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What Is a Chorionic Hematoma?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2014
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A chorionic hematoma is bleeding that occurs in the first few months of pregnancy. During this time, blood can gather between the uterus and the placenta. Commonly referred to as a mere blood clot, this condition typically is not dangerous. The embryo slightly separates from the uterine wall, causing spotting. An ultrasound is used to diagnose a chorionic hematoma.

There is no cure for a chorionic hematoma and there is no known cause for the condition. It effects women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Any bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy is considered dangerous. Women who experience early bleeding are usually taken to the emergency room because it is thought to be life threatening for not only the baby, but for the mother. After a chorionic hematoma diagnosis has been made, the chances of having a miscarriage are greatly reduced.

Only one to three percent of women who suffer with a chorionic hematoma have a miscarriage. Typically, the body can either re-absorb the blood, or it can continue to bleed out of the vaginal opening. The bleeding usually ceases in few weeks, but when the placenta completely moves away from the uterus, the chances of a miscarriage increase. When a woman is diagnosed with a chorionic hematoma, certain things can be done to decrease the blood flow.

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Heavy lifting should be avoided if any blood clots or vaginal bleeding are seen. Normal activities should be kept to a minimum. If the bleeding is severe, a gynecologist may suggest bed rest until the bleeding slows down or completely stops. Some doctors suggest that women should refrain from sexual intercourse during this time, while others think this has no affect on the bleeding. Occasionally, blood-thinning medications are used to expel the blood, or estrogen can also be used to help the pregnancy along.

Most women who suffer with a chorionic hematoma are symptom free within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding can still be experienced throughout the pregnancy, but as the pregnancy progresses, the chances go down for having a miscarriage. Severe cramping can be felt during this time because blood can irritate the uterus, but this is generally not an indication of a dangerous medical problem.

Drinking plenty of water can help to replenish any fluid loss relating to a chorionic hematoma. Tampons should not be worn when this bleeding occurs because they can increase the risk of an infection. Any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is considered dangerous and should be checked out immediately.

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