Vaginal Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can occur for a number of reasons. Some are serious and some are not. Bleeding can occur at any point during a pregnancy. If there is just a small amount of bleeding, it will usually stop on its own with no impact to you or your baby. Sometimes, though, bleeding can indicate a dangerous situation for the mother and her child. So regardless of the amount of bleeding and when it occurs, it is important that you see your doctor immediately for further assessment.

Vaginal Bleeding in Early Pregnancy
Many women experience some vaginal bleeding in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This can occur from sexual intercourse or an infection of the cervix. If there is vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy, the doctor may perform an internal exam as well as ask you about the amount of bleeding and if you are experiencing any pain. Please see your doctor immediately if you notice bleeding from your vagina during pregnancy. Bleeding can signal preterm labor down the road, restricted growth of your baby, or miscarriage.
A miscarriage refers to the end of pregnancy before 28 weeks of gestation. Miscarriage can happen at any point during the first half of pregnancy, but most commonly occurs in the first 13 weeks. Approximately 15 to 20% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

Signs of a Possible Miscarriage

  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Abdominal pain or cramping, usually more intense than a period.
  • Expelling of tissue from the vagina.
       Vaginal bleeding may or may not be accompanied by abdominal cramping or pressure. Sometimes the bleeding will stop on its own and the pregnancy will continue. But bleeding that gets heavier and is accompanied by worsening pain is likely to signal a miscarriage. It is recommended that you collect any tissue that is expelled so it can be sent on to the laboratory for testing. If any tissue remains within the uterus, bleeding is likely to continue. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate management, whether it is to wait and allow your body to complete the miscarriage, use medication to stimulate contractions, or surgery to remove the contents of your uterus. Sometimes a combination of methods may need to be used.

       In most instances, miscarriage cannot be prevented as it is the body’s way of dealing with a pregnancy that may not be progressing normally. Miscarriage also does not mean you will not have a healthy pregnancy or that there is something wrong with your body. If you experience recurrent losses, your doctor may recommend additional testing.
Please contact your doctor immediately if you notice you are bleeding and are pregnant or suspect that you could be. You may need to be hospitalized until your condition has stabilized. Always be aware of any abrupt changes to your body during pregnancy. Immediate medical care when needed can keep you and your baby safe.

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