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Pregnant, have gestational diabetes, on insulin, observed brown vaginal once. Sign of miscarriage?

Mar 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5970 Questions
Dear Doc,

My wife who has a history of PCOD is 8+ weeks pregnant. Last week (7th week), we had an ultrasound done and the doctor confirmed a healthy fetal heart beat(146bpm). Nevertheless her OBGYN and dietitian diagnosed gestational diabetes and have put her on insulin.

Today afternoon, she had brown vaginal discharges that lasted for a while. There has been no repetition hence. There is no pain/cramping whatsoever so far. This has her worried as she thinks it might be a case of miscarriage.

Can you please clear the air?
Posted Tue, 4 Jun 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 53 minutes later
Thanks for your query.
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is any discharge of blood from the vagina. It can happen any time from conception (when the egg is fertilized) to the end of pregnancy.

About 2 or 3 out of every 10 pregnant women have vaginal bleeding during their first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Spotting is when you notice a few drops of blood every now and then on your underwear. It is not even enough to cover a panty liner.

Bleeding is a heavier flow of blood. With bleeding, you will need a liner or pad to keep the blood from soaking your clothes.

Some spotting is normal very early in pregnancy. Still, it is a good idea to consult your obstetrician as she is having a high risk pregnancy.

If you have had an ultrasound that confirms you have a normal pregnancy, consult your obstetrician still, to confirm that there is no mishap that has occurred.
Spotting can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus). An untreated ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening for the woman. However, you have already had an intrauterine pregnancy confirmed.

A miscarriage, which is the loss of the pregnancy before the embryo or fetus can live on its own outside the uterus. Almost all women who miscarry will have bleeding before a miscarriage.

Ominous signs of impending miscarriage alongwith bleeding/ spotting are :

Heavy bleeding, that is unrelenting
Bleeding with pain or cramping
Dizziness and bleeding, fainting spells
Pain in your belly or pelvis and lower abdomen
Expulsion of fleshy tissues.

Meanwhile, have the following pointers :

Take time off work
Stay off your feet
Do Not have sex
Not douche (NEVER do this during pregnancy, and avoid when not pregnant too)
Do Not use tampons
Your doctor may also give you a shot of medicine to help you keep your pregnancy and avoid a miscarriage.

Very heavy bleeding may require a hospital stay or surgical procedure.

If something other than blood comes out, call your doctor or midwife right away. Put the discharge in a jar or a plastic bag and bring it with you to your doctor.

Take care, and all the best.
Feel free to discuss further.
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