Vaginal Bleeding in Pregnancy: Here’s All You Need to Know

Vaginal Bleeding in Pregnancy: Here’s All You Need to Know

01 Jun 2021

One of the things you can expect during pregnancy is vaginal bleeding, especially during the first trimester. In most cases, it is nothing to worry, about and you will not have to visit an emergency room in Houston, TX.

However, there are certain scenarios where seeking immediate help at our emergency room at 77079 may be necessary to ensure that you and your child are okay.

So, one of the obvious questions is how much bleeding is normal in early pregnancy? Let’s see what vaginal bleeding in pregnancy means.

What Causes Bleeding During the First Trimester?

As mentioned earlier, bleeding during the first trimester is quite a normal occurrence. Statistics show that nearly 20% of women will experience vaginal bleeding during the first trimester. This can be scary, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. However, most women will go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies and deliver healthy babies.

One of the terms that you might hear is spotting. Spotting is when there are a few drops of blood present. It’s typically not enough to cover a panty liner or pad. This is different from bleeding, which means that you may need to wear a pad or tampon.

In any case, here are the causes of vaginal bleeding during the first trimester:

  • Implantation Bleeding

Whenever the fertilized egg is implanting itself in the lining of the uterus wall, you may spot it within the first 6-12 days. Most women tend to ignore this because they may assume that it is a light period. This type of bleeding may last for a few hours or even a few days.

  • Ectopic Pregnancy

When you have an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized embryo is implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. If the embryo keeps on growing, there could be mild vaginal bleeding, and the fallopian tube can rupture, which can be life-threatening to you. In this case, you may need to come to our Houston emergency clinic.

However, ectopic pregnancies occur in about 2% of all pregnancies.

  • Molar Pregnancy

A molar pregnancy is a rare condition characterized by abnormal tissue growth in the uterus instead of a fetus. This isn’t a typical pregnancy; in fact, the cells that are growing can be cancerous. You may experience spotting or vaginal bleeding.

  • Miscarriage

In most cases, miscarriages are common within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is one of the major reasons people visit our emergency room in Houston, TX. However, it is not always obvious that if you have vaginal bleeding, you will have a miscarriage. If there’s a heartbeat, there is a higher chance that you will not miscarry.

  • Cervical Changes

During pregnancy, there will be increased blood flow to the cervix. So, anything that comes in contact with the cervix, such as a Pap test or intercourse, can trigger bleeding. However, this bleeding, in most cases, isn’t a cause of concern.

  • Infection

If there’s an infection of the vagina or cervix or you have a sexually transmitted infection, you can experience vaginal bleeding.

What Causes Bleeding During the Second and Third Trimester?

Vaginal bleeding in the latter stages of pregnancy can indicate that something is wrong, and you may need to come to our ER near you for immediate help. The reasons for vaginal bleeding can be:

  • Placenta Previa

When the placenta is sitting low in your uterus or has completely or partially covered the opening of the birth canal, then you have a condition known as placenta previa. The condition is rare, and when it happens, you need immediate medical care.

  • Uterine Rupture

If you have had a C-section before, the tear can open, causing you to bleed. This is a rare condition that needs immediate medical help.

  • Vasa Previa

In rare occurrences, the baby’s blood vessels in the placenta can cross the opening of the birth canal. This can cause the baby to bleed severely.

  • Premature Labor

During the late stages of pregnancy, you may experience vaginal bleeding. This can indicate that your body is getting ready to deliver. However, if you experience any bleeding or signs of labor before the 37th week, you will need to come to our emergency room near you.

Other causes of bleeding may include:

  • Cancer
  • Polyps
  • Injury to the vagina or cervix

How to Stop Bleeding During Pregnancy

Your treatment is dependent on the cause of the bleeding. At Memorial Village ER our 24/7 ER physicians are capable of the following:



ER examination


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