Vaginal Bleeding in Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy means bleeding that happens at any time during pregnancy before the delivery of the baby.
What is going on in the body?
There are many causes of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy. It occurs in as many as 20% of pregnant women during the first trimester, or first three months of pregnancy. Bleeding can also take place later in pregnancy. A healthcare provider should check into any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some causes of bleeding are not of concern. However, others may be life-threatening to the mother and baby.
Bleeding may be related to conditions other than the pregnancy itself. For example, vaginal tears or certain infections may lead to vaginal bleeding.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Following are some causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy:
ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus
inflammation of the cervix
injury to the cervix, which may occur after intercourse
miscarriage, or loss of the baby in the first half of pregnancy
a molar pregnancy, in which the fetal tissue becomes a tumor
normal implantation of the fertilized egg into the wall of the uterus
a tumor or cancer
Common causes of bleeding in late pregnancy are as follows:
normal labor, which may be preceded by blood and mucus from the vagina
placenta abruptio, a condition in which the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus before or during labor
placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is abnormally located over the cervix, blocking the birth canal