“Any one with subchorionic bleeding during pregnancy? I need advice. Is it dangerous in pregnancy?” a mum asked us on theAsianparent app.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for many expectant mothers, but it can also be uncertain and concerning. If you are experiencing subchorionic bleeding during pregnancy, it’s important to understand what it is, what causes it, and how to manage it.
This article will explore what you need to know about subchorionic bleeding, including its symptoms, potential risks, and treatment options. Whether you have been diagnosed with subchorionic bleeding or are simply looking to learn more about this condition, this post will provide valuable information to help you feel informed and empowered during your pregnancy.
What Is Subchorionic Bleeding
Subchorionic bleeding is a condition that can occur during pregnancy and is also known as a subchorionic haemorrhage or SCH. Subchorionic bleeding occurs when blood pools between the uterus and the placenta during early pregnancy.
This can cause some spotting or light bleeding. It’s also linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, so you should see your doctor immediately if you have any bleeding or spotting during your first trimester.
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Is Subchorionic Bleeding During Pregnancy Common
Subchorionic bleeding is not common, but it does occur.
It’s also known as a subchorionic hematoma, a blood collection between the uterus and the sac that holds the baby.
Subchorionic bleeding is more likely to happen if you have had a tubal ligation or had problems with your fallopian tubes. It can also occur during an ectopic pregnancy when the embryo attaches somewhere other than inside the uterus.
If you are experiencing subchorionic bleeding during pregnancy, knowing what causes it and how it can affect your pregnancy is important.
What Causes Subchorionic Bleeding During Pregnancy
A variety of factors can cause subchorionic bleeding during pregnancy. The most common cause is separating the chorion, the outermost foetal membrane, from the uterine wall. This separation can cause bleeding to occur between the two layers.
Other possible causes of subchorionic bleeding include:
- Infections: An infection in the reproductive system, such as bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted infections, can cause bleeding during pregnancy.
- Placenta previa: Placenta previa occurs when the placenta covers the cervix, which can lead to bleeding.
- Trauma: Trauma to the abdomen, such as a fall or car accident, can cause subchorionic bleeding.
- Abnormal foetal growth: Abnormal foetal growth, such as in the case of a molar pregnancy, can cause bleeding.
- Maternal age: Older mothers may be more likely to experience subchorionic bleeding.
It’s important to note that the cause of subchorionic bleeding may not be identifiable in many cases. Regardless of the cause, pregnant women need to receive proper medical attention if they experience any bleeding during pregnancy.
Some risk factors include:
- IVF Pregnancies: Studies have found that the frequency of subchorionic hematoma is high in IVF pregnancies and frozen-thawed embryo transfer.
- Age: Women above 35 are more likely to develop subchorionic hematomas.
Do note that bleeding from subchorionic hematoma is usually harmless. Symptoms usually resolve on their own, and it is rarely a sign of a miscarriage. With treatment and close monitoring, women can go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies.
What Are the Symptoms of Subchorionic Bleeding During Pregnancy
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Subchorionic bleeding is a condition that occurs when there is a build-up of blood in the area between the uterus and placenta. This can cause many symptoms, including cramping or pain in your abdomen, slight spotting throughout the day, and even more severe bleeding that requires medical attention.
Because these symptoms can be confused with other common pregnancy ailments like heartburn or constipation, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these problems. Your doctor can tell whether or not you have subchorionic bleeding based on your symptoms and perform tests as needed to confirm your diagnosis.
- Vaginal bleeding: This is the most common symptom of subchorionic bleeding. The blood may be light or heavy and may be accompanied by cramping.
- Abdominal pain: Some women with subchorionic bleeding may experience abdominal pain, which may be mild or severe.
- Back pain: Back pain is another symptom that some women with subchorionic bleeding may experience.
- Clots: Some women with subchorionic bleeding may pass clots of blood, which may be dark red or brown.
- Reduced foetal movement: In some cases, subchorionic bleeding can cause the fetus to move less than normal. If you notice a decrease in fetal movement, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Bleeding caused by a subchorionic hematoma can range from a heavy flow with clots to light spotting. Sometimes there is no bleeding at all.
Some women don’t experience any symptoms and only find out about the condition during a routine ultrasound examination.
It is important to note that not all women with subchorionic bleeding experience symptoms. Some women may have a small hematoma detected on ultrasound, but it does not cause any bleeding or other symptoms. You must contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
What Does Subchorionic Bleeding Ultrasound Looks Like
Subchorionic bleeding, also known as a subchorionic hematoma, is often diagnosed by ultrasound, which can show the presence of blood between the uterus and the gestational sac or placenta.
On ultrasound, a subchorionic hematoma typically appears as a crescent-shaped or oval collection of fluid or blood located next to the gestational sac or placenta. The hematoma size can vary and may be small or large, and the bleeding can range from minimal to severe.
The appearance of subchorionic bleeding on ultrasound can vary depending on the timing of the ultrasound, the location and size of the hematoma, and the severity of the bleeding.
Can Subchorionic Hematoma Harm the Foetus?
Complications posed by subchorionic hematomas depend on the size of the hematoma and when they are detected during pregnancy.
In most cases, subchorionic hematoma resolves on its own. Hematomas are detected early in the first trimester, and those that don’t grow in size are less problematic. Small hematomas on the surface of the placenta cause fewer issues than those that develop under the placenta or behind the foetal membrane.
Hematomas that happen towards the end of the first trimester or early second trimester can cause the placenta to pull away from its attachment site on the uterus. If more than 30% of the placenta becomes dislodged, it could cause the hematoma to grow even larger and increase the risk of preterm birth and miscarriage.
Studies have found that subchorionic hematoma can increase the risk of pregnancy complications, like miscarriage, preterm labour, placental abruption, and premature rupture of membranes. The risk is higher in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Complications also depend on the size of the hematoma, gestational age, and the mother’s age.
Thus, you must immediately inform your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Subchorionic Bleeding during pregnancy
If you notice vaginal bleeding at any point in your pregnancy, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will usually ask for an ultrasound scan.
A transvaginal or abdominal scan is done to determine the size and position of the clot, the actual amount of bleeding and the site of the blood collection.
Your pregnancy will be monitored closely to check if the clots resolve naturally or are still growing and pose risks. If the chances of miscarriage are high, some doctors will use estrogen and progesterone to slow or prevent further haemorrhaging. In rare cases, the doctor may recommend blood thinners to bleed the clot out.
Caring for yourself when you have subchorionic bleeding during pregnancy
- Keep track of how heavy your bleeding is, the colour of the blood (brown, dark or bright red), if it gets heavier or lighter, and how many pads you are using. Go for your ultrasound check-ups regularly.
- Don’t use a tampon or douche when you have bleeding
- Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or excessive exercise. Also, avoid standing for long periods.
- Your doctor may advise you to take bed rest and avoid sex until the hematoma dissolves and disappears.
- Stay well hydrated, and eat fibre-rich meals. This can help in preventing constipation and excessive strain that can cause bleeding.
Get immediate medical attention if:
- There is sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
- You have severe vaginal bleeding.
- Dizziness or light-headedness, or you feel like you may faint.
- Presence of new or worse vaginal symptoms, such as pain in the vaginal area, itching, or discharge.
- You have a fever.
- Possibility of passed tissue. Save any tissue you pass and take it to your doctor as soon as possible.
How Much Bleeding Is Normal in Early Pregnancy
Bleeding in early pregnancy is not uncommon. It’s estimated that around half of all pregnant women experience some bleeding in the first trimester.
It’s important to know that there are several possible causes of bleeding in the first few weeks of pregnancy. All of which can be treated easily and have no long-term implications on your health or your baby’s well-being.
If you experience bleeding during pregnancy, you must consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible to determine the cause and receive appropriate care.
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Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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