Vaginal Bleeding – What Can Cause It In Pregnancy?

Vaginal Bleeding – What Can Cause It In Pregnancy?


By Dr. Uddhavraj Dudhedia, Gynaecology

Vaginal bleeding at the time of pregnancy can be really scary. But it isn’t as severe always especially during the first trimester where bleeding is quite normal. Yet still, it is necessary to take measures lest it smells of an imminent miscarriage or something that demands an urgent treatment.

Let us take a look at the possible reasons for vaginal bleeding and when to see a doctor for each trimester.

First Trimester (first twelve weeks)


  1. Implantation bleeding (when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus lining).
  2. Cervical problems such as infection or inflammation. Cervix is the narrow lower end of the uterus that leads into the vagina.
  3. Ectopic pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy is when pregnancy occurred outside of uterine cavity e.g in fallopian tube or in ovary or in peritoneal cavity).
  4. Molar pregnancy (noncancerous tumor developing in the uterus region).

Pay a visit to your doctor if you are suffering from mild bleeding that is persisting more than a day or is accompanied by cramps, abdominal pain, chills or fever.

Second or third trimester (weeks 13 to 24)


  1. Intra-uterine death of the fetus.
  2. Placental abruption – Placenta forms in the uterus at the time of pregnancy for nourishing the baby. If this placenta gets removed completely or partially from the uterus’s inner wall before delivery, the condition is termed as Placental abruption.
  3. Cervicitis (swelling of the cervix).
  4. An incompetent cervix or weak tissues in the cervix that may contribute to the preterm birth of the baby.
  5. Cervical disorders.
  6. Preterm labor (when the labor pain starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy).
  7. Placenta praevia (when placenta implanted in lower side of uterus).
  8. Uterine rupture where the uterus rips apart along the scarred line from an earlier C-section surgery. This state can be really life-threatening although rare.

The criterion for when to seek medical help in this trimester is similar to that of the first trimester.

Third Trimester (weeks 25 to 40)

Common Vaginal Bleeding, added with mucous and a bloody or a pink vaginal discharge at the final weeks of pregnancy is an indication of impending labor.