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.
Consume 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, or ultrasound as well.
Tests that may be done include:
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.