Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy….am I miscarrying?

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Dr. Beena Jeysingh, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood hospital, Bangalore India, speaks about the causes that might trigger a vaginal bleeding in the early weeks of pregnancy.

Although the first trimester of the pregnancy is very crucial to lay the foundations of a healthy pregnancy, it does not mean that any problems faced by a pregnant woman point to the loss of pregnancy.

Most of the women may experience some vaginal bleeding in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. There are many reasons that lead to vaginal bleeding. An ultrasonography will confirm whether the foetus has suffered any harm due to these bleedings and would detect any other problems.

A vaginal bleeding in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is always a matter of concern for the expecting woman. However, we need to understand that not all vaginal bleedings mean miscarriages. Sometimes it may be due to implantation of the foetus in the womb, at other times it might be a sign of internal issues. Patients should mention this to their gynaecologist, and get a clinical check-up done to rule out any complications,” explains Dr Beena Jeysingh.

Let’s take a look at the causes of vaginal bleeding during the first trimester and review what should be done if faced with such situation.

  • Miscarriage: Vaginal bleeding and miscarriage are considered one and the same by most of us. It is not the case in 80% of the pregnancies. It is true that most of the miscarriage occurs in the first trimester, but then it is normal to bleed during these days to some extent.
  • Implantation: You might bleed when the fertilised egg positions itself in the womb. It is very common and the bleeding experienced is very light.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: Also known as tubal pregnancy, it is a rare condition wherein the fertilised egg implants itself outside the uterus, generally in the fallopian tube. Someone who had a fallopian tube infection, previous ectopic pregnancy or a pelvic surgery is more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Molar pregnancy: Sometimes, there is an abnormal growth of tissues in the place of a foetus. This is very uncommon and known as molar pregnancy. Molar pregnancy always leads to vaginal bleeding to let you know that something is not well inside.
  • Other causes: Vaginal infections and cervical changes are some of the other reasons that cause vaginal bleeding. Sometimes, one may confuse urinary tract infection bleeding as vaginal bleeding.

In case you have been experiencing vaginal bleeding, wear sanitary napkins to track the approximate amount and duration of bleeding. It is recommended to consult your gynaecologist to rule out any pregnancy related complications.

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