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First-Trimester Vaginal Bleeding Tied to Complications

Bleeding increases risk of complications later in first pregnancy, in second pregnancy

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- First-trimester vaginal bleeding during a woman's first pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of complications later in the pregnancy and with a recurrence of bleeding and other complications in a later pregnancy, according to a study in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

In a retrospective, registry-based cohort study, Jacob Alexander Lykke, M.D., of Roskilde Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues identified women delivering from 1978 to 2007 in Denmark with a first singleton pregnancy and first and second singleton pregnancies.

The researchers found that first-trimester bleeding increased the risk of delivery in weeks 32 to 36 from 3.6 to 6.1 percent, and in weeks 28 to 31 from 0.3 to 0.9 percent. In addition, first-trimester bleeding increased the risk of placental abruption from 1.0 to 1.4 percent. First-trimester bleeding in the first pregnancy increased the risk of recurrence in the second pregnancy from 2.2 to 8.2 percent. It also increased the risk of preterm birth from 2.7 to 4.8 percent and placental abruption from 0.9 to 1.0 percent in the second pregnancy.

"The linkage to these pregnancy complications may provide a basis for selective increased pregnancy surveillance as well as insight into the etiology of miscarriage, vaginal bleeding, and other pregnancy complications," the authors write.

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