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Bleeding During Pregnancy (Light, Heavy) Causes, Symptoms, and Pictures

Definition and Facts about Bleeding During Pregnancy

Patient Comments
  • Because bleeding during all phases of pregnancy may be dangerous, a woman should call her health care professional if she has any signs of vaginal bleeding during her pregnancy.
  • Vaginal bleeding is any blood coming from the vagina (the canal leading from the uterus to the external genitals).
  • First trimester bleeding is any vaginal bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding may vary from light spotting to heavy bleeding with clots. Vaginal bleeding is a common problem in early pregnancy, complicating 20% to 30% of all pregnancies.
  • Any vaginal bleeding during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (the last 6 months of a 9-month pregnancy) involves concerns different from bleeding in the first three months of the pregnancy. Any bleeding during the second and third trimesters is abnormal.
  • Bleeding from the vagina after the 28th week of pregnancy is a true emergency. The bleeding can range from very mild to extremely brisk and may or may not be accompanied by abdominal pain. Hemorrhage (another word for bleeding) and its complications is the most common cause of death in the United States.
Last Reviewed 1/5/2018
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Bleeding During Pregnancy (Light, Heavy, Causes, Pictures):

Bleeding During Pregnancy - Experience

Please share your experience with bleeding during pregnancy. It may help others.

Bleeding During Pregnancy - Causes

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Bleeding During Pregnancy - Symptoms and Signs

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Bleeding During Pregnancy - Stopped

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Spontaneous Miscarriage Symptoms and Signs

If you are pregnant and have symptoms and signs like cramping or vaginal bleeding at any time, call your OB/GYN or Midwife. Symptoms of a spontaneous miscarriage include vaginal bleeding and pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. Vaginal bleeding may be light to heavy.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pregnancy, Postpartum Hemorrhage »

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a potentially life-threatening complication of both vaginal and cesarean delivery.

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