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What causes vaginal bleeding in the second trimester ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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I am 28 years old and 19.5 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I had several bleeds early in my pregnancy which settled down after about a month. Today I am losing small red clots of blood which after a couple of hours has lessened to spotting. I am 10 and a half stones in weight with no other health problems. I am due to have my 20 week scan on wednesday, do I need to contact a doctor before then ?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Vaginal bleeding in the second trimester can be caused by cervical infection, inflamed cervix or growths on your cervix.

Sometimes, light bleeding from the cervix can be a sign of cervical incompetence. This occurs when the cervix opens spontaneously and leads to preterm delivery. This usually occurs between 18 and 23 weeks of pregnancy and needs immediate medical attention. Doctors can prevent the cervix from opening, if caught in time, by performing a cerclage.

Since you have had such episodes in the past, this might be a recurrance of a similar episode. In addition, since the bleeding has reduced to spotting, it would probably subside on its own. But caution must be exercised and such situation should not be taken lightly. If in doubt you might call your doctor who might be knowing your condition in detail, and he might give you a proper advice, with respect to your condition.

You might keep a watch on symptoms like excessive and continuous bleeding, onset of any form of abdominal pain (cramps), contractions, fever, passing of clear discharge, etc. With onset of such symptoms it would indicate a possible miscarriage that it needs evaluation by a doctor at the earliest.

In addition, the cause of the bleeding has to be ascertained by proper investigations and steps to prevent further occurances should be taken.

I hope this answers your question effectively. Should you have more concerns, I will be available to address it.

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