Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Pregnancy is full of unknowns, and many expectant parents worry about the health of their developing baby. Bleeding during pregnancy creates anxiety and can be a sign of miscarriage. However, some women have heavy bleeding during pregnancy yet go on to have a healthy baby. We will be discussing subchorionic hematoma, one of the causes of prenatal bleeding.
What Is Subchorionic Hematoma?
A subchorionic hematoma, also referred to as a subchorionic hemorrhage or subchorionic bleeding, is a type of bleeding that occurs between the uterine wall and amniotic membrane. This bleeding occurs when the placenta becomes partially detached.
There are several potential risk factors for subchorionic hematoma. These include trauma, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, history of recurrent miscarriage, malformation of the uterus and history of pelvic infections. Subchorionic hematomas are estimated to account for 10% of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.
What Are the Signs of a Subchorionic Hematoma?
Many women who experience a subchorionic hematoma incorrectly assume that they are experiencing a miscarriage. A subchorionic hematoma is often characterized by bleeding and cramping. In some cases, however, a woman remains asymptomatic, and the subchorionic hematoma is revealed on a routine ultrasound.
Will A Subchorionic Hematoma Affect My Baby?
Many women with subchorionic hematomas give birth to a healthy baby. However, there are risks involved with a subchorionic hematoma, depending on its size and when it develops. Larger subchorionic hematomas may pose a greater risk, and there is a higher risk if the subchorionic hematoma is discovered in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Patients with a subchorionic hematoma who experience bleeding and cramping may have a higher risk of miscarriage.
How Can I Treat a Subchorionic Hematoma?
There is no surgical treatment for subchorionic hematoma. Your provider may recommend decreased activity or even bed rest. Women with this condition may be advised to refrain from sexual activity. In some cases, a subchorionic hematoma will resolve on its own.
A subchorionic hematoma is a potential cause of prenatal bleeding. Many women with this condition may initially incorrectly assume that they are having a miscarriage. Although subchorionic hematomas create additional risks, it is possible to have a healthy baby following this diagnosis.
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