Bleeding can occur at all stages of pregnancy, often for harmless reasons. However, you need to take action if your bleeding is as heavy as or heavier than your period, if it is associated with pain or cramping, or if your abdominal wall hardens. In the worst case, the bleeding may be an indication that a premature birth or a miscarriage is imminent. If in doubt, it is best to talk to your gynaecologist or midwife.

Your body spends the first trimester - which is the first twelve weeks of pregnancy - adjusting to being pregnant. Hormones still need to settle down. Because this sometimes takes a little longer, some pregnant people still experience spotting. This sometimes even happens right on the date when your period would normally start. Most of the time, it's nothing to worry about. However, under no circumstances should you take medication without consulting the people who are providing your medical care during pregnancy.

The risk of miscarriage is particularly high during the first stage of pregnancy. If you are bleeding heavily or if you are suffering from severe pain and cramps, you should contact your gynaecologist's office immediately or, if in doubt, go straight to a hospital or clinic.

Spotting may also occur during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. However, there is no need to take medication at this point because the placenta has taken over the production of pregnancy hormones. Sometimes bleeding is as heavy as a normal menstrual period, which is, of course, disturbing for people who experience this. However, the reason for the bleeding may be harmless. To be safe, you should still see your doctor. If the bleeding is heavier than your normal period and continues, you must go to the hospital immediately and by ambulance if necessary.

During pregnancy, blood flow in the vagina and also in the uterus increases greatly. This is necessary because both organs have to expand considerably in a short time and still remain well supplied with blood. This can cause bleeding after any type of vaginal intercourse. Mild spotting that does not persist is usually harmless. If the bleeding is heavier or if you have uterine cramps after sexual intercourse, you should contact your doctor or midwife.

Bleeding late in pregnancy may indicate that your placenta is too low. Bleeding can then be triggered by physical exertion or sexual intercourse, for example. If you are diagnosed with what is called placenta praevia, you should take it easy. You should then refrain from vaginal sex and you may even be advised to stay in hospital. Be sure to follow the instructions of the people taking care of you during pregnancy. Bleeding with hardening of the abdomen, abdominal pain or both at the same time can also be a sign that the placenta is beginning to detach. This can be triggered by a fall or accident. The risk is also increased if you have high blood pressure. Bleeding after a fall does not have to be severe. However, as the placenta is responsible for supplying the fetus with oxygen, you should see a doctor or an outpatient clinic for obstetrics as soon as possible after a fall or an accident affecting your belly. This is also true when bleeding occurs together with uterine pain.

Spotting just before delivery is an indication that the cervix is opening. The cervix dilates and blood vessels can burst in the process. Known at the ‘bloody show’ in English, this bleeding can be brown, pink or bright red. It is also almost always slimy. This is evidence that the blood is not coming from the placenta. Such bleeding is no cause for alarm. It just indicates that your body is preparing for birth. However, you should contact your doctor or midwife if the bloody show bleeding occurs long before your due date, if it is constant, or if it is heavier than your normal period.