Pregnancy Complications


What Does it Mean if I Start Bleeding During Pregnancy?

What Does it Mean if I Start Bleeding During Pregnancy?

Bleeding during pregnancy can be very concerning. Unfortunately, bleeding during pregnancy is often the chief sign of miscarriage. Miscarriage can happen any time during the first twenty weeks of pregnancy; after this, a failed pregnancy is called a stillborn. Let's talk more about bleeding during pregnancy.

Key Points

  • Bleeding during pregnancy can also be a sign of preterm labor or problems with the placenta.
  • Spotting is common during pregnancy, and usually isn't a reason for concern. Still, you should call your doctor if you experience spotting.
  • If you experience severe pain or severe bleeding, go to the emergency room. These are symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, which is considered a medical emergency.

What Causes Bleeding During Pregnancy?

Moderate to heavy bleeding may be a sign of one of the following problems:

  • Miscarriage (if the bleeding happens before 20 weeks)
  • Preterm labor (if the bleeding happens between 20 and 37 weeks)
  • Problems with the placenta — conditions in which it lies too low in the uterus or begins to separate from the inner wall of the uterus before birth can cause bleeding

Keep in mind that not all bleeding is immediately a reason for concern. Spotting is common, and generally isn't a reason for concern. Spotting is defined as very light bleeding or drops of blood. Even though spotting isn't usually a reason for concern, you should still call your doctor just to be safe. Having intercourse during pregnancy can cause spotting or light bleeding. If you experience this after having sex, stop and talk to your doctor before engaging in intercourse again.

If you have any pain or cramping along with bleeding during pregnancy, immediately call your doctor or go to an emergency department.

What Are Other Signs of Miscarriage?

If there's one thing you're worried about, it's probably having a miscarriage. We've established that bleeding is often a sign of miscarriage, but what are the other signs you should be looking out for?

  • Cramping and pain in your abdominal area.
  • Discharge of fluid from your vagina. This may not be a sign of miscarriage on its own, but when paired with other symptoms it's a reason for concern.
  • A discharge of tissue from your vagina.
  • Disappearance of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness and breast tenderness.

If you experience severe pain, severe bleeding, frequent or extreme dizziness, or loss of consciousness, head to the emergency room. These are all signs of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the baby starts developing outside the womb. An ectopic pregnancy is not sustainable, so it will always end in a miscarriage. An ectopic pregnancy usually starts showing symptoms between five and 14 weeks.

Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

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