Pregnancy is accompanied by many new feelings, pains and changes, not the least of which includes a lot of strange things happening down below.
It can be scary to have bleeding or strange discharge during pregnancy, but most of the time this is completely normal. As long as you’re informed on what to expect, and know when to see a medical professional, you won’t have any problems.
Below you’ll find an explanation of some of the most common causes of pregnancy bleeding and discharge including ones that you may experience during the first and second trimester, as well as closer to going into labor.
Abnormal Discharge and Bleeding
If you experience any of the following, it’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible:
- Yellow/Green Discharge – This may indicate an infection or thrush.
- Extreme Pain or Itching or Issues When Urinating – An indication of a urinary tract infection or thrush.
- Bright Red Blood – Bright red blood is usually fresh and can indicate a hemorrhage, miscarriage or other problem.
- Clots or Heavy Blood Flow – This may indicate a miscarriage, problem with the placenta or some other issue.
- Continual Bleeding – If you experience bleeding that continues for more than a few hours or spotting that occurs for more than a day. Or if you find that you’re changing a sanitary pad more than once per hour.
- Bleeding with Placental Issues – If you have a low laying placenta or placenta previa (placenta is laying over the cervix) and your experience any bleeding or other issues, you should seek medical advice.
- Egg Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilised egg implants into the uterine wall after making the journey down from the ovaries. The bleeding can range from just a few spots of blood through to a heavier bloody discharge – although it’s generally quite a bit lighter than a normal menstrual period.
This type of bleeding occurs generally between 7-10 days after the date of conception. However some women never experience it at all or in some cases mistake it for a light period.
- Placental Implantation Bleeding
When the placenta grows and then implants into the uterine wall, loss of brown blood or spotting is not uncommon. Unlike egg implantation, placental implantation generally occurs after 6 weeks gestation and can occur anywhere up to 14 weeks.
This is the name given to fake periods during pregnancy. In most cases decidual bleeding is not a problem and will not stop you from havin a healthy baby.
This is also one reason a woman may not know she is pregnant.
You can read more about decidual bleeding here.
Bleeding After Sex
- It’s not unusual to have a small amount of spotting after sex. If you experience spotting and you know you have a low laying placenta or placenta previa, you should seek medical advice, however.
- It’s not unusual to experience some mild cramps or braxton hicks after sex, especially in the third trimester. Orgasms cause the uterus to contract.
- Semen contains a very small amount of prostaglandins which can soften the cervix. However sex only has a tiny chance of inducing labor and even smaller chance if your cervix is not ready. Unless you’ve been placed on pelvic rest by your medical carer, sex is rarely a problem in pregnancy UNLESS your waters have broken. Dilation, effacement and losing your plug are not reasons to abstain from sex (unless advised by a medical carer).
- If you experience bleeding that is more than a few spots of blood, or painful cramps or other issues, always seek medical advice.
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