Bleeding in early pregnancy

Should I be concerned if I have bleeding in pregnancy?

Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy can occur frequently especially in the first trimester. It could be something minor or potentially lead to major complications. It is better for you to contact your doctor even it has stop bleeding to ensure that nothing serious is going on.
What should I do if I am pregnant and having vaginal bleeding?
  • There are many possible causes for vaginal bleeding in pregnancy. It is best for you to see your doctor. However, if you are having heavy bleeding, severe abdominal pain or fainting episodes it is better to go to the hospital immediately.
  • Wear a pad or panty liner so you could monitor the amount of bleeding.
  • Do not insert a tampon or have sexual intercourse until the cause of bleeding is investigated.

What are the causes of bleeding in early pregnancy?

Approximately 20 – 30% of pregnant women experience bleeding in early pregnancy. There are several causes of bleeding in early pregnancy as listed below:
  • Miscarriage
About 50% of women who bleeds in early pregnancy do not end up with a miscarriage. 15- 20% of pregnancies will end up in miscarriage. Miscarriages usually occur in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy. Other symptoms associated with miscarriage include lower abdominal pain, passing out of products of conception (tissue like material from the vagina)
Please refer to the Pregnancy Loss section for further details.
  • Ectopic pregnancy
This refers to pregnancy to implants outside the uterus. It occurs in about 1 out of every 50 pregnancies. Please refer to the Ectopic Pregnancy section for further details.
  • Molar pregnancy (mole / gestational trophoblastic disease)
This is a rare condition in pregnancy and refers to abnormal growth of placental tissue instead of the embryo. Please refer to the Molar Pregnancy section for further details.
  • Implantation bleeding
In some women, there might have some minimal vaginal bleeding or spotting when the embryo burrows into the uterine cavity during implantation. This usually occurs from 6 – 12 days after conception. So, usually you do not even know that your are pregnant yet and majority will think it is their menses.
  • Post sexual intercourse
During pregnancy, the cervix becomes soft and fragile. Thus, it tends to bleed easily during sexual intercourse. Do not proceed with sexual intercourse until you have seen your doctor. Sexual intercourse does not cause miscarriages.
  • Vaginal or bladder infection

 What are the causes of bleeding in late pregnancy?

  • Minor conditions: e.g vaginal infection or benign (non-cancerous)growth on the cervix.
  • Placenta abruption
This refers to detachment or separation of the placenta from the underlying uterine wall. It happens in about 1% of pregnancy. Please refer to the placenta abruption section for further details.
This refers to the presence of the placenta in the lower part of the uterus either partially or completely covering the os. It is usually diagnosed after 28 weeks after the lower segment of the uterus has been formed. It could be potentially life threatening to both the mother and baby.Please refer to the Placenta previa section for further details.
Vaginal bleeding could be a sign of labour. Other associated symptoms may be lower abdominal or back pain (contractions) and vaginal discharge (watery, bloody or mucous) Please refer to the Premature Labour section for further details



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