Pregnancy brings many body changes and some common problems, vaginal bleeding being one of them. Vaginal bleeding during first trimester (early part of pregnancy) is a common occurrence in about 20% of pregnant women. Although it is not a cause of worry, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. It is important to consult your doctor to identify the possible causes of bleeding. Getting checked out by your doctor will make sure you and your baby are healthy.
Causes Of Vaginal Bleeding In the First Trimester
Vaginal bleeding can occur possibly due to the following causes:
Miscarriage: Miscarriage is the most common cause of bleeding during first trimester. However, vaginal bleeding is not a definite sign of a miscarriage, as it may be due to other causes. When this type of bleeding occurs, doctors usually order an ultrasound to check heartbeat of the fetus.
Implantation Bleeding: Bleeding can occur during egg implantation. This is the process of fertilized egg implanting itself in the lining of the uterus. Normally, the bleeding is very light and may last from a few hours to a few days.
Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Bleeding can occur during this time.
Molar Pregnancy: Molar pregnancy is when abnormal tissue grows inside the uterus instead of an embryo. Bleeding can occur during this process, but this condition occurs rarely.
Infection: Bleeding can be caused by an infection in the pelvic cavity or urinary tract.
Cervical Changes: Extra blood flows to the cervix during pregnancy. Introduction of anything into the vaginal area, such as douche, sexual intercourse, or Pap test can cause bleeding.
Although bleeding in the first trimester (early part of the pregnancy) is fairly common and not worrisome, you doctor will find out the cause and take appropriate steps to make sure you and your baby are healthy.
Steps To Take If You Bleed During Pregnancy
- Wear a pad or a panty liner to help you monitor how much and what type of bleeding you are experiencing.
- Don’t wear a tampon or introduce anything else into the vaginal area, such as douche or sexual intercourse. Also, avoid Pap test at the time of bleeding.
- If bleeding doesn’t stop and persists, contact your doctor right away.
- If bleeding occurs during second or third trimesters (late pregnancy), consult your OB/BYN right away, as it may potentially be caused by a serious underlying condition.