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- Vaginal bleeding facts
- What is normal vaginal bleeding?
- What is abnormal vaginal bleeding?
- What conditions cause abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly?
- What conditions cause vaginal bleeding after menopause or abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are not ovulating regularly?
- What causes vaginal bleeding during or after sexual intercourse?
- What causes abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?
- What diagnostic tests are used to evaluate abnormal vaginal bleeding?
- How is irregular vaginal bleeding treated?
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What causes abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?
Many women have some amount of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some studies show that up to 30% of pregnant women will experience some degree of vaginal bleeding while they are pregnant. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is more common with twins and other multiple gestations than with singleton pregnancies (pregnancy with one fetus).
Sometimes women experience a very scant amount of bleeding in the first two weeks of pregnancy, usually around the time of the expected menstrual period. This slight bleeding is sometimes referred to as "implantation bleeding." Doctors do not know for certain what causes this bleeding, but it may occur as a result of the fertilized egg implanting in the uterine wall.
The amount of the bleeding, the stage of pregnancy, and any associated symptoms can all help determine the cause of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy. While vaginal bleeding in pregnancy does not always signify a problem with the pregnancy, women who experience bleeding during pregnancy should be evaluated by a doctor.
Causes of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy include miscarriage, an abnormal location of the placenta, ectopic pregnancy, cervical infection or polyp, and premature labor. Chronic medical conditions and medication use can also be related to vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.