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Pregnancy, Bleeding (cont.)

Bleeding During Pregnancy Symptoms

It is helpful for your health care professional to know the amount and the quality of the bleeding that you have. Keep track of the number of pads used and passage of clots and tissue. If you pass a clump of tissue and are going to see your doctor, bring the tissue with you for examination.

Other symptoms you may experience are increased fatigue, excessive thirst, dizziness, or fainting. Any of these may be signs of significant blood loss. You may notice a fast pulse rate that increases when you stand up from lying down or sitting. Dizziness may worsen when you stand up as well.

With late-pregnancy bleeding, you may have these specific symptoms:

  • Placenta previa: About 70% of women have painless bright red blood from the vagina. Another 20% have some cramping with the bleeding, and 10% have no symptoms.
  • Placental abruption: About 80% of women have dark blood or clots from the vagina, but 20% have no external bleeding. More than one-third have a tender uterus. About two-thirds of women with placental abruption have the classic "pain and bleeding." Over half of the time the baby shows signs of distress. Most abruptions occur before labor begins.
  • Uterine rupture: Symptoms are highly variable. Classic uterine rupture is described as intense abdominal pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, and a "pulling back" from the birth canal of the baby's head. The pain may initially be intense, then get better with rupture, only to worsen as the lining of the abdomen is irritated. Bleeding can range from spotting to severe hemorrhage.
  • Fetal bleeding: This condition may show up as vaginal bleeding. The baby's heart rate on the monitor will first be very fast, then slow, as the baby loses blood.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2015
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