Symptoms and Signs of Bleeding During Pregnancy

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/1/2021

Doctor's Notes on Bleeding During Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy is fairly common, occurring in up to 20% of pregnancies. In most cases, vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy is not a cause for concern. Implantation bleeding is light bleeding that occurs at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine lining. Other causes for early bleeding in pregnancy are changes in the cervix and vaginal infections

In some cases, vaginal bleeding can be a sign of a serious problem such as impending miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Symptoms associated with a miscarriage may include abdominal or back pain. Abdominal or pelvic pain is also a symptom associated with ectopic pregnancy. If a vaginal infection is the cause of bleeding during pregnancy, a vaginal discharge may be present.

It is appropriate to seek medical advice any time you experience bleeding during pregnancy.

What Is the Treatment for Bleeding During Pregnancy?

Treatment for vaginal bleeding in pregnancy varies depending on the cause of the bleeding.

  • Minor bleeding early in the pregnancy may not require any treatment.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat infections associated with bleeding.
  • Bleeding due to miscarriage is sometimes managed by medications or a minor surgical procedure if heavy bleeding is present.
  • An ectopic pregnancy is commonly treated by a medication, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.