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Heavy vaginal bleeding when pregnant

Doesn’t your period stop when you’re pregnant? Of course, but you might still see occasional bleeding that can be a normal symptom or, a sign of a serious complication. Pregnant women experience bleeding differently with respect to frequency and flow. About 25% or pregnant women have some kind of vaginal bleeding, particularly in the first trimester, and most go on to deliver healthy, full-term babies. However, your healthcare provider should be informed of any and all bleeding you experience.

What causes it?

There are lots of benign reasons you might experience vaginal bleeding, such as implantation bleeding, which occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining. Even though you’re pregnant, some semblance of period symptoms still remain, which can include “breakthrough bleeding”. This should occur only during the first trimester, since your placenta controls hormonal activity from your ovaries after 3 months. It is common to see bleeding after intercourse, but it is perfectly harmless, so you don’t have to hold back! The most terrifying cause of heavy bleeding is a miscarriage, but the two aren’t always correlated. If heavy bleeding is your only symptom, the baby could be perfectly fine, since miscarriages usually change many other pregnancy symptoms or make them disappear.


If you aren’t sure what caused your heavy bleeding or are concerned about a miscarriage, call your healthcare provider. Women should use pads or liners rather than tampons to absorb the blood, since tampons can cause vaginal infections when you’re pregnant. And don’t forget that the majority of bleeding that occurs in early pregnancy passes shortly, ends in a healthy baby, and doesn’t require too much further attention.

Read more
  • “Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy.” U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus, 11/19/2014. Web.
  • “Miscarriage.” Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, n.d. Web.
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