I recently read a question online from a first-time mother asking if vaginal bleeding every month during pregnancy (closed cervix and heartbeat) is a concern she should worry about. The woman claimed she was passing clots and wearing a menstrual pad during the pregnancy due to bleeding. Bleeding during pregnancy can be one of the scariest events on earth. Immediately your mind starts preparing for a lost pregnancy or miscarriage, but bleeding during pregnancy is not always an indication of an impending miscarriage.

Causes of Bleeding During Pregnancy

One of the earliest causes of bleeding during early pregnancy is implantation bleeding. Women notice a small amount of blood and discharge, but this bleeding is typically thought to be pre-menstrual bleeding because it happens right before the menstrual period or bleeding is supposed to start.

Implantation bleeding can be mistaken for an early, light period in some cases, which is why some women don’t find out they are pregnant until seven or eight weeks into the pregnancy.

Vaginal bleeding – not from the cervix is another possible cause of bleeding during pregnancy. The vagina is changing and increased water retention and blood volume could cause some light bleeding after pregnancy, especially if you are not using enough lubrication during sex. 

When Should I Be Worried About Vaginal Bleeding?

If bleeding is constant and heavy or if you are passing blood clots, there could cause for concern. You should also be more concerned if the bleeding is accompanied by cramping of any kind – no matter how heavy the bleeding. Cramping can be a sign of pre-term labor. Don’t wait to contact your doctor – just head off to the emergency room. It’s always better to be safe when it comes to bleeding during pregnancy. 

Small amounts of blood can be common during pregnancy, especially during early pregnancy, but if you ever have any concerns – tell your obstetrician or primary care provider.