Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy

About 20% of all pregnant women experience vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. This usually occurs between the 6th and 12th week.

Bleeding about the time of an expected period (after conception) can occur. This is often around the time the egg implants in the uterine lining. At 8 weeks gestation, the hormonal support shifts from the luteal cyst of the ovary to the new placenta, and some
bleeding may occur.

If many instances, no reason for bleeding is ever found.

But about 50% of the time, a spontaneous miscarriage (abortion) will occur in those women who experience bleeding in early pregnancy. This can sometimes be incomplete and require a suction D & C.

This is often an extremely stressful time for you. But there are some guidelines to help
make the days of bleeding easier.


You should go on with your usual daily routine, but avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting. You should not put anything into your vagina, no tampons, no douching, and no intercourse—until you are checked and told that intercourse can be safely resumed. (You should not douche or use tampons even during a normal pregnancy.)

Call the Office (557-5959)

  1. If bleeding soaks one or more pads/hour,
  2. You have the sudden onset of severe pain or faintness,
  3. You pass tissue. Please save the tissue in a clean plastic container or baggie and bring it with you when you are seen in the office or Emergency Room. Keep the container and specimen in the refrigerator if it will be more than a few hours.
  4. You have a fever over 100.4º F.

If any of the above conditions occur during our office hours, call and speak with a nurse who will assist you to answer questions or arrange for care. Please call the same telephone number after office hours and the Answering Service will have the on-call doctor return your call.