Categorized | Pregnancy Articles

Spotting during Pregnancy

Spotting in pregnancy can be referred to light bleeding similar to the monthly menstrual period. This may happen at any time during pregnancy, mostly during the first trimester. Spotting during pregnancy can also lead to complications; however there are rare chances of such happenings. Some pregnant women experience lower backache or stomach-ache along with spotting. Nearly 20% of the women complain of vaginal spotting or bleeding during their first three months of pregnancy.

A woman may also bleed lightly for around 7-10 days after she conceives and that can be due to the implantation of the ovum that is located in the uterus. As any sort of bleeding is a potent alarm of having miscarriage, thus any kind of bleeding you experience should be reported to your care provider immediately.

Types of Spotting –
The phenomenon when a little bit of blood passes from the reproductive track to the opening called vagina is called spotting. Most of the times it does not reach the inner garments or underwear, it can be wiped with a tissue after defecation or micturition. The blood that spots may be pink-tinged mucus, rusty brown or bright red; this depends on the condition and the degree of spotting. Spotting may occur in some cases only once, however it may last for several hours or even several days

Normal Spotting –
This kind of spotting occurs at the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Bleeding of 1-2 days after 3-5 days is considered normal, but if it occurs later than that, this may imply that the woman has some pathologic problem. Another normal circumstance for spotting is when it occurs in the middle of a woman’s menstrual period or around 10-14 days prior to the beginning of the next menstrual cycle. This kind of spotting happens during the ovulation period.

Implantation spotting is that which occurs during seven days before the menstrual cycle is due and stays for less than a day. This is a result of fertilized egg travelling into the uterine lining. Also you can experience spotting when the levels of hormone estrogen rise slightly and the hormone progesterone falls before the corpus luteum takes over the task of producing progesterone. Remember that spotting which continues for more days is not an implantation spotting.

Abnormal Spotting –
This sort of spotting lasts for several days. Spotting days before your menstrual period is due is unusual. The reasons for abnormal spotting can be different for different women. The major reason why you could experience spotting several days before the menstrual cycle is reduced levels of the hormone called progesterone. Progesterone helps to maintain the uterine lining, when the hormone level drops the woman has menstrual period. Women with deficiency in the hormone progesterone experience spotting several days before their menstrual period is due. This is also a reason for minor infertility and early miscarrying. Uterine fibroids that are harmless can also be a reason for spotting. Other reasons for abnormal spotting include disease like endometriosis and contraceptive pills intake.

Spotting occurs during the early stage of conception when the fertilized ovum is placed on the wall of the uterus. Spotting also forms the early sign of pregnancy, hence it should be looked out for. After the 37th week of pregnancy spotting is considered a sign that the cervix has started becoming softened. Spotting is a significant sign of getting premature labour or the detachment of the placenta from the uterus.

Causes of Spotting –

Infection –
Many a times spotting is also related to vaginal infections like yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or sexually transferred disease (STD). These conditions cause the cervix to become irritated or swollen that can lead to spotting especially after sexual activity.

Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy –
Spotting during the early stage of pregnancy can also be considered as a potent sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, especially if you also experience abdominal pains or cramps.

Placental Problems or Premature Labour –
Spotting or bleeding during the second and third trimester of pregnancy is a sign of complications like –
•    Complications related to the placenta
•    Complications related to the Placental abruption
•    Any kind of miscarriage
•    Premature labour

Normal Labour –
Around the 37th week of pregnancy there might be a mucus discharge tinged with blood signalling that the mucus plug has dislodged and the cervix has started to soften to prepare for the baby’s delivery. However, you are required to report any kind of bleeding you experience around any stage of pregnancy.