due date, you may be going into pre-term labor. This is especially likely if you’re also experiencing:

  • An increase or new type of vaginal discharge (mucus, bloody, or watery).
  • Pressure in the lower abdomen.
  • Cramps.
  • Lower back aches.
  • Contractions.

If you think you’re going into pre-term labor, call your doctor right away.

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