Vaginal bleeding occurs often during the first three months of the gestation period and may not cause any problem to the pregnant woman. If the bleeding occurs during the second and third trimesters of the gestation period, it can be a warning sign of any further complication.
If the woman encounters any bleeding during pregnancy, it is suggested for her to use a sanitary pad such that the amount of bleeding can be estimated and the type of bleeding can be investigated on. If there is spotting observed during pregnancy, tampon usage or sexual intercourse that introduces something into the vaginal region are not recommended.
Causes of Spotting During the First Half of the Pregnancy
About 20 to 30 percent of pregnancies might have bleeding during the first half of the pregnancy. Other than certain complications like miscarriages, molar pregnancies and ectopic pregnancies, there are few common reasons for bleeding in the early pregnancy.
The implantation bleeding might happen within six to 12 days after the implantation of the embryo. The bleeding due to implantation might differ from one woman to another. Some women will find spotting lightly for few hours. Some women might encounter light spotting for about two days.
Bleeding can result due to some type of infection that might exist in the pelvic cavity or in the urinary tract.
After the Sexual Intercourse
The cervix being sensitive and tender, some women might bleed after having sexual intercourse. It is better to stop sexual intercourse until the doctor examines the bleeding patient. The doctor’s examination is necessary to avoid any further irritation. Normal sexual intercourse will not lead to any miscarriage usually.
Bleeding during pregnancy might be a sign for miscarriage. But, it is not imminent that bleeding leads to miscarriage. It is estimated that nearly half of the women bleeding during their pregnancy will not have miscarriages. Nearly 15 to 20 percent of all the pregnancies with bleeding lead to miscarriage which mostly occurs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The symptoms of the miscarriage are vaginal bleeding, tissue passing through the vagina and cramping in the lower stomach. Most of the miscarriages cannot be prevented or avoided. Sometimes, the miscarriage is a way of the body to handle the unhealthy pregnancy which is not growing properly. The miscarriage does not indicate that the woman cannot have pregnancy anymore and that she is not healthy.
When the implantation occurs anywhere outside the uterus, then it leads to ectopic pregnancy. Most of the ectopic pregnancies form in the fallopian tubes. Compared to the statistics of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy is less commonly observed. It is estimated that one in 60 pregnancies are ectopic in origin.
The signs that indicate whether the pregnancy is ectopic include sharp pain in the abdominal region, stomach cramps at low level of the stomach, vaginal bleeding and low HCG levels. The risks of ectopic pregnancy becomes higher when the women contract infection in the tubes, if there was any surgery in the pelvic region previously and if there was any ectopic pregnancy earlier.
Early bleeding might be also due to molar pregnancy which might be a rare causal factor for bleeding during pregnancy. Molar pregnancy involves the development of abnormal tissue in the uterus instead of the embryo. This condition is otherwise known as gestational trophoblastic disease. The molar pregnancy signs include vaginal bleeding, ultrasound detection of grape like clusters in the uterus, higher HCG levels in the blood and absence of the heart tones of the fetus.
Causes of Spotting During the Second Half of the Pregnancy
Minor bleeding during the second or third trimesters of the pregnancy might be due to the swollen cervix or any extra growths present in the cervix. Bleeding in the later stage of the pregnancy must be immediately informed to the health care professional and get adequate medical attention to handle the situation.
If the placenta has detached from the uterus wall prior to or during the labor, it might lead to vaginal bleeding. Nearly one percent of pregnant women are known to face this problem and it might happen during the last 12 weeks of the pregnancy. The women might have stomach pain and bleeding during placental abruption.
The women who are at higher risk of having placental abruption are those who are above 35 years of age, who had children already, who had abruption previously, who have sickle cell anemia, who use cocaine and who had injuries to the stomach.
When the placenta is present very low in the uterus, it might lead to bleeding. Those who had surgery in the uterus previously will have higher risk of developing this condition. This type of cases will arise as one in 200.
Bleeding occurring just few weeks before the labor passing the mixture of mucus and blood might indicate that the woman is going to experience pre-term labor. Therefore, the patient has to see the doctor immediately to avoid complications.
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