Any bleeding during pregnancy is likely to cause worry; since we associate the subsistence of a pregnancy with the stoppage or cessation of bleeding.
In fact, since it is the absence of menstrual bleeding that alerts us to a pregnancy in the first place any vaginal bleeding is bound to be a cause for concern.
However, it is important to understand while it may be a cause for concern, a lot of bleeding during pregnancy may be quite harmless, and have a perfectly innocuous explanation though the rule of thumb should be that no bleeding during pregnancy should be ignored. We look at what bleeding during the three trimesters of a pregnancy could mean:
Bleeding During Pregnancy First Trimester: Implantation bleeding is common during the first trimester of a pregnancy. This is when the embryo burrows into the endometrial lining of the uterus in search for sustenance from the mother’s circulatory system.
Unless accompanied by certain other symptoms such as pain, cramping, fever and faintness, this is not usually a cause for worry.
Bleeding during the first trimester other than implantation bleeding could be caused by something innocuous like cervical changes since increased blood flow to the pelvic region may cause some bleeding particularly after sex.
On the other hand, several serious conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy, the presence of inflammation or infection or a threatened miscarriage, molar pregnancy etc. could also be responsible for bleeding during pregnancy’s first trimester.
Bleeding During Pregnancy Second trimester: Bleeding during pregnancy in the second trimester is rather of more concern. This is not routine or very common.
It could be due to certain harmless causes such as after intercourse or after a pelvic or vaginal exam when some capillaries of the cervix rupture and cause the blood to flow. This should however be light bleeding that resolves itself within a day or so.
Anything else is likely to have graver reasons. Late miscarriage or preterm labor could be the cause of a heavier, period like bleeding episode in the second trimester, and a doctor should always be consulted.
Bleeding During Pregnancy Third Trimester: It is always a cause for grave concern when there is vaginal bleeding during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Any kind of bleeding during the third trimester is likely to be classified as an emergency since hemorrhage is a complication in up to 4% of all pregnancies.
Hemorrhage is also a leading cause of maternal deaths in the United States. Placental problems, such as the detachment of the placenta from the uterus either partial or complete could be a problem causing bleeding.
Sometimes the placenta covering the mouth of the uterus could also cause bleeding. Preterm labor could also be a cause of bleeding during the third trimester.