Any sight of blood during pregnancy should immediately be reported at the hospital because it is not normal, according to Dr Emmanuel Sropenyoh, Obstetric/Gyneacologist at the Ridge Hospital, who said the situation is a leading cause of maternal morbidity in the country.

According to him, 1/16 of pregnant women stand the risk of losing their lives since their resistance to certain health conditions become minimal while pregnant.

Pregnant women are therefore advised to report to a health facility should they see any blood irrespective of its colour or quantity.

The blood may issue as the normal menstrual cycle or in clots.

Vaginal bleeding is any blood coming from the vagina (the canal leading from the uterus to the external genitals). This usually refers to abnormal bleeding not associated with a regular menstrual period, according to

Deputy Director of Nursing Services at the Ridge Hospital, Rose Akuaku, who spoke in an interview with Joy FM’s Nii Nortey Dua on Ultimate Health, warned that left unattended to, bleeding could progress and lead to spontaneous abortion.

“Under normal circumstance, women should not bleed at all during pregnancy. When bleeding starts it progresses if nothing is done about it… it will lead to an abortion or a miscarriage.”

So it is important that women report to health facilities immediately they experience any kind of bleeding during pregnancy, she emphasised, maintaining that bleeding is an obstetric emergency which needs instantaneous attention.

Dr Sropenyoh underscored the critical urgency with which bleeding should be viewed by women and their partners, saying “we are not saying that ‘wait till tomorrow and see if the blood would still come…’”

To achieve the Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5) – which aims at reducing maternal and infant mortality by 3.5 percent by year 2015 – Dr Sropenyoh said the State must ensure that women have access to well-equipped healthcare facilities.

Again he highlighted the need to ensure that roads leading to hospitals and other health facilities are easily accessible (especially in rural communities) to enable women seek needed help.

The leading cause of maternal deaths in Ghana is hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) which according to health professionals cause 30 per cent of deaths during and after pregnancy.

Hypertensive disorders (otherwise known as pre-eclampsia), unsafe abortions as well as infections during and after pregnancy are also major causes of maternal morbidity in Ghana.

The bulk of hemorrhage cases, Dr Sropenyoh said, is caused by the inability of the womb to contract properly. The situation could be managed with medications to enhance contraction but the problem cannot be resolved using this procedure in some women.

Madam Rose Akuaku advised that women look out for signs such as severe abdominal pain, feverishness, tiredness, vomiting, inability to eat and any unusual sign that is not associated with pregnancy and report immediately to health professionals.

“Move, don’t delay, don’t call the radio station, come to the midwife,” she admonished.

Story by Dorcas Efe Mensah/