Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy is bleeding coming through the vagina during pregnancy, for any reason.
Up to 25% of women have vaginal bleeding at some time during their pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months (first trimester). Bleeding is even more common with twins.
During the first 3 months, vaginal bleeding may be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. See the doctor right away. During months 4 - 9, bleeding may be a sign of:
Other possible causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy:
Avoid sexual intercourse until your health care 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 decrease your activity or be put on bed rest at home for the rest of your pregnancy or until the bleeding stops. The bed rest may be complete, or you may be able to get up to go to the bathroom, walk around the house, or do light chores.
Medication is usually not needed -- do not take any medication without talking to your health care provider.
Find out from your doctor what to expect -- how much you should be bleeding, and what color it should be.
Contact your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.
The physical examination will probably include a pelvic examination.
Tests that may be done include:
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.