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Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Female reproductive system

Your Care Instructions

Many women have some vaginal bleeding when they are pregnant. In some cases, the bleeding is not serious. And there aren't any more problems with the pregnancy.

But sometimes bleeding is a sign of a more serious problem. This is more common if the bleeding is heavy or painful. Examples of more serious problems include miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, or a problem with the placenta.

You may have to see your doctor again to be sure everything is okay. You may also need more tests to find the cause of the bleeding.

For some women, home treatment is all they need. But it depends on what is causing the bleeding. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor prescribed medicines, take them exactly as directed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Do not have sex until the bleeding stops and your doctor says it's okay.
  • Ask your doctor about other activities you can or can't do.
  • Get a lot of rest. Being pregnant can make you tired.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include a lot of peas, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Talk to a dietitian if you need help planning your diet.
  • Do not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin, unless your doctor says it is okay.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are dizzy or light-headed or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have new or worse pain in your belly or pelvis.
  • Your vaginal bleeding is getting worse.
  • You have increased pain in the vaginal area.
  • You have a fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have new or worse vaginal discharge.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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