Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy are relatively common; it is estimated that nearly one in four women has it during the first three months of pregnancy. Although this phenomenon can be worrying, it is most often without gravity or consequences on the pregnancy.
This is exactly what we are going to see today! I will try to answer all your questions about this subject and tell you whether or not this bleeding requires a medical consultation.
Bleeding: beginning of a pregnancy or period? how to differentiate them?
You may notice blood loss in early pregnancy, rest assured, they are generally not serious. We will also explain to you why they are sometimes confused with periods!
Ten to fourteen days after fertilization, the embryo settles in the uterus. This implantation of the embryo can cause, in some women, bleeding that more or less coincides with the usual date of menstruation: this is called implantation bleeding.
Nevertheless, this type of blood loss is lighter and lasts no more than two days. Likewise, its color is not the same: it is not a bright red bleeding but rather a brown discharge.
Light bleeding at the beginning of pregnancy: is it serious?
In pregnant women, the majority of bleeding occurring in the first months or weeks of pregnancy is not serious. Most of the time, the bleeding comes from outside the cervix or it originates from the bursting of a small blood vessel.
Behind this somewhat barbaric name hides the structure that turns into a placenta from the third month of pregnancy. It may happen that this trophoblast detaches during this first phase of pregnancy, thereby causing a small hemorrhage. Normally, it then goes back into place. If this happens to you, the bleeding should not be heavy and should not be accompanied by other symptoms. This type of pregnancy bleeding often occurs in the 1st month, 2nd month or even 3rd month.
It may happen that at the beginning of pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, that your period comes on its usual date. Do not worry, it does not harm the development of the fetus. Moreover, these implantation periods are quite rare.
Vaginal bleeding at the beginning of pregnancy, when should they be worrying?
If, on the other hand, your vaginal bleeding is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain in the lower abdomen, it is essential that you see a doctor immediately. This can be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy:
In the case of a miscarriage, the bleeding is usually heavy and looks like your period (this is bright red bleeding that can occur in early pregnancy).
For an ectopic pregnancy, they are scarce and brownish in color; sometimes there is no bleeding at all.
In both cases, rapid intervention is necessary. Even more rarely, this bleeding can be explained by a partial miscarriage (the loss of an embryo in the event of multiple pregnancies) or by a hydatidiform mole (a pregnancy without an embryo).
Add to this list, the presence of heavy bleeding (greater than or equivalent to your usual period), associated with other manifestations such as fever, dizziness, nausea or abdominal pain. These symptoms are not normal and can hide a serious heath issue. Again, you must consult your gynecologist immediately. The practitioner will perform an ultrasound and a thorough medical examination to give you his diagnosis explaining the cause of this termination of pregnancy.
Bleeding during the 2nd and 3rd trimester
Later pregnancy bleeding is more worrying.
They may be due to what is called placenta previa. The placenta, being implanted too low in the uterus, completely or partially covers the cervix. However, if contractions occur, the lower part of the placenta can come off and open the cervix. In this case, the mother-to-be must rest and take appropriate treatment to limit contractions to avoid the premature birth of the child.
A retroplacental hematoma (HRP) can also be the cause. Don't worry, this pathology is rare. This type of hematoma is characterized by severe pain in the lower abdomen and bleeding. The exchanges between the mother and the baby are scarce because of the partial detachment of the placenta. A caesarean must be performed urgently because the retroplacental hematoma represents a danger for the life of the mother as well as that of her child.
Bleeding after intercourse when you are pregnant
Many pregnant women report experiencing bleeding after intercourse or following a gynecological examination. This type of bleeding should not worry you because it is harmless. Indeed, during pregnancy, the cervix is weakened and more vascularized, which explains the fact that it is more likely to bleed. This type of bleeding is more similar to spotting.
When should you see a doctor?
To avoid any worries and to reassure you, it is better to seek the advice of a specialist when you notice bleeding while you are pregnant. In most cases, this bleeding is mild, especially if it occurs in early pregnancy, but as they say “prevention is better than cure”!
Elia to support you during pregnancy and postpartum
At Elia, we want to be as inclusive as possible; this is why we have developed a brand new range of period panties that adapt to the body of women during pregnancy and postpartum.
And yes, we don't talk about it enough, but childbirth does not mean the end of pregnancy bleeding! This bleeding, called lochia, is usually heavy and may even include clots. They last about fifteen days. During this period, you will have to wear special protections but you can also wear our Louison postpartum shorty which offers you protection equivalent to 4 tampons when leaving the maternity ward.