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Spotting or bleeding during third trimester of pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding late in the pregnancy is alarming. Know its causes and how to deal with the same.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : November 2, 2015 6:54 PM IST

pregnant woman woes During your last trimester if you notice spotting or vaginal bleeding get up and rush to the hospital. This isn't the time to ponder on the causes and consequences of spotting. Bleeding at this stage usually indicates danger or an emergency. Spotting at this crucial stage can happen due to various reasons. Some probable causes of spotting during the third trimester could be:

Placenta abruption: Spotting during the third trimester can be due to placenta abruption. 'If the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus it leads to blood pooling between the placenta and uterus, vaginal bleeding can also be seen soon after. This condition can be very dangerous to both the mother and baby,' says Dr Pooja Mehta, consultant gynecologist, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon.

Placenta previa: In case with the progression of pregnancy if the placenta stays low lying covering the mouth of the uterus it can lead to painless vaginal bleeding. 'This still spells an emergency and calls for immediate medical attention for both the mother and baby's wellbeing,' says Dr Mehta.

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Preterm labour: Vaginal bleeding during the last trimester (also called 'show') with intense lower abdominal pain and cramps can indicate preterm labour. 'If you notice such symptoms it is better not to delay your visit to the hospital,' cautions Dr Mehta.

Onset of labour: 'During the third trimester if the mucous plug dislodges itself from the mouth of the uterus you can spot bleeding. This also indicates onset of labour with cramps and abdominal pains and should not be avoided under any circumstances,' says Dr Mehta.

No matter when you spot the blood and what could be its cause, a consultation with your gynecologist is necessary. 'An ultrasound needs to be done in case one spots vaginal bleeding to ensure the position of the fetus and check on its heart beat to make sure that there isn't any severe complication in store,' says Dr Mehta.

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