Antepartum haemorrhage

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and Keywords: Antepartum hemorrhage; APH

Overview

In obstetrics, antepartum haemorrhage is bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy from twenty weeks gestational age to term.

It should be considered a medical emergency (regardless of whether there is pain) and medical attention should be sought immediately, as if it is left untreated it can lead to death of the mother and/or fetus.

Bleeding without pain is most frequently bloody show, which is benign; however, it may also be placenta previa (in which both the mother and fetus are in danger). Painful APH is most frequently placental abruption.

Causes

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