Early Pregnancy: How Much Bleeding Is Normal? – 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Bleeding During Early Pregnancy

Pregnant moms may bleed in the first trimester, but heavy blood flow might mean there’s a problem. Spotting is common, but you should never ignore vaginal bleeding at early stages of a pregnancy. Even vaginal infections are common during pregnancy. Taking probiotics for bacterial vaginosis is very beneficial in case of such infections.

Information about how much bleeding is normal in early pregnancy is essential, especially to first-time expectant moms.

That’s why this article provides vital details on bleeding at the early stage of pregnancy. The post also touches on vital points about what causes of bleeding and signs to expect at later stages of pregnancy.

More about Pregnant: Foods to Avoid When Pregnant?

Is Light Bleeding Normal in Early Pregnancy?

Many moms-to-be will see light bleeding at several stages of their pregnancy. Light bleeding might occur few times in a month and will reduce in frequency as moms move through trimesters.

Will I Lose My Baby If I Bleed Early in Pregnancy?

Bleeding early in pregnancy does not mean you’ll lose your pregnancy. The volume and frequency of bleeding largely determines if a mother has had a miscarriage or not.

Heavy vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of a pregnancy might point to a miscarriage. If you notice heavy vaginal blood flow, it’s best to consult a doctor or midwife for professional guidance.

Causes of Light Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Light bleeding and spotting might last for 1 to 2 days and subside for a week or more. Other times, spot bleeding might return once or twice throughout the first trimester.

Several elements might be the cause of light bleeding in expectant moms. Some of the most common causes are:


When a fertilized eggs uses available space to borrow into the womb, light or spot bleeding might occur.

Such bleeding may happen within 2 weeks after conception. Common symptoms that accompany bleeding during fertilization include headaches, tender breasts, cramping and backache.

Cervical Polyp

About 1 out of 20 women have cervical polyps – small growths on the cervix. Inflammation might occur in pregnant women with such polyps along with light bleeding.

Polyps are hard to detect, and you might need a pelvic exam to get a proper diagnosis.

Physical Exam

A pelvic exam might cause slight bleeding, especially if any poking happens near the cervix. The cervix is naturally sensitive during pregnancy due to increased production of hormones.

It won’t be odd to notice blood stains on your clothing right after a pelvic exam.


Sexual intercourse could cause light bleeding during pregnancy; however, it is usually not serious. Bleeding after sex usually happens due to increased sensitivity around the vaginal area. However, such bleeding goes away after some time and might not be noticeable later in the pregnancy.

Read More: Hiking While Pregnant: What to Know about Outdoor Pregnancy Workouts

Causes of Heavy Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Heavy bleeding is a cause of concern in early pregnancies. Some common causes of heavy blood flow in the first trimester include:

  • Molar pregnancies – abnormal tissue growth within the uterus wall
  • Threatened miscarriage – an increased chance of spontaneous loss of a fetus
  • Miscarriage – actual loss of a fetus
  • Ectopic pregnancy – fertilized egg implanted outside the fetus
  • Subchorionic hemorrhage – blood clot within the uterus wall and gestational sac

Other causes

Apart from the five common causes of heavy bleeding during early pregnancy, moms might experience blood flow due to:

  • Genital tract injuries
  • Tumors in the reproductive system
  • Genital tract infections
  • Vulvovaginal varicosity bleeding (blood flow from the vulva or vagina’s varicose veins)

It’s worth noting that these causes might stimulate bleeding at early and late stages of a pregnancy. But the five causes mentioned earlier usually lead to vaginal bleeding early in pregnancies.

What Should I Do If I Bleed Early in Pregnancy?

Vaginal spotting might happen several times throughout your pregnancy. If spotting is what you currently see, there’s nothing to worry about. But if the blood flow is heavy, you’ll need to visit a midwife, general practitioner, or certified antenatal care provider.

Your preferred health practitioner will recommend the best steps you should take to stop the bleeding. But doctors, midwives and other healthcare practitioners will request some information to proceed.

You’ll likely be asked the following questions:

  • Have you passed any clotting?
  • Do you have abdominal pain?
  • What is the color of your discharge?
  • How much discharge do you see?

Some midwives and doctors may ask to see a sanitary pad or stained clothing before proceeding to diagnose the exact problem.

Implantation Bleeding in Early Pregnancies

A woman might experience bleeding before realizing she’s carrying a child. When that happens, implantation bleeding might be the cause.

Women may bleed when fertilized eggs attach to their uterus’ lining. The implantation of fertilized eggs rarely causes heavy bleeding in mothers with healthy uteruses.

Implantation bleeding largely occurs when a woman’s menstrual cycle is almost complete.

Apart from light bleeding, implantation might cause spotting right about when an expectant mom should have had her period. However, implantation bleeding doesn’t occur in all early pregnancies.

Bleeding during Pregnancy at Second and Third Trimesters

Bleeding during pregnancy isn’t restricted to the first trimester; women can experience blood flow later on too. Some common reasons for bleeding in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy are:

  • Placental previa,
  • Vasa previa,
  • Premature labor,
  • Placental abruption,
  • Uterine rupture, etc.

Common symptoms that may usher bleeding in the last two trimesters include contractions, lower back pain, pressure in the abdomen, etc.

Not to Miss: Can You Eat Halloumi When Pregnant?


Knowing how much bleeding is normal in early pregnancy helps moms-to-be prepare for their first trimester. Expectant moms can leverage this information to know if everything is fine with their pregnancy.

But it’s never a smart idea to rely solely on what you’ve read. Seek guidance from a qualified health practitioner, just to be safe.

Guidance from an experienced midwife or general practitioner makes sure you and your baby are in great shape.

And don’t skip your antenatal care sessions for anything. You’ll likely get more information about bleeding in pregnancy and effective steps to solve the problem.

Must See: How Many Days After Ovulation Can You Get Pregnant?

Kelly W
Kelly W
Dream big, play hard, take the wins and embrace the losses.
Stay Connected

Read On