Subchorionic Hematoma: Care Instructions

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A fetus inside the uterus, with detail of a subchorionic hematoma

Overview

A subchorionic hematoma or hemorrhage is bleeding between the wall of the uterus and one of the sacs (chorion) that surrounds the embryo inside the uterus. It is a common cause of bleeding in early pregnancy.

The main symptom is vaginal bleeding. But some people don't have symptoms. They may find out they have a hematoma during an ultrasound test.

In most cases, the bleeding goes away on its own. Most people go on to have a healthy baby. But in some cases, the bleeding is a sign of a miscarriage or other problem with the pregnancy. Your doctor may want to do a follow-up ultrasound.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Keep track of any bleeding, and follow the guidelines for when to call your doctor.
  • Keep in mind that some bleeding during the first trimester or an abnormal finding on an ultrasound may:
    • Not cause any problems for you or the baby.
    • Turn out to be something more serious. But if this happens, it's best to find out early. Then you and your doctor can manage any complications sooner rather than later.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means you are soaking through a pad each hour for 2 or more hours.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have new or increased pain in your belly, pelvis, or lower back.
  • You have new or more vaginal bleeding.
  • You think you may have passed pregnancy tissue. Save any tissue that you pass. Take it to your doctor's office as soon as you can.
  • You think that you are in labor.
  • You have a sudden release of fluid from your vagina.
  • You've been having regular contractions for an hour. This means that you've had at least 8 contractions within 1 hour or at least 4 contractions within 20 minutes, even after you change your position and drink fluids.
  • You notice that your baby has stopped moving or is moving much less than normal.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.