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Care for vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

One in four women will experience vaginal bleeding during their pregnancy. Bleeding while you’re pregnant can be scary and confusing, but it isn’t always a sign of a serious condition. The experienced and compassionate maternity experts at Dignity Health can evaluate your vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy. 

Offering care with humankindness, we’re dedicated to ensuring you have a worry-free pregnancy. Find a Doctor near you for diagnosis and treatment of bleeding during pregnancy.

If you have severe bleeding during pregnancy, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Sometimes, heavy bleeding during pregnancy can indicate a life-threatening condition.


Symptoms that may occur with vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

You may experience vaginal discharge that’s bright red, light pink, or brownish in color. Vaginal bleeding can also stop and then return some time later. It’s common to experience cramping and back pain along with vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Always tell your doctor about any vaginal bleeding while you’re pregnant, including light spotting or heavy bleeding.


What causes spotting during pregnancy?

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can happen for a number of reasons. Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Doing so helps determine the cause of your bleeding or spotting.

During the first trimester, common causes of vaginal bleeding are: 

  • Inflammation or infection of your cervix
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Implantation bleeding, a normal event early in pregnancy in which the embryo attaches to the uterine lining

In your second or third trimester, vaginal bleeding may caused by other conditions, such as:

  • Preterm labor
  • Cervical infection or inflammation
  • Placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is located over the internal opening of the cervix
  • Miscarriage
  • Placental abruption, or separation of the placenta from the uterus


Treating bleeding during pregnancy

Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound, blood tests, and other diagnostic tests to learn what’s causing your bleeding. Treatment will depend on the cause and may not always be necessary. 

Trust our experienced obstetricians at Dignity Health for complete maternity care, including diagnosis of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. 

Maternity services at Dignity Health include treatment for bleeding during pregnancy in Bakersfield, Merced, and Stockton, CA.

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