Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy is any discharge of blood from the vagina during pregnancy.
Up to 1 in 4 women have vaginal bleeding at some time during their pregnancy. Bleeding is more common in the first 3 months (first trimester), especially with twins.
During the first 3 months, vaginal bleeding may be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Contact the health care provider right away.
During months 4 to 9, bleeding may be a sign of:
Other possible causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy:
Avoid sexual intercourse until your provider tells you that it is safe to start having intercourse again.
Drink only fluids if the bleeding and cramping are severe.
You may need to cut down your activity or be put on bed rest at home.
Medicine is not needed in most cases. DO NOT take any medicines without talking to your provider.
Talk to your provider about what to look for, such as the amount of bleeding and color of the blood.
Contact your provider if:
Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam.
You will probably have a pelvic exam as well.
Tests that may be done include:
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.