Period While Pregnant, Bleeding, Spotting During Pregnancy, Meaning

Is it possible to have period while pregnant? lets look at the possibilities and reasons for spotting or bleeding during pregnancy. Light bleeding during pregnancy should never be quickly considered to be period when pregnant.  Some women could notice irregular blood discharge during pregnancy. However, this should not be heavy like your normal menstrual period. Heavy period like bleeding during early pregnancy should be checked by a doctor immediately. 

Other forms of bleeding usually occur during pregnancy especially in the first trimester and it would be difficult to distinguish from a period. Normally, Periods come about when a woman’s uterus grows a thick blood –rich lining called endometrium in preparation for an egg to be embedded on it every month. If you she doesn’t get pregnant on that month then the wall of tissues and blood is shed off and that is what results in menstruation or periods.

Period while pregnant, Is it possible to have heavy period and still be pregnant pregnant

Period while pregnant, Is it possible to have heavy period and still be pregnant pregnant

If you get pregnant in that month the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormones will inform the wall of blood and tissues to stay put and support the bay that will form in your uterus until you give birth. This kind of bleeding is what is commonly known as period while pregnant.

How much bleeding during pregnancy is normal?

Although bleeding in pregnancy is common, it is not a good sign. If you are having your period while pregnant in the first trimester, whether it is painful or with no pain, you need to visit a doctor.

  • Bleeding while pregnant that involves fairly light bleeding or spotting (few drops of blood) implies implantation of embryo to the lining of the uterus which is very normal.

It may increase with time. This usually happens around the time that your period would have been due, it is called breakthrough bleeding and it may be more likely to be the cause.

  • Heavy bleeding with passage of large blood clots from the vagina and uterine cramping is associated with miscarriage or threatening miscarriage.

Dark watery bleeding that is associated with dizziness/lightheadedness and lateral pain that occurs one either the right or the left side is a sign of ectopic pregnancy.

Is my virginal discharge normal?

Normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy is called leukorrhea.  It is thin, white, milky, and mild smelling.

Abnormal vaginal discharge is green or yellowish, strong smelling, and is normally accompanied by redness or itching. It indicates a vaginal infection like candidiasis or yeast infection. It could also be as a result of STDs.

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is any discharge of blood from the vagina during pregnancy and it may often be confused with period while pregnant.

1 in 4 women have vaginal bleeding at some time while pregnant when twins are involved. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy that occurs frequently in the first trimester of pregnancy may not be a sign of major problems especially if it is mild. However, bleeding that occurs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy can often be a sign of a possible complication.

  • Vaginal bleeding in the first trimester may be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You should consult a doctor.
  • Vaginal bleeding during the second and third trimester may be a sign of a condition known as abruptio placentae which refers to the placenta separating from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is born ,miscarriage, placenta  previa which refers to a condition where the placenta is covering all or part of the opening to the cervix and Vasa previa
  • Other possible causes include; Cervical polyp or growth, Early labor, ectopic pregnancy, Infection of the cervix and trauma to the cervix from intercourse (small amount of bleeding) or recent pelvic exam.

Spotting during pregnancy

Spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy is common type of period while pregnant, especially during the first trimester. Period during pregnant is considered as spotting when you notice a few drops of blood occasionally in your underwear. The drops are so few that they cannot even soak a panty liner. It often occurs before a woman even knows she is pregnant and is often mistaken as a pending period.

  • Implantation bleeding is the major cause of spotting during early stages of pregnancy. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall lining.
  • A cervical polyp -a harmless growth on the cervix-is more likely to bleed during pregnancy due to higher estrogen levels.
  • Since there is an increased number of blood vessels in the tissue around the cervix during pregnancy, contact with this region through sexual intercourse or gynecological examination can cause bleeding.
Periods, Spotting, Bleeding During Pregnancy

Periods, Spotting, Bleeding During Pregnancy

The following can help you deal with spotting while pregnant and increase the probability of continuing with a healthy pregnancy;

  1. Bed rest or frequent naps
  2. More time off your feet
  3. Limited physical activities
  4. Elevate your feet when possible
  5. Avoid lifting heavy items over 10 pounds

According to healthcare-online “It is quite natural to feel terrified when you experience any type of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. Spotting, or light vaginal bleeding, is more common than you think. The color of the spotting can be brown to red, but the bleeding is usually much lighter than you experience while having a period. You are more likely to notice spotting during your first trimester, but it does not always indicate a problem”

Miscarriage signs in relation to period while pregnant (women may bleed due to miscarriage)

Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks. Bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage but it is not a guarantee.

  • Period while pregnant due to miscarriage involves severe cramping caused by contractions that are working to expel the contents of the uterus, and may pass large blood clots and tissue. This may occur rapidly with no complications until the bleeding stops. Unfortunately there is no way of stopping miscarriage once it begins.
  • A missed miscarriage happens when a woman miscarries without symptoms .A drug can be given to stimulate these contractions.

If a woman bleeds heavily without effective passage of the tissues out the cervix then it is recommended that the entire uterus should be removed. Dilation and curettage is a surgical procedure used to complete the miscarriage. Dilation will open the cervix, if it is still closed, and curettage removes the contents of the uterus using a variety of suction and scraping instruments.

More symptoms of miscarriage;

1.       Vaginal bleeding which involves Passing tissue or clot-like material

2.       Severe cramping pain felt in the abdomen, pelvic area, or lower back. It may also be due to your body expanding for the growth of the uterus so you still need to see a doctor.in and even cramps can be common during early pregnancy as your body expands for the growing uterus.

3.       Tissue passing through the vagina

4.       Lack of pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting

5.       White-pink mucus

6.       Decreased activity of the baby

7.        A blood test to measure the levels of pregnancy hormones can be done to determine if the pregnancy is still viable.

Miscarriage Causes

1.       Drug usage

2.       Smoking

3.       Excess drinking

4.       Listeria, a bacteria that may be present in under-cooked meats, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products

5.       Maternal trauma, such as a car accident of falling down

6.       Hormonal or structural abnormalities in the mother (such as low progesterone levels or uterine fibroids)

7.       Advanced maternal age (over 35)

8.       Infections such as Lyme disease or Fifth disease

9.       Chronic illnesses such as uncontrolled diabetes, lupus, or thyroid disease

You can still have babies in the future despite a miscarriage but you have to wait for some time before you try again.

Having normal sexual intercourse does not cause a miscarriage.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that implant somewhere outside the uterus like the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies are less common as compared to other pregnancy complications. Research shows that 1 of 60 pregnancies are ectopic.

The following are some of the signs of Ectopic Pregnancies:

  1. Severe cramping pain felt low in the stomach especially on one side, either left or right side.
  2. Sharp pain in the abdominal area
  3. Low levels of hCG hormone
  4. Dizziness
  5. Vaginal bleeding

Women are at a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy if they have had:

  1. An infection in the fallopian tubes
  2. A previous ectopic pregnancy
  3. Previous pelvic surgery
Bleeding while pregnant may be a sign of Ectopic pregnancy

Bleeding while pregnant may be a sign of Ectopic pregnancy

Period while pregnant Symptoms

Can you have your periods and still be pregnant? bleeding or vaginal discharge during pregnancy may be caused by several factors listed below

Spotting during pregnancy

Spotting refers to a very light form of bleeding. It is a normal occurrence during early stages of pregnancy. It may be confused with period while pregnant. Spotting during early pregnancy can occur when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. This is usually referred to as breakthrough bleeding or implantation .

If you experience spotting during pregnancy you need to visit your doctor even if the bleeding stops. It may be a sign of bigger trouble like a miscarriage on the way, ectopic pregnancy, vaginal infections or preterm labor.

Cramps

Cramps are dull or throbbing pains in the lower abdomen and pelvic area. They may be a sign of period while pregnant. Mild cramping during pregnancy is normal but intense severe cramping is a red-light for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or even preterm labor. You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop severe cramps during your pregnancy.

Vagina bleeding during pregnancy

May be as a result of so many complications like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, implantation bleeding or infections. This should never be ignored since heavy bleeding will definitely indicate an underlying problem.

Swollen, Tender Breasts

Swollen, tender breasts are a period-like symptom that is also common during pregnancy. The breast of a woman may swell and become sore one to two weeks after conception. These changes in a woman’s breasts are caused by hormonal imbalances during monthly periods or pregnancy.

 Other Period-like Symptoms

Other period-like symptoms you may experience during pregnancy include;

  1. Fatigue
  2. Acne breakouts
  3. Backaches and headaches
  4. Bloating, Nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea.
  5. Strange food cravings, irritability, mood swings, depression and anxiety
  6. Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping problems.

Causes of period while pregnant

Bleeding can occur in first half of pregnancy due to the following factors:

Implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall lining.  It normally occurs between the 6th and the 12th day after successful conception. Implantation bleeding varies in women .Some will lightly spot for a few hours, while others may spot for a couple of days.

Infection

Some type of infection in the pelvic cavity or urinary tract may cause bleeding.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes during pregnancy may make you experience heavy or light bleeding which is normally confused for period while pregnant. Residual bleeding occurs when hormones get outof hand and cause the loose parts of the lining to shed. This is normally when the placenta is not fully attached. This should not worry you though.

Intercourse

Bleeding during pregnancy which is known by layman as period while pregnant may occur after sexual intercourse because the cervix is very tender and sensitive. If this happens you need to see a doctor and avoid having sex.

Contraceptives

If you were on contraceptives by the time you got pregnant you are likely to experience irregular bleeding. contraceptives may alternate the natural flow of some women and cause serious irregular bleeding. They can also cause late periods with some physical body symptoms that may be confused for early pregnancy signs especially to those who are not used to them

Sub chorionic bleeding

Once in a while your body might form clots at the tip of the placenta during pregnancy. This problem normally resolves itself with time. You need to have an ultrasound to know if the problem is over

Miscarriage

Miscarriages mostly happen because the pregnancy is an unhealthy one which is not developing in the right way. However, don’t panic as miscarriages would not mean such a thing like you’re not healthy or that you are not able to have healthy pregnancy in the future.

In most cases, the patient may wake up and think this is a case of bleeding while pregnant especially if there was no direct physical trauma. It is highly advisable to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized ovum is implanted on the fallopian tube instead of the uterine cavity.

Molar Pregnancy

It refers to the growth of abnormal tissue instead of an embryo, “a mole”. It is also known as Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD).

Symptoms

  1. Vaginal bleeding
  2. Blood tests reveal high levels of hCG that is alarming.
  3. Fetal heart tones that cannot be hear or felt
  4. Grape-like clusters are seen in the uterus by an ultrasound

Bleeding can occur in first half of pregnancy due to the following factors:

1. Inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix

This is the common cause of minor bleeding during part of the second and third trimester.

2. Placental Abruption

This refers to a situation whereby the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before or during labor. It is a very rare condition and it occurs during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Symptoms

  1. Bleeding
  2. Stomach pain

Causes

  1. Having already had children before.
  2. Above age 35
  3. Having had abruption before
  4. Having sickle cell anemia
  5. High blood pressure
  6. Trauma or injuries to the stomach during pregnancy.
  7. Abuse of drugs like cocaine.

3. Placenta Previa

It occurs when the placenta lies low in the uterus partly or completely covering the cervix. It is a serious condition and requires immediate medical care.

Symptoms

Bleeding usually occurs without pain

Causes

  1. Having already had children
  2. Previous cesarean birth
  3. Other surgery on the uterus
  4. Carrying twins or triplets

4. Preterm Labor

When you experience a discharge that contains a small amount of mucus and blood then you may be going into labor before your due date. This is called preterm labor and you should see your physician immediately.

Symptoms

  1. Watery Vaginal discharge mixed with mucus and  blood
  2. Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure
  3. Lower backache
  4. Stomach cramps, with or without diarrhea
  5. Regular contractions or uterine tightening

What to know and what to do at home

Below are a few suggestions of what to do at home. However, as healthmds.org, we highly recommend that you seek immediate medical advice in cases of bleeding during pregnancy or if you think you it is a case of period while pregnant. You may only consider using this home treatments after consulting a doctor and proper diagnosis and treatment is given.

1. Bed Rest

This is the best remedy while bleeding during pregnancy “period while pregnant”.  Complete rest ensures that your womb is properly held by the placenta. Miscarriage will have a minimal chance if the womb is properly held by the placenta.

2. Folic Acid

Intake of folic acid improves the functioning of the placenta and helps it take hold of the womb more effectively hence prevents miscarriage. It also helps the body fight anemia by increasing the fabrication of hemoglobin in the bone marrow. Eat green and leafy vegetables. They are a good supplement of folic acid.

3. Progesterone Supplement

Imbalance of the levels of progesterone hormone causes bleeding or period while pregnant. Take progesterone supplements as prescribed by your doctor.

4. Avoid Sexual Intercourse

Usually it is advised not to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy. Before  you know the root cause of your bleeding , you should avoid any sort of sexual intercourse with your partner and provide rest to your body so that it can maintain its natural functioning during pregnancy.

4. Guava Leaves

Take a mixture created using guava leaves, Africa star apple leaves and water. It is the immediate remedy for spotting and bleeding during pregnancy. It  clogs blood immediately and stops the bleeding instantly

What to do

  1. Squeeze  guava leaves and Africa star apple leaves in a glass of water.
  2. Drink it at any time of the day.

4. Do not douche or use tampons

Do not insert anything into the vagina until the vaginal bleeding stops. Tampons or douching may injure the cervix or vaginal wall causing further bleeding. Douching may also introduce bacteria and other microorganisms into the vagina resulting into serious infection.

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Treatment

After you have been examined by your doctor and the cause of bleeding established then treatment can be applied in relation to the cause of bleeding. The following may need to be done first by your doctor;

  1. Check your medical your medical history and perform a physical exam including a pelvic exam.
  2. Blood tests
  3. Pregnancy ultrasound

Bleeding during pregnancy is often cause by sexually transmitted infections. The STIs keep punching the placenta which carries the baby and eventually results in bleeding. This can be corrected by taking prescribed antibiotic pills by your gynecologist.

Below is a video for more on period while pregnant;

References:

  1. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/miscarriage/understanding-miscarriage/
  2. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-concerns/spotting-during-pregnancy/
  3. http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/getting-pregnant/am-i-pregnant-6-things-you-should-know-about-two-week-wait
  4. http://www.teenbreaks.com/pregnancy/mightbepregnant.cfm
  5. http://www.parents.com/advice/pregnancy-birth/getting-pregnant/can-you-be-pregnant-and-still-get-your-period/

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