We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Subchorionic Hematoma?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Jan 28, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A subchorionic hematoma is a fairly common complication of pregnancy that involves blood entering and clotting in the space in between the placenta and the uterine wall. Bleeding occurs when part of the placenta detaches from the surrounding endometrial tissue in one or more places. In most cases, a small hematoma does not cause any symptoms nor is it a reason for major concern. A large one, however, can cause abdominal pains in the mother and unusual vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. There is a risk of miscarriage when symptoms are present, but careful monitoring, bed rest, and medication can greatly reduce the chances of complications.

The causes of a subchorionic hematoma are not entirely known. Problems occur when the outermost layer of the placenta, called the chorionic membrane, separates slightly from the uterine wall. This separation typically happens in the first trimester or early in the second trimester of pregnancy. There is no evidence to suggest that an expecting mother's genetics, diet, age, or activities have anything to do with the issue.

When hematoma occurs, blood pools in front of the uterine wall and gradually seeps into the underlying endometrial tissue. If there is a large amount of blood, a woman may experience spotting or occasionally heavy bleeding from her vagina. Clotting occurs as more blood is released, which can lead to cramps, bloating, and general abdominal pains. A large number of patients who have such hematomas do not experience any unusual physical symptoms.

A subchorionic hematoma can usually be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound scan. Radiologists can easily tell where blood is collecting, how much is present, and whether or not the placenta or uterus has been damaged by studying ultrasound images. Once a diagnosis has been made, a medical professional can explain the details and risks of the situation to the patient and answer questions she may have. The prognosis is very good for most expecting mothers and their babies, especially if clots are small and there are no major symptoms.

Most obstetricians recommend their patients get plenty of rest and avoid stressful activities once they are diagnosed with subchorionic hematomas. They need to attend regular checkups so the healthcare provider can see whether internal bleeding is improving or getting worse. In some cases, a medical professional may recommend taking low-dose blood thinners to prevent clotting and expel pooled blood more quickly. Most hematomas gradually dissipate over several weeks, and mothers are able to reach full-term without further problems.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon316884 — On Jan 30, 2013

I believe a hemorrhage is when you are bleeding and a hematoma is when a clot has formed.

By ElizaBennett — On Nov 03, 2011

@Kat919 - I think the two terms are used interchangeably. Maybe they used the word "hemorrhage" with you because you were experiencing bleeding.

I had a midwife who said, "subchorionic hemorrhage is the ER diagnosis," meaning that's what they tell everyone who comes in with bleeding! I don't think your ER doc misled you or anything, because presumably the small separation of the placenta is what causes a blood vessel to break! Blood vessels are where blood comes from.

If the doc downplayed the situation, then there's probably nothing to worry about. Bed rest has not been shown to be effective in studies for most pregnancy complications, so be glad they didn't recommend it just to have it seem like they were doing something!

Subchorionic hemorrhage is common during pregnancy, I think much more so than people realize. (If you're on BabyCenter, you could go into your birth group and start a post for "subchorionic hemorrhage/hematoma" and see that tons of other people have had them!)

By Kat919 — On Nov 02, 2011

I went to the ER because I had cramping and bleeding (not bright red, but almost) and I was so afraid I was having a miscarriage. They did an ultrasound scan and diagnosed me with a subchorionic hemorrhage.

The ER doctor told me that pregnancy causes the development of a lot of new blood vessels and that one of them had burst, causing the bleeding.

Is a subchorionic hemorrhage the same thing as a subchorionic hematoma? Frankly, what the article is describing sounds a lot scarier than the way the ER doc put it! I was not advised to make any changes in my activity level.

Until I got on the Internet (stupid, I know), I was actually feeling reassured by the ultrasound, because it was my first ultrasound and they were able to see the baby's heart beat and everything checked out OK.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.