Bleeding during pregnancy may be extremely alarming to experience. We’re taught to believe that any bleeding during pregnancy is always a very bad sign, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, bleeding during pregnancy is not an abnormal thing.
Other times, however, bleeding during pregnancy is definitely not a good thing, and it’s important to know the difference. Dr. Alan Patterson of Alan Patterson OBGYN explains more about the facts surrounding bleeding during pregnancy.
If you experience bleeding during pregnancy, a great deal depends on when during your pregnancy it occurs.
If you experience bleeding in the first trimester, it may just result from implantation spotting. If this is the case, you will usually have bleeding from days 6-12 after the fertilized egg implants in your uterus. The bleeding should usually be fairly light.
However, heavier bleeding at any time during your pregnancy should always be evaluated by Dr. Patterson. Sometimes, it can be a leading indicator of a miscarriage in progress. Although this is usually a very unfortunate sign, it’s also extremely common. It’s estimated that 12-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, the incidence of which rises as you get older. Most of these miscarriages occur in the first trimester.
Bleeding in pregnancy in the second or third trimester is often a much more significant deal than bleeding during the first trimester, which may be normal. Later-term bleeding is less likely to be normal, although the extent to which it presents a problem will vary.
Some of the more common causes of bleeding in the second or third trimester include the following:
All these conditions are not too common, fortunately. It’s not necessarily likely to happen to you, but know that if it does, Dr. Patterson will take care of you.
If you have abnormal bleeding, you will probably wonder what to do next. That depends on the cause of your bleeding.
If your bleeding is due to a miscarriage, we may perform an ultrasound to determine if the pregnancy is already lost. If it is, we may perform a medical procedure called dilation and curettage (D & C), to remove the contents of the pregnancy from your uterus. Or you may be a candidate if you have an early pregnancy loss to use vaginal pills to induce the non viable products of conception to be removed from your uterus.Sometimes you may pass the products spontaneously, but the non viable products must be expelled from the uterus or you could end up with a serious infection or uncontrolled bleeding.
If your bleeding is caused by an incompetent cervix, this means your cervix has begun to open up prematurely. Often, we can do a procedure called a cerclage, which keeps the opening to your cervix closed until your baby is closer to full term.
If you have vaginal bleeding that occurs late in your pregnancy, it may be a sign of preterm labor. Preterm or premature labor often includes some or all of the following symptoms:
It’s also a normal sign to lose your mucus plug late in pregnancy, this can happen a few weeks or 1-2 days before labor begins. This may look like when you blow your nose during a bad cold. This mucus may or may not be blood tinged. It is important to differentiate your mucus or mucus plug from your amniotic fluid or water breaking, which can sometimes happen before you go into labor, because if you think you water has broken or you are not sure, you must call Dr Patterson right away, so he will send you to the labor room to find out, because if it is, then he make sure you are getting contractions, if you are not already contracting on your own and progressing towards delivery because the longer your water has been broken, the more chance to get an infection. But a good doctor like Dr Patterson doesn’t let that happen!
If you are bleeding and you’re pregnant. Dr. Patterson should know about it, regardless of when it happens. Contact Dr. Alan Patterson at his Coral Springs office or request an appointment online.