That red mess on your underwear is not what you want to see when you pull them off. After weeks of pregnancy, you don’t expect to see a period or need liners for at least a few more months. If you’ve just been at the doctor’s office and had a pelvic exam, you can relax because a little vaginal bleeding is normal.
After your medical provider reaches up into your vagina to check on the progress and health of your baby and uterus and the position of your cervix, you may notice some bleeding. It may come immediately after the exam or a few hours later. It will likely consist of a few drops of red or brown blood, like a light menstrual period. It should not be thick or full of any tissue.
Why It Happens
As squirmy as it makes you, the doctor will need to check your pelvic floor and cervix for any problems. Although the idea of poking around in there is uncomfortable at best, it is far more comfortable than any infections or problems that could develop if the doctor doesn’t nip them in the bud. When the doctor reaches into that area, it can be temporarily traumatic for your cervix. The uterus and cervix are swollen with blood vessels and are stretched more than normal. The smallest poke can rupture those little capillaries.
Anytime you poke around the cervix, you run the risk of causing some minor, harmless bleeding. If you engage in intercourse, especially later in your pregnancy, as your baby is larger and lower, you may break some outer blood vessels and cause bleeding. Just as with bleeding after an exam, this is generally benign and will stop within a day or so.
What To Do If It Happens
If you have just been to the doctor and received a pelvic exam, the bleeding should not worry you too much. A panty liner should be all you need to soak up the bit of cervical bleeding, which will stop in a few hours. If it makes you nervous, talk with your doctor. He should be able to relieve your fears by assuring you that he poked up there and could have caused this.
When To Worry
If the bleeding continues, call your doctor. Bleeding after an exam should heal itself rather quickly. If the bleeding accompanies pain, tissue discharge or a fever, call your doctor. He may need to investigate other reasons for the bleeding.
- Waiting image by Kristin Skipper from Fotolia.com