Today I want to speak to you about the menstrual cycle. Every day, women come to my office with problems with their period, so it is very important to have a good understanding of the menstrual cycle.
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…..Let us end our review of vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy with a few points:
- Early pregnancy bleeding often stops on its own, and the cause is not always determined.
- Vaginal bleeding is a common problem, and observing vaginal sonograms and hCG blood levels is helpful to determine the cause of the bleeding and to assess the chance of a successful pregnancy.
- If the bleeding continues past the third month of the pregnancy, there is an increased chance of problems later on in the pregnancy, such as early rupture of the membranes and preterm (early) delivery.
- This type of bleeding is a cause of great fear and anxiety for a couple, and emotional support from the medical team, family, and friends is imperative!
…..I would like to begin a review of one of the most common complications of early pregnancy, vaginal bleeding. This is the number one reason patients will have an emergency visit in the first trimester, and it is a cause of great anxiety to patients and their families. There are a few important facts you should be aware of:
- About 15% of recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage
- 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester
- Trauma, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and advanced maternal age increase the risk of first trimester bleeding
- 25% of pregnant women will report first trimester bleeding or spotting
- 8% of pregnant women report heavy vaginal bleeding
- Of the patients who report bleeding, 75% will have 1 episode, 20% will have 2 episodes, and 10% will have 3 or greater episodes
- The amount of bleeding is the most significant predictor of an impending miscarriage
- Again, advanced maternal age is a significant risk factor for first trimester bleeding and subsequent miscarriage; 50% of pregnancies in women over 40 result in a miscarriage, with abnormal chromosomes in the fetus being a primary factor
- For women under the age of 35, the rate of a spontaneous miscarriage is 2%.