Pregnancy Home > Bleeding During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, bleeding is a cause of concern, especially if it occurs in late pregnancy. There are several possible causes of bleeding during this time, such as placenta previa or placental abruption. The specific treatment recommended will depend on several factors, including the cause of the bleeding and other factors.
Bleeding is not considered normal at any time during pregnancy. Bleeding during the third trimester of pregnancy occurs in 4 out of 100 pregnancies. If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding during late pregnancy (that is either more than spotting or that is bright red), you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. Heavy bleeding in late pregnancy can cause complications with childbirth.
There are a number of reasons why a woman may bleed during the third trimester of pregnancy. Some of the causes include:
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
- Cervical cuts
- Vaginal cuts
- Bleeding disorder
- Unknown causes.
The two most common conditions that cause heavy bleeding are placenta previa and placental abruption.
Placenta previa occurs when the placenta either partially or completely blocks the opening in the cervix. It can be a serious problem if you go into labor with placenta previa. If a normal vaginal delivery is tried, the part of the placenta covering the cervix can separate from the uterine wall when the cervix dilates. This can cause serious bleeding during pregnancy, and it may be fatal for the mother and/or the baby. Because of this, cesarean delivery is often recommended for placenta previa.
Heavy bleeding can also be caused by placental abruption, which happens when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus during the pregnancy. This can reduce the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby. If the abruption is serious, the blood vessels from both the mother and baby can rupture, and they can suffer serious blood loss. If the abruption is significant, a cesarean delivery is usually recommended.
When bleeding during pregnancy occurs, the specific treatment recommended will be based on what is causing the bleeding and how the mother and baby are doing.