According to the medical statistics, every fifth future mother faces such a problem as period during pregnancy. Before answering the question “Is period during pregnancy dangerous or can you keep calm about the issue?” we should figure out its true nature.
The inner walls of the uterus have a mucous layer – endometrium, covered by multiple blood vessels which provide the uterus with necessary supply. The endometrium is very sensitive to the monthly periods and the processes happening in the ovaries. The reason for such sensitivity lies in the female hormones. For example, when a follicle increases the female body produces estrogen which causes the inner layer of the uterus to increase as well. During the ovulation, the yellow body is formed instead of the follicle – it’s related to the other female hormone – progesterone.
This hormone helps the endometrium accumulate the beneficial substances in order to prepare for the implantation of the fertilized egg. If the conception hasn’t happened, approximately a couple of weeks later the work of the yellow body (and that means the production of progesterone) stops. The reduction in the amount of progesterone leads to the atrophy and detachment of the endometrium which is baring and injuring the blood vessels in the process. That’s how menstrual blood is formed of mucus, blood, and dead endometrium fragments. If the conception has happened, the yellow body keeps its activity for almost 3 months, and the production of progesterone continues in order to maintain the normal course of pregnancy. A period during pregnancy in such a situation should be viewed as the evidence of endometrium detachment which results in a miscarriage. That’s why period during pregnancy shouldn’t be considered a normal menstruation – it’s always a vaginal bleeding of other nature, often dangerous. Only a medical expert can find out what the true cause of the issue is.
When is a period during pregnancy not dangerous?
In the case of vaginal bleeding while pregnant, a future mom should immediately inform her doctor about it, no matter how far along she is. Even if your friends who have already given birth or other sources of information are trying to persuade you that a period during pregnancy is a normal occurrence, you should know better! Of course, there are women who have experienced bleedings during pregnancy and still given birth to healthy children. Doctors explain such favorable outcomes by the implantation of the fertilized egg into the mucous membrane or the formation of a small “web” of blood vessels in the protective layers covering the embryo. Implantation bleeding isn’t considered a potential threat to the normal pregnancy development. However, you should remember that in this case there are only a few drops of blood in the early pregnancy terms, and it’s quite a rare thing.
When should you be worried?
Most health professionals claim that a period during pregnancy is a sign of an upcoming miscarriage, and the future mother should immediately ask for help, especially during the first trimester. According to the latest data, 80% of all the miscarriages happen during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (most often at times when the woman would have had her usual menstruation). On the other hand, experts say that a period during pregnancy can come as usual during the first month because the hormonal background of the pregnant woman hasn’t managed to change in time. Such a period is small and painless. But in the second pregnancy month, there shouldn’t be any blood in the discharge.
Anyway, you can’t ignore vaginal bleeding during pregnancy because it can be a sign of an inflammatory process or an infectious disease of the genitals, some hormonal disorder, internal trauma, placental detachment, a pathology in the fetal development, etc.
Any of the aforementioned conditions can be health-threatening for the future mother or her baby. For example, when the female body fails to produce progesterone, a spontaneous abortion can occur. A timely consultation with an expert will help you prevent the unhappy outcome: the future mom will take the progesterone substitutes which eliminate the miscarriage threat and help you to bear your child till the due date.
Another hormonal disorder leading to a period during pregnancy is hyperandrogenism – the excess of male hormones in the body. This disorder can become a reason for placental detachment.
Ectopic pregnancy is also a very dangerous health problem which can be detected because of a period during pregnancy. During an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants somewhere outside of the uterus. A future mom with such a diagnosis experiences severe pains accompanied by vaginal bleedings which last longer and longer with the course of time. In order to confirm or refute the diagnosis “ectopic pregnancy”, the woman should immediately turn to a doctor for the necessary tests.
Sometimes a period during pregnancy tells us about the unsuccessful implantation. It usually happens when a future mom has endometriosis or myoma. In this case, there are problems with the development of the embryo and oxygen supply, which can also end in a miscarriage.
During the later pregnancy stages, usually during the 28th-32nd weeks (in rare cases, during the 16th-28th weeks), a period while pregnant can be a symptom of placenta previa – a health condition of the pregnant woman when the placenta is situated too low over the cervix and blocks its opening. To the risk group belong women who had an abortion or a C-section in the past.
A period during pregnancy sometimes occurs because of this rare condition: at first, the pregnancy is multiple (that is, two embryos are developing inside of the womb). One of the embryos is developing normally, and the other one is, due to some reason, rejected by its mother’s body. Then the period during pregnancy indicates the miscarriage of one of the babies.
Ask your doctor for advice!
It’s obvious that the reasons for a period during pregnancy are, in the majority of the cases, not harmless. That’s why a future mom should turn to a doctor with such problems even if she is feeling alright and there isn’t any pain. When a vaginal bleeding is accompanied by lower back pain or painful abdominal cramps you should immediately call an ambulance because driving on your own in such a condition can result in a miscarriage.
Very often, especially if the bleeding is related to a hormonal disorder, medical experts manage to prevent a miscarriage with the help of hormonal and hemostatic drugs. If the unborn baby can’t be saved, a timely medical intervention helps to minimize all the miscarriage-related problems and gives the woman hope that her next pregnancy is going to be successful.
The organism of any woman reacts to the pregnancy changes in its own individual manner. That’s why every future mom should follow a healthy daily routine and diet, avoid hard work, and regularly attend a clinic in order to lower the risk of any health problems, including a period during pregnancy. In the case of a vaginal bleeding, consult a doctor as soon as possible!