Pregnancy

When to call the doctor (1 – 3 months)

If you have one or more of the following symptoms at any time during your pregnancy you should immediately call your doctor:

• Abdominal or back pain
• Vaginal bleeding
• Bleeding from nipples, rectum or blood in urine, coughing up blood.
• Sudden swelling of any part of the body
• Visual disturbance
• Diarrhoea
• Sudden weight gain not related to eating patterns
• Severe headaches
• Fainting or dizziness
• Painful or burning urine
• Fever
• Sudden onset of severe vomiting
• All over itching
• Absence of foetal movement for 24 hours after week 20
• Fewer than 10 foetal movements per hour after week 28

Heavy vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of a problem. Whatever stage of pregnancy you have reached, if you are experiencing bleeding you should call your doctor and go to bed. Severe cramping and tenderness on one side should also be reported to the doctor as soon as possible even if not accompanied by bleeding.

If the bleeding is accompanied by cramps, abdominal or lower back pain and passing of clots then you should contact your doctor urgently or go to your nearest hospital casualty centre.

Having said that, it is important to know the following. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy about a quarter of all women experience bleeding which is part of the normal process and not an indication of a problem. There are several common causes for this:

– Implantation bleeding: Brief and light bleeding may occur as the fertilised egg implants into the placenta, usually 5- 10 days after conception.

– Period: it is not uncommon to experience slight spotting around the time that you would normally have experienced a period.

– Intercourse: The tender cervix is engorged with blood and after intercourse it is possible to have light spotting.

Early miscarriage (loss of embryo in the first 12 weeks) is very common and thought to occur in roughly 50% of conceptions, mostly before the woman even knows she is pregnant. In the majority of cases this does not affect future pregnancies. There are a wide range of reasons for this, the most common being abnormal foetus and implantation problems. Be aware that in a normal pregnancy miscarriage is NOT caused by sex, working hard, lifting heavy objects or vomiting.

See also:
When to call the doctor (3-9 months)

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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