A subchorionic hematoma (also commonly referred to as a subchorionic hemorrhage) is basically a pool of blood that collects where implantation has taken place. It forms between the uterine wall and the placenta. It can cause early pregnancy bleeding as the pool of blood, blood clot, or bruise leaks. Which, for a woman in early pregnancy when the miscarriage rate is at its highest can be very scary.
For many women the blood will be reabsorbed with no bleeding at all and no negative impact on the pregnancy. For some women the most common symptom, and what often leads to the diagnosis of a subchorionic hematoma, is vaginal bleeding early in pregnancy. The presence of a subchorionic hematoma doesn’t not necessarily mean there will any negative impact on the pregnancy, however, it does increase the risk of miscarriage. As such your doctor will likely monitor you more closely during early pregnancy and may even prescribe pelvic rest until you are “out of the woods”.
At my first ultrasound at 6 weeks I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma. I didn’t at the time know anything about them. My doctor stated to watch out for bleeding and if any occurred to call him immediately. I was asked to come back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound so they could monitor the status of the hematoma and check on the pregnancy. My doctor highly downplayed the risks of a subchorionic hematoma and I left his office thinking I had nothing to worry about. At my next appointment at 8 weeks the ultrasound showed the hematoma had greatly reduced in size and was no longer a threat to my pregnancy. I was incredibly relieved, especially since I had also been one of the lucky women who did not experience any bleeding as a result of my subchorionic hematoma.
A subchorionic hematoma does not mean your pregnancy is going to end. The risk of miscarriage does increase but not significantly. The larger the blood clot the more risk to the pregnancy. There is nothing a pregnant woman can do to prevent a subchorionic hematoma and there is really nothing you can do once you receive the diagnosis. The best thing you can do is listen to your doctor, follow his or her orders and wait and see. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor.