Bleeding in Early Pregnancy
A female colleague looked worried. She told her friend that she just saw some blood spots on her panties, and is having severe cramps in her abdomen.She was scared because she was into the sixth week of her pregnancy. By the time she could consult her gynecologist, the bleeding and pain had increased. To her disappointment, the gynecologist told that she is having a miscarriage…
If you are in early stages of pregnancy and experiencing symptoms like vaginal bleeding with severe pain and cramps, then there is a high risk of you having a miscarriage. Heavy vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy should be treated as an emergency. Taking good care of your health during pregnancy is essential for delivering a healthy baby.
Causes of vaginal bleeding on early pregnancy
The common causes of vaginal bleeding are miscarriages, and ectopic pregnancy.
In ectopic pregnancy the fetus grows in the fallopian tube, ovaries, cervix and abdomen instead of the uterus. This condition can be life threatening. An ectopic pregnancy causes heavy vaginal bleeding in ectopic pregnancy with cramps and abdominal pain.
Vaginal bleeding with or without pain and cramps, is a sign of miscarriage or an impending miscarriage. A threatened miscarriage is a condition when the miscarriage has not started, but is impending. The pregnancy can be saved, if medical treatment is taken on time. A threatened miscarriage is mostly due to blood clot in the uterus. In most women, the bleeding stops and the pregnancy continues. However, some women may miscarry. The most common symptom is vaginal bleeding with cramps in the lower abdomen. Blood clots may also be accompanied by passing of aborted fetal tissue. It may be due to improper development of the fetus or because of hormonal problems, diabetes, thyroid disease and infection in the mother. The doctor conducts a dilation and curettage (D and C) in which the doctor dilates cervix and the tissue is sucked out gently.
Early pregnancy bleeding occurs also due to hemorrhoids (swollen veins in anus or rectum), infections, rare pregnancy related cancers and cervical cancer.
Calling your doctor
You must go the emergency room if there is severe pain with continuous heavy bleeding. The doctor will ask you information regarding the duration of bleeding and regarding pains and cramps that you have been experiencing. To determine the cause of bleeding the doctor will recommend tests like ultrasound, urine tests, blood tests and pelvic examination.
The treatment depends on the cause for the vaginal bleeding. In a case of threatened miscarriage, the doctor recommends complete rest as there is no other way by which you can stop the vaginal bleeding. Activities like sexual intercourse, physical exercise, and travelling should be avoided at all costs. In a miscarriage, if the fetal tissue passes out of the vagina, then there is no need of any procedure, but in case of ectopic pregnancy the tissue is removed with the help of surgery and medicines. In case of miscarriage, if there is heavy blood loss, blood transfusion is done and antibiotics are given to fight infection, Procedures like curettage and dilation may be necessary to remove the miscarriage tissue and stop the bleeding. If there is infection of cervix and vagina, then the antibiotics are given that are safe for the baby.
For a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby, you must take care of your health. You must eat a well balanced diet. It is advised that you refrain from consuming alcohol, smoking and taking illegal drugs during pregnancy. If you are having conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, you must consult your doctor. All medications including over the counter drugs have to be taken only after consulting your doctor. To lower the risk of spinal cord and brain injury in your baby, you must take folic acid (iron) tabs and prenatal vitamins even before you get pregnant. You can have a healthy pregnancy even if you had a miscarriage before. You must consult your doctor if you had more than three miscarriages.
After a miscarriage
If unfortunately you have had a miscarriage, you must give yourself time to heal physically and emotionally. Doctors advise that you should give yourself at least 3 months before you try to get pregnant again. To get through a miscarriage, it is advised that you join a support group where you can discuss your loss and get through the pain. Try talking to someone who had a healthy baby after a miscarriage. There experience will give you the necessary encouragement to try getting pregnant again. It is better you get prenatal checkups done though you are otherwise medically fit. When you get pregnant after the loss again, do not compare the two pregnancies and get worried. No two pregnancies are the same. Try to keep your mind relaxed and be with people who care about you like family and friends for emotional support.