Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy - Topic Overview

The following guidelines will help you determine the severity of your vaginal bleeding.

  • Severe bleeding means you are passing clots of blood and soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours. For most women, passing clots of blood from the vagina and soaking through their usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is considered severe. If you are pregnant: You may have a gush of blood or pass a clot, but if the bleeding stops, it is not considered severe.
  • Moderate bleeding means that you are soaking more than 1 pad or tampon in 3 hours.
  • Mild bleeding means that you are soaking less than 1 pad or tampon in more than 3 hours.
  • Minimal bleeding means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.

Vaginal bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage or premature labor during pregnancy in the first trimester. During the first trimester of pregnancy:

  • Up to 25% of pregnant women have some spotting or light vaginal bleeding. Of these women, about 50% do not have a miscarriage. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is more common among women who have been pregnant before than in women who are pregnant for the first time.
  • Very early spotting sometimes occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Implantation takes place 6 to 10 days after fertilization, which usually occurs on the day of intercourse.

Bleeding in the second or third trimester of pregnancy may mean a problem is present, such as:

  • Placenta previa camera.gif. Normally, the placenta is attached to the top portion of the uterus. In placenta previa, the placenta has attached low in the uterus, and partially or completely covers or blocks the cervix.
  • Placenta abruptio camera.gif. Normally, the placenta is firmly attached to the uterine wall until birth. If the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is delivered, this is called placenta abruptio or abruptio placenta or placental abruption. Placenta abruptio usually occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy, but it can occur any time after the 20th week.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy Topics

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
    slideshow fetal development
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    What Causes Bipolar
    Woman trying on dress in store
    pregnant woman
    Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
    healthtool pregnancy calendar
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy