There are a variety of reasons for spotting during pregnancy. Some of them are severe, while others aren’t. Spotting can happen at any time during pregnancy and in fact, is typical in the first trimester. However, it does not always indicate a serious condition.
Let’s take a look at spotting, what causes it and the treatment available.
What is spotting during pregnancy?
Spotting refers to extremely mild vaginal bleeding that occurs during pregnancy or between cycles.
Light and brown spotting is common, but severe spotting can be red.
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels
What causes spotting?
Spotting can be caused by various reasons and is related to how long you have been pregnant. Let’s take a look at spotting in each trimester.
Spotting during pregnancy 1st trimester
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates 15 to 20% of pregnant women suffer bleeding in the first trimester.
According to research, spotting is most prevalent in the sixth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. However, it wasn’t always an indication of a miscarriage, or that something isn’t right.
A variety of factors can cause spotting during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy:
An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilised egg attaches itself outside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy can cause light to severe vaginal bleeding.
It is often accompanied by other symptoms like pelvic discomfort, fainting, rectal pressure and pain in the abdomen.
A medical emergency might arise if an ectopic pregnancy is left untreated. Prompt treatment lowers your risk of ectopic pregnancy problems, enhances your odds of future healthy pregnancies, and lowers future health risks.
Implantation bleeding may happen 6 to 12 days after conception. It’s thought to be an indication that the embryo is settling into the uterine wall.
Not everyone experiences this phenomenon, but it’s generally one of the earliest signs of pregnancy for those who do.
Depending on how long the blood has taken to leave the body, you may notice various hues. The colour of the implantation bleeding ranges from pale pink to dark brown.
Because it’s simply mild spotting, it’s not like your typical period. You won’t need a tampon or a sanitary pad because you won’t be bleeding enough.
Implantation bleeding can persist anywhere from a few hours to three days and will eventually stop on its own.
Miscarriages are most common during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you know you’re pregnant and are experiencing brown or bright crimson blood with or without cramping.
You may also have the following symptoms after a miscarriage: weight loss, mild or extreme back pains, cramps, and vaginal discharge.
Having a miscarriage doesn’t mean you’ll have trouble getting pregnant again. It also doesn’t inherently raise your chances of having another miscarriage.
Spotting during pregnancy second and third trimester
Irritation of the cervix, commonly after intercourse or a cervical check, can produce light bleeding or spotting in the second trimester. This is a regular occurrence that typically does not warrant worry.
Another cause of bleeding in the second trimester is a cervical polyp. This is a cervical growth that is completely harmless. However, due to an increased number of blood vessels in the tissue around the cervix, you may have spotting.
If you have excessive vaginal bleeding, such as during a menstrual cycle, call your doctor immediately. Heavy bleeding in the second trimester might indicate a medical problem.
Here are some examples of possible issues you might face:
When the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or fully blocks the entrance of the birth canal, this syndrome develops.
In the late third trimester, placenta previa is highly uncommon, occurring in just one out of every 200 pregnancies. However, a bleeding placenta previa, which might be painless, is a medical emergency that has to be treated right away.
Late-pregnancy vaginal bleeding might be a sign that your body is preparing to give birth.
The mucus plug that covers the uterus entrance will pass out of the vagina a few days or weeks before labour begins, and it will generally contain small quantities of blood.
If you start bleeding and experiencing signs of labour before the 37th week of pregnancy, see your doctor right away since you may be experiencing premature labour.
The growing baby’s blood arteries in the umbilical cord or placenta straddle the entrance of the birth canal in this highly unusual disease.
Vasa previa is very dangerous for the infant because the blood veins might burst apart, causing severe bleeding and oxygen deprivation.
Abnormal foetal heart rate and heavy bleeding are other indications of vasa previa.
How long does spotting last in early pregnancy?
Although only approximately a third of pregnant women have implantation bleeding after conception, it is a common pregnancy symptom.
Implantation spotting usually lasts a few hours to a few days, although some women have reported implantation spotting lasting up to seven days.
How to stop spotting during pregnancy?
You should relax and call a gynaecologist because there are treatment options available for you. Do note that the source of your bleeding will determine your treatment.
These treatments include:
- Rest, relax or take time off work.
- Don’t do any hard lifting and strenuous activity.
- Avoid having sex and douching during your pregnancy.
- Don’t use tampons.
- Drink lots of water to avoid being dehydrated.
- You can also keep track of how many pads you’ve used and whether the bleeding is becoming worse or better.
Can constipation cause spotting during pregnancy?
Constipation doesn’t cause spotting during pregnancy. Many pregnant women have trouble going to the toilet because the enlarged uterus puts additional strain on the blood vessels in the lower belly. Constipation can be prevalent throughout pregnancy and after birth.
Bleeding with clots during pregnancy first trimester: is it normal?
Women can pass blood clots vaginally during pregnancy, which is a reasonable cause for anxiety. In addition, women may bleed during the first trimester of pregnancy due to implantation or miscarriage.
While not all occurrences of passing clots within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy indicate a loss, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is a cause for concern, so consult your gynaecologist if the problem persists.
When should I seek professional help?
Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels
Call your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding in any trimester since this might indicate a problem. While it’s most probably nothing to worry about, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor may advise you to rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous exercise and travel.
You should also expect to have an ultrasound performed to determine the reason for your bleeding. Ultrasounds of the vaginal and abdominal regions are frequently combined as part of a comprehensive examination.
Spotting during pregnancy can be a scary experience for anyone. Please contact your doctor’s if you have any concerns. Being able to speak with your doctor about your symptoms may be highly reassuring throughout pregnancy.
To learn more about pregnancy, you can get more information here.
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