Subchorionic Hematoma: Why am I bleeding during pregnancy?

Experiencing vaginal bleeding during your first trimester of pregnancy? It’s possible that the bleeding is due to a subchorionic hematoma — a condition that is relatively common and can seem really scary at first. Here’s everything you need to know.


What is a subchorionic hematoma?

A subchorionic hematoma (also known as a subchorionic hemorrhage) is the presence of blood between the uterine lining and the chorion (the outer membrane, next to the uterus) or underneath the placenta itself. It can cause light to heavy spotting or bleeding, and sometimes no bleeding at all. Most subchorionic hematomas resolve on their own, and women go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies. However,  doctors will continue to monitor your symptoms.


Is This Normal?

While only 3.1% of women experience a subchorionic hematoma, they are often the cause of first-trimester bleeding. It’s more common in pregnancies related to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).


What are the symptoms of a subchorionic hematoma?

Subchorionic hematoma can be difficult to diagnose because they don’t always result in noticeable symptoms. Spotting or bleeding during the first trimester may be a clear sign; however, most hematomas are detected during a routine ultrasound without any symptoms. Other symptoms may include uterine cramps. 


Treating subchorionic hematomas

While most subchorionic bleeding heals on its own, your doctor may recommend activity modifications such as pelvic rest. If your blood type is Rh-negative, your doctor may recommend receiving the RhoGam injection to prevent problems in future pregnancies. 


Potential risks of a subchorionic hematoma

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of subchorionic hematomas resolve on their own. In some cases, it can be linked to a higher risk of miscarriage. It’s important to contact your doctor immediately if you experience vaginal bleeding during your first trimester. 


Next steps

It’s normal to worry about vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Just remember, most subchorionic hematomas result in a healthy pregnancy. 


Learn more irregular bleeding during pregnancy at Alabama Fertility in Birmingham, AL

At Alabama Fertility Specialists, we treat all patients with the care and compassion that complex reproductive issues require. We encourage you to ask your doctors and nurses at Alabama Fertility Specialists as many questions as you need to in order to find out more.

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