Many women have vaginal spotting or bleeding in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding of the cervix may occur during sex. An infection of thecervix can also cause bleeding.
If you are bleeding in early pregnancy, your doctor may do a pelvic exam. You will be asked how much blood you have passed and how often bleeding has occurred. Your doctor also will ask whether you have had any pain, and if so, its location and severity. (hunterdon)
A blood test may be done to measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This substance is made by your body during pregnancy. You may have more than one test because hCG levels increase throughout pregnancy. Your blood type also will be checked to see if you need treatment for Rh sensitization. Ultrasound may be used to find the cause of the bleeding. Sometimes the cause is not found.
If you have bleeding while you are pregnant, you may need special care. You have a higher chance of going into labor too early (preterm labor), having an infant who is born too small, or having a miscarriage.
Miscarriage can be caused by a problem with the pregnancy. Bleeding does not always mean that miscarriage will happen. About one half of pregnant women who bleed do not miscarry.
Miscarriage can occur any time in the first half of pregnancy. Most often it occurs in the first 13 weeks. It happens in about 15–20% of pregnancies.
The following signs and symptoms may indicate a miscarriage:
Cramping pain felt low in the abdomen (often more strong than menstrual cramps)
Tissue passing from the vagina
Many women who have vaginal bleeding have little or no cramping. Sometimes the bleeding stops and pregnancy goes on. Other times the bleeding and cramping may become stronger, leading to miscarriage.
If you think you have passed fetal tissue, take it to the doctor's office. The doctor may send it to a lab to be examined. (hunterdon)
If some tissue stays in the uterus, bleeding often continues. Your doctor may then recommend one or more treatment options. Medication may be used to help you pass the tissue. The tissue may be removed by dilation and curettage (D&C). It also may be removed by a suctioning device. This is called suction curettage. Sometimes more than one option is needed.
Most miscarriages cannot be prevented. They are often the body's way of dealing with a pregnancy that was not normal. There is no proof that exercise or sex causes them. Also, there is no proof that stress or work causes them. Having a miscarriage does not mean you cannot have more children. It does not always mean something is wrong with your health. If you have two in a row, your doctor may suggest tests to look for a cause.