Are you at the end of your pregnancy and bleeding ? Then hopefully the following text will answer any questions you have and help you as much as possible.
What is End of Pregnancy Bleeding?
When one speaks of bleeding in this case, one means that shortly before the end of the pregnancy (i.e. from the 37th week of pregnancy) blood will leak from the vagina. According to foodanddrinkjournal, this bleeding is also known as drawing bleeding.
However, this does not necessarily have to result in a pathological course. The bleeding can also be harmless. They can be a omen for the imminent onset of labor and indicate the opening of the cervix.
However, it is important that the pregnant woman remains calm in this situation, informs a doctor or midwife, lies down and walks to the maternity ward. Because this bleeding can also be a sign of serious complications, it shouldn’t be underestimated.
If the stomach feels hard and the pregnant woman is in pain, it indicates that the placenta is peeling away from the uterus. However, the bleeding may also indicate that some of the fetal blood vessels have ruptured.
Another cause of late pregnancy bleeding is the proximity of the placenta to the cervix. However, it could also be that the placenta is not only close to the cervix, but completely covers it. Doctors speak of a “placenta previa”. If the bleeding is painless, sudden and severe, this strongly suggests that the pregnant woman is in shock.
But the cause of the bleeding need not necessarily have something to do with the pregnancy. On the one hand, the bleeding can indicate an injury or an infection of the vagina; on the other hand, it can also be triggered by malignant tumors in the cervix.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Bleeding at the end of pregnancy mainly occurs from the 37th week of pregnancy. Bleeding from drawings expresses itself as bleeding, which is usually mixed with mucus and is rather dark in color. The amount of blood that escapes is usually rather small. Profuse bleeding can occur if there is placenta previa.
Occasionally, drawing bleeding manifests itself in abdominal pain, which can radiate into the gastrointestinal area and into the legs. In addition, severe discomfort can occur, which is due on the one hand to the bleeding anemia and its consequences and on the other hand to the cramps that accompany bleeding. Heavy bleeding can lead to circulatory problems, which are noticeable in sweating, dizziness and a racing heart.
If the bleeding is caused by an injury to the cervix or the fetus, additional symptoms and complaints may occur. If the cervix is involved, pressure pain and heavy bleeding occur, which can intensify as the disease progresses and lead to circulatory problems relatively quickly.
If the bleeding originates from the fetus, contractions and other symptoms are possible. The symptoms depend on the cause and the course of the bleeding, which is why a doctor must always be consulted if there are symptoms.
When making a diagnosis, it is important to avoid palpation examinations directly on the vagina as long as the cause of the bleeding is unclear, as this can possibly make the cause worse. The doctor should also refrain from these examinations.
To determine the cause of the bleeding, a doctor will usually do an ultrasound scan first. With this, the reason can sometimes be determined, for example if it is a placenta near the cervix or something similar. The doctor will then usually examine the vagina and cervix.
This is done by the physician unfolding the vaginal walls with the help of a speculum in order to be able to see the cervix. In addition, the doctor can use a so-called Kleihauer test to find out how much of the leaked blood comes from the fetus itself.
Bleeding at the end of pregnancy can be a sign of serious complications. A threatening complication at the end of pregnancy is the unexpected detachment of the placenta. This can be accompanied by severe bleeding. These threaten mother and child alike. Without an intact placenta, the baby cannot survive long in the womb. At the same time, the mother is threatened with circulatory failure due to the heavy loss of blood, which can be fatal.
In the event of bleeding at the end of pregnancy, regardless of the intensity of the bleeding, a doctor should always be consulted immediately. In the case of heavy bleeding, it is advisable to go to a clinic with a maternity ward immediately. Depending on the cause of the bleeding at the end of the pregnancy, complications can only be avoided by ending the pregnancy with an immediate caesarean section.
If the placenta becomes detached prematurely, the child will no longer be adequately supplied with oxygen. If it is not delivered within a short period of time, the baby will die or at least be cerebrally damaged due to the interruption of the oxygen supply in the abdomen. Heavy bleeding can lead to circulatory instability and iron deficiency in pregnant women. In order to avoid further complications, the mother-to-be may receive intensive medical care and may also receive blood preparations.
When should you go to the doctor?
Very light bleeding at the end of the pregnancy can herald the birth. It is not a matter of actual bleeding, but of the discharge of the plug of mucus, which can resemble a slight bleeding. Even if light bleeding at the end of pregnancy can be harmless in nature, it should always be clarified by a doctor. Because bleeding at the end of pregnancy can also be a medical emergency.
Complications such as placenta detachment threaten the life of both mother and child. If it is recognized in time, however, rescue is possible. Accordingly, a pregnant woman should have a doctor clarify any type of bleeding. Call an emergency doctor immediately, especially in the case of very heavy bleeding and poor circulation. If the bleeding is heavy, the detour via a gynecologist or family doctor does not make sense, because valuable time may elapse before you arrive at an obstetrics clinic. So it is better to call an ambulance immediately in the event of heavy bleeding at the end of the pregnancy.
Treatment & Therapy
Depending on why the pregnant woman is suffering from the bleeding, it will of course be decided how to proceed. The treatment is based on the one hand on how the child and mother are doing and how much blood they have lost so far.
If the mother has already lost a lot of blood, the delivery is usually started immediately. Under certain circumstances, this can mean that the mother needs blood or other infusions. If the bleeding is weaker, the mother is usually kept in the clinic to observe the further course.
Depending on the cause of the bleeding, an immediate caesarean section may be necessary to ensure the well-being of the child and the mother. However, this is usually avoided as it is of course best for the child to stay in the mother’s womb as long as possible in order to develop well.
Outlook & forecast
With regard to the prospect and prognosis of bleeding at the end of pregnancy, a distinction must be made between so-called drawing bleeding and other bleeding. In most cases, the former occurs when the bleeding occurs shortly before the due date. In such cases, they indicate an imminent birth that should be initiated accordingly. Accordingly, the bleeding from the drawing disappears with the birth.
The prognosis for other types of bleeding at the end of pregnancy is usually poorer and depends on the cause. For example, the blood supply to the growing baby may be damaged or there may be a defect (peeling, cracking) in the placenta. Both mean a specific supply risk for the child.
If the bleeding occurs very heavily and acutely and is also associated with pain, it is a question of rapid medical help, what the prospect is. Persistent and severe blood loss can, under certain circumstances, lead to a shock for those affected, which can even lead to circulatory failure. The growing child is seriously harmed in such cases and may die.
There are also cases of bleeding due to infection or slight tears in the vaginal area. These can usually be treated and viewed as harmless. They have no influence on the child-to-be.
In order to prevent bleeding at the end of pregnancy, there are no special instructions that can be observed. In any case, the pregnant woman should orient herself to the usual things that have to be observed during every pregnancy. This includes, for example, that the pregnant woman neither smokes nor drinks alcohol. In addition, no heavy objects should be carried and the expectant mother should recover and relax enough, even if the period of pregnancy can sometimes be quite stressful and exciting.
In the vast majority of cases, bleeding at the end of pregnancy does not require any special follow-up measures. But it mostly depends on the cause. Since the bleeding is mostly related to the impending birth, the women affected should usually be looked after closely by a midwife or gynecologist anyway.
If you are unsure, you should definitely contact them. In a few cases, such as a uterine rupture (tearing of the uterine wall) or premature placenta detachment, a caesarean section must be performed. In this case, intensive post-operative follow-up is required. The cause of bleeding at the end of pregnancy rarely remains unknown.
As during the entire period of pregnancy, affected women should completely refrain from alcohol and cigarettes in such cases. It is also advisable not to carry heavy objects. After bleeding in late pregnancy, those affected should generally relax and recover to prevent it from occurring again. In some cases, it is also advisable to refrain from sexual intercourse with penetration for a few days.
You can do that yourself
What an expectant mother can do for herself in the case of bleeding at the end of her pregnancy in the area of self-help depends largely on the underlying cause. Rest, relaxation and, above all, physical restraint can often bring light bleeding to a standstill. In loungers to relax the muscles, small tissue injuries are excited not by physical stress to bleed and possibly premature labor, often associated with slight bleeding, come through physical rest sometimes to a halt.
These processes can also be promoted by taking magnesium. Magnesium supplements are available over-the-counter in different strengths both in pharmacies and in drugstores. Apart from possible abdominal pain and possibly diarrhea, no significant side effects are to be expected when taking a commercial magnesium preparation.
However, bleeding at the end of pregnancy can also be life-threatening for mother and unborn child. A premature detachment of the placenta, for example, can be responsible for bleeding towards the end of the 40 weeks and represents a life-threatening emergency. As the cause of bleeding can rarely be assessed with certainty by the expectant mother, a medical examination is generally advisable. Only when a gynecologist classifies the situation as harmless can measures such as physical restraint and magnesium be considered.