Periods and other blood loss during pregnancy

One in four women experiences bleeding, of varying severity, during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. While they are often harmless, vigilance is required, because these hemorrhages can also hide serious complications of pregnancy … Explanations.

Is Bleeding During Pregnancy Serious?

Blood on your underpants as you start your pregnancy, or even at a later stage. The anxiety of the miscarriage assails you immediately. Do not panic. Be aware that bleeding is possible and even quite frequent, especially during the first weeks: it affects one in four future mothers. These bleeds are not necessarily the first signs of a miscarriage. There are a variety of causes that can cause this blood loss. These range from the most benign to the most serious, requiring immediate treatment. This is why, in the face of any bleeding, we can only encourage you to consult your midwife or gynecologist as soon as possible, who will identify the cause.

Mild bleeding during pregnancy

These mini-hemorrhages, without affecting the continuation of your pregnancy and which are the most frequent, can be of four distinct origins. The implantation first. Implantation of the embryo in the uterus, which occurs eight days after fertilization, can cause early bleeding. They are generally very light and brief. A weakening of the cervix then. After vaginal examination or intercourse, light bleeding may occur. They are often due to an injury to the outer lining of the cervix, weakened by pregnancy. They usually don’t last for more than a day or two. A minor detachment of the placenta can also be the cause of a small bleeding, due to a slight bruise that has formed between the egg and the uterine wall. Most of the time, this resolves without problem, provided you observe scrupulous rest. Finally, some pregnant women will continue to have monthly bleeding on the days they should have had their period – this is called the “birthday period”.

White discharge during pregnancy: don’t panic

Unlike bleeding during pregnancy, which should prompt a patient to consult quickly, white discharge during pregnancy is a priori physiological. The cervix is ​​closed and cervical mucus acts as a physical barrier to protect the uterus from infection. Creamy, milky, abundant and thick losses are a priori normal in pregnant women. However, white discharge that is smelly, lumpy and / or accompanied by itching on the vulva should lead to a consultation because it may be a vaginal yeast infection.

Brown discharge during pregnancy: what it may indicate

Brown discharge indicates “old” blood that has oxidized in the uterus or vagina. While such blood loss can occur during pregnancy without it being a problem, it is best to consult a gynecologist or midwife about it, especially if the brown discharge is accompanied by pelvic pain. In particular, they can be a sign of poor implantation of the egg or of a placental abruption.

Blood during pregnancy: is it a risk of miscarriage?

In case of heavy bleeding, accompanied by clots and painful periods, consult quickly: you may be having a miscarriage. A situation that affects an early pregnancy in 5 or 6, with a risk twice as high at age 40 as at 20. In nine cases out of ten, these early miscarriages are due to a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo. It can also be a clear egg, with an empty uterine sac. For more advanced pregnancies, this accident can be attributable to various causes: a shock or a fall, a placental abruption, an infection or an illness. Expulsion of the embryo or fetus, if not done on its own, will require medical intervention.

Ectopic pregnancy (EEG), a cause of bleeding during pregnancy

Scanty, brownish bleeding, accompanied by intense and persistent pain, on the right or left of the abdomen? Go without further delay to your practitioner. Using a vaginal ultrasound, the doctor may or may not confirm an ectopic pregnancy. This unnatural implantation, outside the uterine cavity – most often in the fallopian tubes, more rarely in the ovary or in the cervix – is less rare than you might think: around 1.7 % of pregnancies in France, ie 14,000 women each year, are affected. Above all, it is a potentially very serious anomaly: once implanted in the proboscis, the egg continues to develop, risking cracking or even breaking it. But rest assured: there are several medical treatments available today to stop GEU.
Pregnant blood loss: the case of molar pregnancy
Bleeding accompanied by profuse vomiting, an excessive increase in the size of the uterus and an abnormally high level of the hormone beta-HCG are indicators of a possible molar pregnancy. Rather rare (1 case per 2,000 pregnancies, or 400 cases per year), this abnormal pregnancy is characterized by the unlimited development of the placenta – then called the hydatidiform mole – to the detriment of the embryo. This disease requires rapid hospitalization in order to remove the mole by aspiration. Careful follow-up for one year is then put in place, without being able to start a new pregnancy, in order to rule out any risk of recurrence. In fact, in 10% of cases, molar pregnancy leads to the development of carcinogenic cells and must be treated with chemotherapy.

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