Bleeding in Pregnancy: Causes, Treatments, Prevention

Menstrual Hygiene

Bleeding in pregnancy is a common complaints that pregnant women make when theyy come for Antenatal. Some ladies come to the hospital with the complaints that they are ‘MENSTRUATING’ in the pregnancy, after noticing some amount of bleeding.

The truth is that, you can not menstruate while pregnant. What you are experiencing is ‘BLEEDING’ in pregnancy, and any bleeding that occurs during pregnancy is an emergency. It might mean a lot of things, and most times, you are at the risk of losing that pregnancy & having a miscarriage.

Causes of Bleeding in Pregnancy

Few reasons you may be bleeding in early pregnancy (First Trimester)

  • Implantation bleeding
  • Miscarriage
  • Cervical polyps
  • Infections
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Increase blood flow in the cervix

Implantation bleeding

This is usually noticed around the same time you are supposed to see your normal monthly flow, hence, some women confuses it for the flow. This happens due to the implantation of the baby, into the womb (endometrium) of the mother. When this happens, they may notice some bleed. It is not much and is not usually significant.

Miscarriage

This is the commonest cause of a bleeding in early pregnancy. The miscarriage can be due to a number of factors such as rhesus incompatibility, infections, uterine abnormalities, etc. When this happens, the pregnancy would go away on its own. You can read more about Miscarriages here

Bleeding in Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

This occurs when the pregnancy develops outside the womb, rather than in the womb. It can develop anywhere from the Fallopian tube to the abdomen. Because the pregnancy cannot progress, it would break down, and there would be bleeding, usually with lower abdominal pain. This usually happens anytime from the 4th week to the 8th week of pregnancy. Read more on Ectopic Pregnancy here.

Molar Pregnancy

This is simply a pregnancy without a viable baby, hence, the pregnancy would break down leading to bleeding and clearance of the womb.

Infections

A number of infections can lead to miscarriage and subsequent bleeding in pregnancy. Example of such infections are; cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza virus and of vaginal infection with bacterial vaginosis.

Other conditions that can cause bleeding in pregnancy are as follows;

  1. Cervical polyps
  2. Increase blood flow in the cervix

What do I do if I have Bleeding in Pregnancy?

Bleeding in Pregnancy like we mentioned before is an emergency. Once you notice that you are bleeding, it means you might be about to have a miscarriage, and you should urgently get to the hospital to seek medical care, identify the cause and rectify it and know if you can save your pregnancy.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have below.

Authors

  • Dr Abosede Lewu is a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. She is an Expert on Women's Health, (Fibroids, Infertility, Menstruation & Pregnancy issues). Dr. Abosede Lewu holds an MBBS Degree from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State Nigeria. You can follow Dr. Lewu on twitter: @NaijaObgyn for all Obstetrics and Gynaecology related complaints.

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