Early Pregnancy Complications
Bleeding in early pregnancy can happen without any serious impact. Sometimes it may imply a miscarriage in the offing and it may progress to a spontaneous abortion. The abortion process may be asymptomatic and become evident only by a scan. This is called a missed abortion.
At times the embryo may settle in a location other than the uterus. It may grow in the tube or the ovary where it cannot sustain itself. The gestational sac (the bag in which the embryo resides) then bursts and the embryo dies. This condition is called ectopic pregnancy and is manifested as a severe bleeding or even shock. This is potentially a life-threatening situation.
Some pregnancies do not have a growing embryo but only placental tissue growing abnormally and invading into the uterine wall and sometimes even spreading beyond the uterus. This tissue looks like a bunch of grapes and is called vesicular mole. Vesicular moles have to be removed by a procedure called Dilation and curettage also known as a D&C.
Dilation and curettage is a minor operation which scrapes away vesicular mole or miscarried embryo by a process called curettage. The process requires a short anesthetic and has to be done in a sterile and hygienic area, like an operation theatre. The scraped out contents can be sent for pathological examination to obtain an accurate diagnoses and direct further treatment.
If the mother has suffered an infection or has been exposed to radiation, the baby may develop congenital defects. Either an amniotic fluid sampling or ultrasound may diagnose this. Taking folic acid supplements can avoid defects known as neural tube defects.