Emergency Medical Symptoms

Some pain or discomfort is normal during the second trimester of pregnancy. Spotting and very small amounts of blood may also be harmless. However, there are certain types of pain, bleeding, and vaginal discharge that you should not ignore.

Remember there are a number of situations that may demand medical attention. If you experience the symptoms below, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or seek emergency care.

 When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Always seek emergency care if you are experiencing the symptoms of a miscarriage. Symptoms of a miscarriage include:

  • enough vaginal bleeding to soak more than one feminine pad in an hour
  • unbearably severe pain in the abdomen or pelvic region
  • clots or clumps of tissue (typically gray or pink in color) passed from the vagina

If you pass clots or clumps from the vagina, try to save the material in a jar or plastic bag to give to the doctor for analysis. He or she may then determine the cause of the problem.

There are three types of miscarriage. If a miscarriage has been threatened,there was bleeding before 20 weeks of pregnancy with no cervical dilation and no expulsion of any of the fetal parts. If a miscarriage has been completed, there was complete expulsion of fetal parts from your body. If a miscarriage has happened incompletely, there was partial expulsion of the fetal parts before 20 weeks. In the case of incomplete miscarriages, the next step may be to allow the remaining products of pregnancy to pass naturally or to perform a dilation and curettage to complete the miscarriage.

Note: If you have miscarried before and notice bleeding or cramping, you should seek emergency medical attention.

Always seek emergency care if you are experiencing the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus). Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include:

  • cramps and colicky (spasmodic) pain with associated tenderness
  • pain that starts on one side and spreads across the belly
  • pain that worsens with taking a bowel movement or coughing
  • light bleeding or spotting that is brown in color, is either constant or intermittent and precedes the pain by weeks
  • one of the above symptoms combined with nausea and vomiting, pain in the shoulder, weakness or lightheadedness, or rectal pressure
  • rapid and weak pulse, clamminess, fainting, and sharp pain (these symptoms may arise if the ectopic pregnancy is in the fallopian tube and the tube ruptures, causing septic shock)