Why do I have Bleeding during Pregnancy? ( Trimester Wise )

Bleeding in pregnancy is common, especially during the first trimester, and is usually not a call for alarm. But bleeding can at times be a sign of something serious. So, it is important to find out the possible cause of bleeding during pregnancy. It is best to get it checked by the doctor to make sure that the female and her baby are healthy and there are no complications during pregnancy.

Causes of bleeding during Pregnancy in the First trimester

  • Implantation bleeding

Implantation happens when the fertilized makes space and burrows into the side of the female’s womb (or uterus). This happens around day 6 to 12 after the female conceives. The fertilized egg floats into the uterine and attaches itself to it to get oxygen and nutrition from the mother. 

Implantation can cause bleeding or light spotting in the first trimester. 

  • Cervical polyp

cervical polyp

About 2 to 5 % of females have polyps, which are small, finger-like growths on the cervix, which is the gateway from the vagina to the uterus. Cervical polyps are usually benign and do not cause cancer. However, these polyps can get inflamed or irritated and cause bright red bleeding.  

Also Read: Can Coronavirus be a risk factor for first trimester of pregnancy?


  • Physical Exam or Sexual Intercourse 

couple in bed

Physical exams such as pelvic exams can irritate the cervix and cause bleeding. Sexual intercourse can also cause bleeding due to the same reason. Pregnancy hormones can make the cervix more sensitive than normal. 

  • Miscarriage 

Sometimes spotting or lighter bleeding can turn to heavy bleeding, just like the period bleeding. Apart from heavy vaginal bleeding, other symptoms that can accompany a miscarriage may include-

  • Blood or tissue clots in the bleeding
  • Bright red to brown colored bleeding
  • Severe cramping or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Mild  to sharp pain in the lower back

It is absolutely true that heavy vaginal bleeding in the first trimester, especially if accompanied by cramping or pain can be a sign of miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester. 


Also Read: Excessive Bleeding During Pregnancy


  • Pregnant with multiple babies

pregnant female having twins

If the female is pregnant with twins (or multiples), she might have a greater chance of pregnancy bleeding. Miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy are also more common when the female is pregnant with more than one baby.

  • Ectopic pregnancy

ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg mistakenly gets attached somewhere else outside the womb, most commonly in the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy is as rare as 2.5%, which is less common than miscarriage. A baby can only grow and develop only inside the uterus, so ectopic pregnancies need to be medically treated. Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include:

  • Sharp vaginal or abdominal pain
  • Rectal pressure
  • Severe cramping 

If left untreated, they can be life-threatening for the female.  

  • Molar pregnancy

A molar pregnancy happens when the placenta’s tissues grow abnormally during fertilization. This can happen due to a genetic error.  Because of this, the fetus may not grow at all. A molar pregnancy can also lead to a miscarriage in the first trimester. They are as rare as 1 in every 1,000 pregnancies but may have serious complications. 

The female may also have other symptoms like-

  • Bright red to dark-colored bleeding
  • Lower stomach pain 
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea 



stressed female

Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy might have nothing to do with the pregnancy at all. An infection in the female’s pelvic area, in the urinary bladder or urinary tract, can also be the reason for spotting or bleeding. They may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

A serious yeast infection or vaginitis can also cause bleeding during pregnancy. Infections mostly cause pink or red-colored spotting or light bleeding. Other symptoms of infections in pregnancy can include- 

Second and third trimester bleeding

Young pregnant female having pain

Bleeding in the second or third trimester of pregnancy is mostly more serious than the first trimester light bleeding. Causes of bleeding during the first or second trimester of pregnancy may include-

  • Cervix problems- Inflammation or growths in/on the cervix can cause light vaginal bleeding. This is usually not a serious problem but the female should notify her doctor if anything so happens.
  • Placental abruption-This happens when the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall before or at the time of labor. This condition is as rare as just 1 % of pregnant females.
  • Placenta previa- This happens when the placenta is very low in the uterus and partly covers the cervix. This can cause vaginal bleeding without any pain.
  • Vasa Previa- This occurs when some of the placenta’s blood vessels go across the cervix.
  • Premature labor- Vaginal bleeding in the second or third trimester may mean that the female might be having early labor.

When to get medical help?

Young pregnant female having pain

Talk to your doctor if you experience bleeding during pregnancy in any trimester. Visit your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge with clots or tissues
  • Severe cramping and/or pain
  • Nausea
  • Fainting or dizziness 
  • Fever of 38°C or higher
  • Chills

Do not avoid any abnormal signs in your pregnancy and consult your doctor right away to rule out the chances of complications or any other risks. 


Also Read:



Why Should one visit a gynaecologist during pregnancy bleeding ?

Light bleeding, or spotting, in pregnancy is common, especially in the first trimester. Bleeding is considered spotting when you notice a few drops of blood occasionally in the underwear, or a little drop of blood while wiping with tissue paper. There should not be enough blood that you need a pad or a menstrual cup. If you notice heavy bleeding, especially after the first trimester, visit your gynecologist


What does heavy bleeding during pregnancy signify

Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy may sometimes indicate a serious problem. Serious causes of bleeding in pregnancy include miscarriage, molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, or subchorionic hemorrhage.


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