Monday, March 6, 2017

Vaginal spotting or bleeding in pregnancy - What to do?

Spotting is a common concern that many pregnant women face.  Approximately 20% of women report they experience spotting during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding that occurs early on in pregnancy is usually lighter in flow than a menstrual period. Also, the color often varies from red to brown.

(Read more: 6 Very Early Pregnancy symptoms)

Although it is easy to be concerned, don’t panic. The majority of women who experiencing spotting during pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

How can you tell the difference between Spotting and Bleeding?

If what you see is brown or pink, similar to what you see at the end of your period, that’s spotting. If it’s bright red, consider it bleeding. The amount of blood you see is another red flag: Spotting doesn't soak a sanitary napkin; bleeding may.

Cause of light bleeding in pregnancy

In early pregnancy, spotting and light bleeding is often harmless. It usually happens at about the same time that your period would have been due, and may last for a day or two. You may only notice it after you have been to the toilet and wiped.

(Read more :Very Early Signs and Symptoms of Having TWINS)

Though experts aren't sure why this bleeding happens, it may be due to:
Hormones that control your menstrual cycle triggering bleeding (breakthrough bleeding). You may have this more than once.
The fertilised egg embedding into your uterus lining, causing bleeding (implantation bleeding). Though this is less likely to be the cause than breakthrough bleeding.

More causes of  light bleeding

There may be other things going on inside your body that have caused some bleeding:
Irritation to your your cervix. Pregnancy hormones can change the surface of the cervix, making it more likely to bleed, such as after you have sex.
Fibroids, which are growths in the lining of your uterus. Sometimes, the placenta embeds where there is a fibroid.
A small, harmless growth on your cervix (cervical polyp).
A cervical or vaginal infection.
An inherited disorder, such as Von Willebrand Disease, which makes it more difficult for your blood to clot.

What should I do if I notice bleeding?

Call a doctor, midwife or the hospital, even if the bleeding eventually stops. You may need to go to hospital for further examination.
Your doctor may gently examine inside your vagina, or she may advise you to have an ultrasound scan. A scan can rule out an ectopic pregnancy and check that your baby is well.
Your doctor may want to do a few routine tests. Blood or urine tests can check your pregnancy hormone levels. A test to check your blood group and rhesus status may also be done.

Will my baby be safe?

Your baby is likely to be fine, as spotting or light bleeding is often harmless. Many pregnancies carry on, despite early bleeding problems.
If the bleeding signalled a miscarriage, you'd develop tummy cramps as well, and the bleeding would usually get heavier. Spotting or light bleeding often stops on its own. It's thought that about half of mums-to-be who ask for medical help because of early bleeding go on to have their baby.
If you have spotting or bleeding in pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife, even if it stops, to make sure that you have no other symptoms that may signal a problem.
Try to stay positive. Spotting or light bleeding is likely to turn out to be no more than a worrying blip in your pregnancy that you'll soon be able to put behind you.

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