Bleeding During Your First Trimester
Your body is going through a ton of changes, especially during the first trimester. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that as many as 30 percent of women experience some sort of spotting or light bleeding during early pregnancy. Some of the causes of light bleeding or spotting include,
Implantation bleeding: After about 6 to 12 days after conception, some women experience cramping and light spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding. While some women may assume that their period is coming (since implantation bleeding usually appears a few days before a woman’s period), implantation bleeding is very light and may cause pink or brown spotting that may only last a day or two.
Bleeding During Second and Third Trimester
While light bleeding is fairly normal during the first trimester, it’s less common and more likely to be a concern if there is bleeding in the second or third trimester. If you are bleeding during your second or third trimester it’s best to talk with your OBGYN as it could be a sign of,
- Placental abruption
- Problems with the cervix such as an infection
- Placenta previa
- Premature labor
Since bleeding could be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other serious problems, you must talk with your OBGYN about any bleeding you experience. You should call your doctor right away if,
- Your bleeding lasts more than 24 hours
- Bleeding is heavy or you pass blood clots or tissue
- Your bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain, fevers, or chills
You’ve been running back and forth to the bathroom all day and you’ve noticed an increased urgency to pee, even after you’ve just gone. What gives? Well, if you notice burning or pain with urination you could very well be dealing with a bladder infection. Most people will experience a bladder infection at least once during their lifetime. If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection you may want to call your OBGYN for a checkup.
What are the signs of a bladder infection?
Bladder infections are one of the most common urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you have a bladder infection you may experience,
- Strong-smelling urine
- Cloudy urine
- Increased urgency and frequency of urination
- Abdominal cramping
- Burning with urination
- Pain that lingers after urinating
How is a bladder infection treated?
Your OBGYN will prescribe an oral antibiotic to kill the bacteria in the bladder. You may also receive medication to ease burning and pain with urination. You must be drinking plenty of fluids to flush out bacteria in the bladder.
You should see an improvement in your symptoms after 2 days of taking the antibiotics, but you mustn’t stop taking your medication once you start to feel better, as the infection can return.
Is there a way to prevent bladder infections?
There are certain lifestyle adjustments that you can make to prevent the development of a bladder infection. Some of these habits include,
- Drinking enough water every day
- Taking showers over a bath
- Not douching or using scented feminine products
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes
- Urinating immediately before and after intercourse
Most of the time, this condition doesn’t cause any symptoms. Most women don’t even know they have it until they visit their gynecologist for their annual checkup. If you do have cervical ectropion you may notice,
- Spotting between periods
- Light discharge
- Discomfort during sex
If you aren’t experiencing symptoms, then treatment really isn’t necessary. In some cases, cervical ectropion may just go away on its own. Of course, heavy discharge, bleeding, or pain can be managed through cauterization (performed through heat, cold or silver nitrate), which removes the glandular cells from outside the cervix.
Finding out that there are cellular changes within the cervix can be a little unnerving, but this condition is completely harmless. If you are pregnant this will not harm your unborn child and this cervical ectropion will not increase your risk for cervical cancer.
Can fibroids become cancerous?
The majority of the time fibroids are completely benign. It is extremely rare that a fibroid will turn cancerous. Also, having fibroids will not increase your chances of developing uterine cancer or cancerous fibroids.
How are fibroids treated?
Since most women don’t experience symptoms, they won’t necessarily need treatment; however, women who do experience symptoms will want to discuss their options with a qualified OBGYN. Your OBGYN will be able to decide the best strategies for treating your fibroids based on your health, the symptoms you’re experiencing, whether you plan to become pregnant in the future, your age, and the size of the fibroids.
Mild symptoms may be managed with simple over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. If you have heavy periods, your doctor may recommend iron supplements to prevent anemia. Some forms of birth control including an intrauterine device (IUD) can also help manage fibroid symptoms.
Another medication used to treat fibroids is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa). This medication can be administered in many different ways (e.g. inhaled, ingested, or injected) and is used to shrink large fibroids.
If you experience more severe fibroid symptoms, then your OBGYN may recommend surgery to have the fibroids removed. This procedure is known as a myomectomy.
Can I get pregnant if I have fibroids?
It can be more difficult for women with uterine fibroids to get pregnant, but it is still a possibility. Of course, women who become pregnant while they have fibroids may be more at risk for complications so it’s important that you have an obstetrician that will know how to best handle fibroids during your pregnancy. While there may be concerns, having fibroids does not put you in the high-risk pregnancy category.
Are you experiencing symptoms of fibroids? If so, it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about your symptoms and how to get them under control.
Why am I experiencing painful sex?
There are several reasons why you may experience pain with intercourse. One of the more common ones is a lack of lubrication; however, painful sex could also be a sign of:
- An infection including yeast infections and infections of the cervix
- Vaginismus: A condition that causes muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
- Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to uterine tissue grows beyond the uterus
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian conditions
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes severe inflammation of the deeper pelvic tissue
- Vulvodynia: A condition that causes chronic pain in the vulva and other external organs including the clitoris
However, when it seems like something more is at play then it’s time to consult an OBGYN. If vaginal dryness is the cause, we can recommend or provide special lubricants. Menopausal women who are experiencing vaginal dryness may need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams.
We will need to perform a physical exam to check for any tears, signs of STDs, inflamed tissue, or other signs of infection or certain vaginal conditions. Some conditions simply require medication (as is the case with yeast infections or PID); however, chronic conditions such as endometriosis will require special treatments, lifestyle changes, and long-term monitoring from an OBGYN.
Are you dealing with painful sex? If so, your OBGYN can provide you with the care you need to get this problem under control. It’s important to address this problem as soon as possible.
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