Vaginal bleeding is often the first sign of an impending miscarriage, but it does always mean that miscarriage is upon you. As hard as it can be to look down and see staining on your underpants, take a deep breath and stay calm. Spotting does not always mean the beginning of the end of your pregnancy. Try to remember that even though bleeding during the first trimester is not considered normal, it is very common. First trimester bleeding occurs in approximately 1/4 of all pregnancies. More than 20% of women that experience bleeding in the first trimester will go on to have healthy babies. When the bleeding is coming from your cervix, it is not dangerous. However, if the bleeding is coming from your uterus, it tends to be more serious.
If the spotting occurs very early in the first days of pregnancy, the blood us just a sign of implantation-meaning, the egg is attaching itself to the lining of your uterus. Early bleeding can also be caused from sex in the early weeks. Bleeding can start and stop on its own.
Any type of bleeding during pregnancy should be reported to your caregiver. Your healthcare provider will want to know what color the blood was. Does it look slightly pink or dark pink? Light red or dark red? Make sure to take note if the bleeding is a light spotting, moderate blood flow or hemorrhage. A dark red color of blood signals bleeding that occured a few days prior. If you are bleeding, call your doctor and lie down on your side-preferably the left side. You should call your doctor immediately if you are hemmorhaging or bleeding heavier than a normal period, have a fever, lower abdominalpain or severe cramping. These are signs of miscarriage and/or ectopic pregnancy.
Occasionally, bed rest is used to prevent bleeding in the first trimester. If you experience any type of bleeding, it is best to rest your pelvic area. Do not put anything into the vagina and refrain from sexual intercourse until the bleeding has subsided. Make sure to ask your healthcare provider about any questionable activities.
If the bleeding is slight and stops on its own, your chances of deivering a healthy baby are good. If you experience more than one episode of bleeding during the first trimester, it should put you and your doctor both on alert. Your doctor will probably monitor you more closely and perform an ultrasound. Your risk of miscarriage drops significantly after the first 13 weeks, and after hearing the heartbeat it drops even further. Unfortunately, if the bleeding gets worse or does not stop on its own, threatened miscarriages in the first trimester are hard to prevent.