Bleeding during early pregnancy is common especially in the first trimester. As any vaginal bleeding in pregnancy is abnormal, so, any vaginal blood loss in early pregnancy should be thought of as a threatened miscarriage until shown otherwise. About 20% of women experience bleeding in early pregnancy.
It is very important for you to get checked out by the doctor to know the possible cause and to make sure that you and your baby are healthy and fine.
Spotting or mild bleeding in early pregnancy is implantation bleeding due to the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine cavity.
If bleeding occurs more than spotting then it could be due to threatened miscarriage. Many women have spotting during their early pregnancy but in some conditions, it can lead to threatened miscarriage. If you have bleeding during pregnancy, it is very necessary to seek medical advice to prevent miscarriage.
Yes, it’s possible to remain pregnant even after bleeding starts in early pregnancy. About 70-80% of all women diagnosed as having a threatened miscarriage in the first trimester continue with their pregnancies to term.
Threatened miscarriage is a condition where vaginal bleeding has started but has not progressed to a state from which recovery is impossible.
Signs and symptoms
In a threatened abortion, blood loss may be scanty with or without low backache. The bleeding is usually slight and bright red in colour.
Bleeding is usually painless but dull pain can be felt in the lower abdomen which may resemble period pain.
The cervix remains closed and the uterus feels soft with no tenderness when palpated. The uterine size is compatible with pregnancy. There is presence of fetal heartbeat with a closed cervical os on examination.
If you are pregnant and experience any of these symptoms please contact your doctor immediately to prevent problems.
To diagnose the condition, a doctor may do pelvic examination gently to examine the reproductive organs such as the vagina, cervix and uterus to identify the source of bleeding or any local lesion in the cervix that may co-exist.
A blood test may be done for complete blood count, ABO and Rh grouping. Also to check the hormonal levels(hCG and progesterone) in the blood because abnormal levels may indicate a problem.
Ultrasonography may be done to assess the fetal well being by observing fetal cardiac motions. Transvaginal ultrasound provides more accurate results than abdominal ultrasound in early pregnancy.
Actually, miscarriage cannot be prevented but doctors may suggest some ways to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
The women should be advised to take complete bed rest for a few days and avoid sexual intercourse until bleeding stops. She should limit the activities for at least 2 weeks and avoid heavy work. Re-examination is done after 15 days to assess the growth of the foetus.
Your doctor may give some pain relievers to get relief from abdominal pain and injection progesterone to raise the hormone levels. Anti-D gamma globulin is administered to Rh-negative women carrying Rh-positive babies to prevent antibody formation against Rh-positive fetus blood.
In most cases, women go on to have healthy pregnancies but in some cases, it ends in missed or inevitable miscarriage (continuation of pregnancy is impossible). If there is an absence of a fetal pole or empty gestational sac then the uterus is to be evacuated once the diagnosis is made.
In the above post, we discussed the possibility of continuation of pregnancy even after bleeding starts in early pregnancy and about threatened miscarriage.