It’s disturbingly troublesome when a pregnant woman sees blood. But by no way it means that bleeding is a sign that something’s wrong. In the first three months of pregnancy around one in five pregnant women complain of spotting. Spotting is less likely to occur after that. Still if it does, it’s not necessarily a cause of alarm.So, the most important piece of advise expert give is “Don’t worry”!!
First let us understand what exactly is spotting during pregnancy? If we can clearly differentiate between spotting and vaginal bleeding then we will handle the situation during pregnancy calmly.Below discussed are the main indicators which help in easy identification among the two.
The flow of spotting during pregnancy is lighter than regular periods, and it happens only in early stages, typically in the first three months. But the vaginal bleeding can occur from conception stage till delivery. The color of spotting is either pink or brown, whereas vaginal bleeding is bright red color. The other major difference is the volume of the fluids. Spotting’s volume is far less , unlike than that of the bleeding which can largely wet a pad.
The most common cause of spotting early on in pregnancy is Implantation Bleeding. This type of bleeding happens when the uterine lining gets the fertilized egg attaches to it. This can start after a few days of bleeding. This spotting is often wrongly taken for a pending period. Many times it occurs before a woman even knows she is pregnant. This is found between 20 to 30 percent of women.
Cervical polyp (a harmless growth on the cervix) is another common cause of spotting. Due to higher estrogen levels this is more likely to bleed during pregnancy. This may occur as the number of blood vessels in the tissue around the cervix increase during pregnancy. So , it is quite normal if a light spotting happens. This region becomes tender and as a result, any contact with this area, for example through minor bumping during a gynecological exam, sexual intercourse etc. can cause bleeding.
Light to heavy spotting is also caused when blood gets accumulated within the chorion folds, which is the outer fetal membrane next to the placenta, or also within the layers of the placenta itself. In most cases it does not become a problem for the pregnancy as it gets settled on its own.
If there is an infection in the cervix or vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis then also spotting can occur. It can also bleed a little if the cervix gets inflamed or irritated.
Also when you lose your mucous plug it can also lead to spotting.
What to do & how to manage?
It is always better to consult a doctor as one cannot arrive at any sure judgement regarding spotting. One should definitely keep a track of it as it helps in conveying the symptoms to the doctor along with supportive data. One should use a pad as it helps you keep a track on how much you are spotting along with the type of blood (whether it is brown, red, pink or full of clots). It is advised not to indulge in sexual intercourse or use a tampon when you are bleeding during pregnancy.
Your doctor after checking the vagina may suggest to go for an ultrasound scan. To evaluate the reason both vaginal and abdominal scans can be done . Also, a few regular tests like blood and urine will be performed to check the pregnancy’s hormonal levels.
Symptoms for miscarriage or other serious conditions:
- Severe pains, cramps in lower abdomen
- High fever (100.4 or more degree Fahrenheit)
- Tissue expelling vaginal discharge
- Heavy bleeding
Actually it is not normal or expected spotting in pregnancy. Hence, it is important to contact your healthcare provider to discuss , especially if you notice heavy bleeding similar to a menstrual period. This shall rule out the possibility of the bleeding not being a result of any complications in pregnancy . It may be more serious to have abnormal bleeding in late pregnancy as it can indicate a complication either with you or your baby. If you experience any bleeding in your second or third trimester, immediately call the doctor. Your healthcare provider will ensure that your cervix is closed and will check for cervical polyps.
Despite the fact that most women who experience spotting during pregnancy have successful deliveries , some very simple tips can help you further in handling rather avoiding this condition better. Like you should increase your sleeping/bed rest hours, avoid lifting even mildly heavy items, keep your legs raised a bit while lying, & in general just minimize your level of physical activity in your daily routine.Remember, the lesser you stand the better it is for avoiding spotting. There is very less chances of complication, less than even 5 percent.
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