Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Several things can cause bleeding early in pregnancy, and not all of these things are serious. However, because some things are, please call our office for vaginal bleeding. Your nurse may ask you to come in for further evaluation that often involves examination, labwork, and/or pelvic ultrasound.

Common non-serious causes of bleeding:

Cervical irritation after sex

Implantation of the embryo

Vaginal or cervical infection—these can be treated with medication

Serious causes of bleeding:


Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy

This is an uncommon type of pregnancy that implants in a place other than the uterus, most commonly the fallopian tubes. When this happens, the pregnancy does not have the room or an environment to support further growth. This can be a dangerous because the pregnancy can rupture through the tube and cause heavy, sudden bleeding. Risk factors for this type of pregnancy include a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, prior ectopic pregnancy, smoking, or a history of tubal surgery.