During pregnancy, 10% of women experience bleeding in their last trimester. For some, it may indicate a serious problem and they should report this to their doctor immediately. But what causes bleeding at 8 months in a pregnancy? Here is what you should know and do if you are faced with a situation.
Knowing the difference
Do you know if it just spotting or is it serious bleeding? It is quite common to have some spotting during pregnancy.
- Spotting is a few drops of blood on the underwear off, and occasionally. If it doesn’t cover the bottom of your underwear, you don’t have to worry.
- Bleeding is heavier and if you need a sanitary pad to keep it from soaking your clothing, then you do need medical attention.
Reasons for bleeding late in the pregnancy
Bleeding is to be expected when you are about to deliver. The cervix dilates slowly over time and a bit of blood and normal vaginal discharges and mucus will be discharged. If you notice blood at any time during the last trimester and it is not time for delivery yet, the causes could be:
- Having sex (this could induce spotting)
- Doctor exam (usually just spotting after the internal exam is done)
- Any vaginal or cervical infection or disease
- Fibroids in the uterus, growths or polyps in the cervix
There are a few serious conditions which result in late term bleeding and these could be:
- Placenta previa – a condition in which the placenta is implanted and grows in the lower quadrant of the uterus. It could cover some or the entire cervix opening.
- Placenta abruptio – a condition in which the placenta detaches from the inner uterine wall before the delivery of the baby
What to do if you are bleeding
If you are bleeding, whether it is spotting or heavy, call your doctor. You will have to answer questions like:
- Do you have cramps or pain?
- Are you experiencing contractions?
- Did you experience bleeding at other times during the pregnancy?
- When bleeding does occur, is it occasional or constant?
- What color is the blood (bright red or dark)?
- Is there any smell?
- Did you faint, feel giddy or nauseous?
- Did you vomit or have a fever?
- Did you have diarrhea?
- Any recent injuries or falls?
- Did you have sex and if yes, was there bleeding later?
What are the next steps?
Spotting is usually not a problem if there are no symptoms and it happens after sex. Your doctor will suggest you do the following:
- Use a new pad and check for spotting for a day or so
- If the bleeding or spotting does not stop, call your doctor
- If the bleeding is heavy and your abdomen feels tender and painful, you will have to call an ambulance and go to the hospital.
- If you are experiencing strong contractions frequently, it is also time to go to the hospital
- Talking to the doctor will help in taking the right action and reduce the risk of serious problems.
During pregnancy, the body is constantly changing, and it is essential that you note any changes, especially unusual ones. Talk to your doctor and go to the doctor’s office or the hospital so that problems can be addressed immediately.