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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Bleeding during pregnancy

Bleeding during pregnancy

Bleeding during pregnancy occurs in some women.

Many women experience light vaginal bleeding during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Possible causes of vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy

  • Implantation: Small amounts of vaginal bleeding early in pregnancy about 10 to 14 days after fertilization. This is called implantation bleeding which happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. It is lighter in color than a normal menstrual period, occurs as spotting and does not lasts long.
  • Cervical changes: Bleeding can occur after sex or pelvic examination.
  • Mis carriage.
  • Ectopic pregnancy.
  • Cervical infections.
  • Molar pregnancy.

When to seek medical advice

  • If the vaginal bleeding lasts more than a day.
  • Moderate to heavy bleeding.
  • If bleeding accompanied by abdominal pain, cramping, fever or chills.
  • Pass tissue from the vagina.


Blood tests and ultrasound scan are advised to know the well being of the baby. If the vaginal bleeding is very light, there is no need for treatment. Bed rest has to be taken until bleeding stops. If there is any mis carriage, dilatation and curettage is done.

Bleeding during second or third trimester

  • Mis carriage.
  • Preterm labor.
  • Cervical inflammation, growths or infections.
  • Cervical incompetence.
  • Placenta previa: it is a condition where the placenta partly or completely covers the opening to the birth canal. It results in painless, bright red vaginal bleeding in the second or third trimester.
  • Placental abruption: It is a condition where the placenta begins to separate from the uterus before the child birth. It causes scanty or heavy bleeding and is associated with abdominal pain.
  • Uterine rupture: It is a condition where the uterus tears open along the scar line from previous caesarian section. It causes vaginal bleeding, intense abdominal pain and abdominal tenderness.

When to seek medical advice

  • If the bleeding is accompanied by pain, cramping, fever, chills, contractions.
  • Treatment depends on the cause.

Self-care at home

  • Take rest and relax.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, sex, tampons or douching.
  • Drink plenty of a water.
  • Keep track of the number of pads used.
  • Report to the doctor as early as possible.