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Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy What Does It Mean?

Almost all women who become pregnant cease to have their monthly menstrual cycles. There are rare exceptions for reasons that doctors can not even adequately explain, but that is the rule. So what does it mean if a woman is known to be pregnant and she starts bleeding? The answer is sometimes not much and sometimes it may be a warning sign of a serious complication of the pregnancy.

It is perfectly normal for a woman to experience a phenomenon known as implantation bleeding about a week to two weeks after conception. This is simply a small amount of blood from the uterus when the fertilized egg reaches the wall of the uterus and attaches itself.

An infection in the vaginal area or the urinary tract can cause some bleeding. This is not harmful in itself to the baby but should be treated by a doctor soon. It is possible for a woman to bleed following sexual intercourse. This is an indication that the cervix is sensitive and sexual relations should be stopped until this is discussed with a doctor. Normal sexual relations will not result in a miscarriage.

The above are all normal conditions that can cause vaginal bleeding in a pregnant woman. Now we will look at some of the complications of pregnancy that can cause bleeding.

Miscarriage sometimes occurs during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. It is a sad thing, but it is the body’s way of terminating a pregnancy that was not progressing normally. The fetus may have been too deformed to live or other factors can cause it. Vaginal bleeding, passing tissue through the vagina, and severe cramps, much worse that menstrual cramps, are possible signs of a miscarriage.

Ectopic pregnancies are when the fertilized egg attaches itself anywhere other than the wall of the uterus, usually the inside of the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies will result in injury to the mother if they go very long without being terminated by a doctor. Vaginal bleeding, low abdominal cramping, and pain in the abdomen are possible signs of an ectopic pregnancy.

In the second half of the pregnancy bleeding is a more serious issue. Growths on the cervix or inflammation of the cervix may cause some minor vaginal bleeding. Any bleeding in the second half of pregnancy should be seen by a doctor as some very serious complications of the pregnancy can be signaled by vaginal bleeding.

Placental Abruption occurs when the placenta tears loose from the wall of the uterus. This can occur before or during labor. It is a very rare complication that usually occurs very near the end of the pregnancy and is signaled by vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain.

Placenta Previa occurs when the placenta is low enough in the uterus to partially or completely block the cervix. This is most common in women who have had a caesarian birth in the past or in cases of multiple births. Vaginal bleeding can occur without other symptoms. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate care or the baby could be endangered.

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