Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be scary. However, it isn't always a sign of trouble. Bleeding in the first trimester (weeks one through 12) might occur, and most women who experience bleeding during pregnancy go on to deliver healthy babies.
Still, it's important to take vaginal bleeding during pregnancy seriously. Sometimes vaginal bleeding during pregnancy indicates an impending miscarriage or a condition that needs prompt treatment. By understanding the most common causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, you'll know what to look for — and when to contact your health care provider.
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy has many causes. Some are serious, and many aren't.
Possible causes of vaginal bleeding during the first trimester include:
Possible causes of vaginal bleeding during the second or third trimester include:
Light bleeding, often mixed with mucus, near the end of pregnancy could be a sign that labor is starting. Vaginal discharge that is pink or bloody is known as the bloody show.
It's important to report any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy to your health care provider. Be prepared to describe how much blood you passed, what it looked like, and whether it included any clots or tissue.
During the first trimester (weeks one through 12):
During the second trimester (weeks 13 through 24):
During the third trimester (weeks 25 through 40):
In the final weeks of pregnancy, remember that vaginal discharge that is pink or bloody (bloody show) might be a sign of impending labor. Contact your health care provider and confirm that what you are experiencing is indeed bloody show. Rarely, it might be a sign of an obstetric complication.