Causes of Pregnancy Bleeding

Sad couple in bed

Maskot / Getty Images

Any type of bleeding in pregnancy needs to be reported to your doctor or midwife immediately, it is a pregnancy warning sign. But what are the possible reasons for bleeding in pregnancy?

Early Pregnancy

  • Miscarriage
    • This is the loss of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks gestation. It can be a genetic complication, blighted ovum or other complications.
  • Implantation Bleeding
    • This is when you have spotting that occurs very early in pregnancy as the pregnancy is burrowing into the uterine lining.
  • Subchorionic Hemorrhage
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
    • This happens when the pregnancy occurs outside of the normal uterine location, most often in the fallopian tube, hence you sometimes hear the name tubal pregnancy.
  • Placenta Previa
  • Vanishing Twin Syndrome When a twin pregnancy occurs, but one baby is reabsorbed by the body.
  • Cervical polyps
  • Other & Unknown Causes
    • You may be told that you have spotting after a vaginal exam or recent sexual intercourse. Sometimes a cause for spotting or bleeding is never found. And it eventually stops with no harm to the pregnancy.

    Later Pregnancy

    (These times are most common but can certainly happen in other parts of pregnancy in some cases.)

    If you experience bleeding, your practitioner will most likely ask you to come in to be seen. You may have an ultrasound and/or blood work done as well as a vaginal exam. This will help your practitioner determine the cause of the bleeding and what steps need to be taken.

    Was this page helpful?