Spotting During Pregnancy

Spotting During Pregnancy – A Guide To What to Worry and Not Worry About

Beautiful smiling pregnant woman with the doctor at hospital for spotting checkup


Every woman knows it is quite essential for her and the baby to maintain good health and stay calm during the pregnancy. However, when certain problems occur, women tend to feel vulnerable and stressed out. Spotting is one of the main things that can make you immensely worried.

Seeing blood when you don’t expect to is scary enough on its own, but if you’re pregnant, finding blood spots on your underwear can be utterly terrifying, especially if you’re in your first trimester. It’s easy to assume the worst, but it’s also important to gather all the facts about your situation before you panic. And one of the most important facts to learn is that spotting during your pregnancy is not only quite common, but often completely harmless.

Spotting is likely to happen during the first trimester of pregnancy. Fortunately, it is thoroughly treatable. Spotting is a condition that affects a significant amount of pregnant women, around twenty percent, in fact, and most women who experience spotting go on to have healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy children. So, you need to relax, even if you experience spotting during your pregnancy, there will be no serious complications, and you can have a normal and healthy pregnancy. Now let’s take a careful and more profound look at spotting and what causes it in the first place.

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What Causes Spotting During Pregnancy?

When it comes to spotting, its sudden occurrence is always concerning. All pregnant women feel like there is something wrong, and the baby might be in danger. But the good thing is spotting might seem scary, but it does not lead to serious complications.

There are several things that can cause you to spot during your pregnancy. While they may sound alarming, most issues are quite minor and can be resolved with little to no complications.

Another symptom that usually coexists with spotting is cramping, which may seem worrisome, but much like spotting, cramping early pregnancy is normal and usually harmless. Your body is growing and shifting to accommodate the baby, and that comes with some dull aches and pains. Also, when you’re pregnant, you are more susceptible to dehydration and digestive issues, both of which can cause cramps.

Early pregnancy and cramping are common symptoms with the following spotting causes:

1. Irritation

You are aware a lot of changes are happening in your body during pregnancy. And your cervix is certainly affected by those changes. Pregnancy makes it really sensitive and prone to irritations. There are various types of irritations, which can result in spotting such as transvaginal ultrasound, different exercises, a gynecological exam, or even vaginal sex. This does not mean you should stop your physical activity or deprive yourself of sex, you just need to be more careful. Besides, gynecological exams are necessary in some cases, and you should not be afraid but listen to your doctor as he or she knows best.

2. Infection

Getting a vaginal infection is probably the worst thing that can happen during pregnancy. But do not despair, it is treatable as well. Lots of women get a cervical infection, also known as cervicitis, which is an inflammation of the cervix. Such bacterial infections are among the main causes of spotting during pregnancy. The usual symptoms of cervicitis are pain during intercourse or cervical exam and bleeding. Anyway, you must keep in mind, you might have cervicitis, and do not experience any symptoms. The best thing you could do is observe your pregnancy carefully, and if you have any doubts, you should visit a specialist, who will find and treat the cause of inflammation.

3. Cervical Polyp

This may sound fearful, but sometimes pregnant women get a growth on their cervix called a cervical polyp. Cervical polyps often cause certain spotting during the pregnancy. Polyps vary in color and size, and they are more typical for older women who have already given birth. Basically, cervical polyps are types of tumors, but they are not cancerous. When you are pregnant, polyps occur because of the increased number of clogged blood vessels around the cervix, which makes bleeding possible.

4. Subchorionic hematoma

Spotting during pregnancy that is a result of subchorionic hematoma is ranging from light bleeding to heavy flow. A subchorionic hematoma is a blood clot type, which is formed because of abnormal accumulation of blood between the wall of your uterus and the placenta in the chorion. In fact, the causes of this condition are still not fully understood. In most cases, women who have developed a subchorionic hematoma enjoy a perfectly healthy pregnancy. You should know, the only way to discover a clot is by ultrasound test. If hematomas are found earlier in the first trimester, they are usually less problematic than those found later on. There is no special treatment for such blood clots, but your doctor will probably advise you to avoid excessive exercises or heavy lifting.

5.Implantation Bleeding

Implantation’ is the term that’s used when the fertilized embryo attaches to your uterine wall and starts to grow. This occurs about ten to fourteen days after conception. In fact, because pregnancy is most likely during the ovulation stage of the menstrual cycle, about two weeks before the start of menstruation, implantation bleeding might actually seem like the start of your period due to the timing. However, one of the biggest differences between implantation bleeding and menstruation is that implantation bleeding is usually lighter and stops sooner.
There is still a lot to learn about why implantation bleeding occurs. It’s possible that a small bit of the uterine lining that would be shed during your period is released during implantation. However, while the exact science is still unclear, implantation bleeding is one of the most common causes of spotting and is one of the most easily resolved.
Implantation is also one of the leading causes of cramping early pregnancy, and is usually mild and resolves itself quickly.

6.Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy

It’s the option no one wants to consider, but the unfortunate reality is that bleeding during your pregnancy may be because of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you haven’t heard the terms before, a miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy, while an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus.
However, there are still several things to consider. As stated above, not all cases of spotting are signs of miscarriage and there are several other explanations. Also, just because you experience spotting, that doesn’t mean you’re at a higher risk for miscarriage.
Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy also are accompanied by other symptoms. For miscarriage, common symptoms include intense back pain, bleeding that includes clumps, weight loss, and fever. For ectopic pregnancies, common symptoms are one-side abdominal or back pain, dizziness, and weakness.
That being said, this article can not diagnose your nor offer you treatment. If you suspect that something is not right with your pregnancy, contact your doctor so he or she can monitor your condition closely. Your health is important.


Is Spotting Normal During Pregnancy?

The short answer is yes. Spotting is completely normal and is actually quite common. It affects about twenty percent of women during the first trimester and, as stated above, most of those women continue to have healthy pregnancies without any complications.

It is important to know that the most common time for a pregnant woman to spot is during the first trimester. There are some causes of spotting that occur later in gestation, but most cases occur during the first three months. If you notice more bleeding later in your pregnancy, tell your doctor so he or she can monitor your condition. Later-term spotting is less common and may have a more serious cause.

What Does Pregnancy Spotting Look Like?

It is important for you to see the difference between spotting and bleeding because it is not the same thing when you are pregnant. When you have a few blood drops on your underwear or a bit of blood on the toilet paper in which you wiped, we are talking about light bleeding or spotting. The blood is normally ranging from pink to red and brown. But if you notice heavier blood flow, you should visit a doctor.

If you are spotting, you will probably not need to use a light pad. But if the blood is soaking your underwear, you may wear a pad and consult with a specialist. There is no doubt seeing blood is dreadful and alarming, but this does not mean you should be scared to observe your condition carefully. After all, there are plenty of good specialists at present that can help you as long as you trust them.

When Should Your Doctor be Contacted?

It is always good reaching out to a doctor no matter what symptoms you experience. Whether you experience spotting or anything else that seems not normal, do not hesitate to find a good specialist and explain in details. Actually, a lot of female patients are worried they will ask their doctor too many questions and seem like a maniac. But there is nothing more important than your health, especially during pregnancy, so do not worry and keep on asking around.

Specialists say it is vital to give them full descriptions of your condition and the symptoms that you are experiencing. You can describe exactly when you noticed the spotting and what other symptoms accompany it. Depending on your description, your healthcare provider will determine whether you need a particular treatment or further evaluation. Even if your doctor decides to hospitalize you, it does not always mean your condition is serious and threatening. You might be in need of more tests or reinforcement.

Supposing you have mild spotting, additional symptoms like fever or cramping might be a signal of a complication. According to doctors, severe pain and heavy bleeding require immediate treatment and attention. If you need a pad for your pregnancy bleeding and it is happening in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy, it might be a sign of a bigger issue. As a result, your doctor might suggest hospitalization and you must accept this fact. Doctors will do their best taking care of you and your beautiful baby.


Don’t worry about seeming paranoid or overanxious. It is always good to be honest with your doctor and any information you can share will help him or her solve the issue. Your doctor will appreciate your straightforwardness, and having less stress can only help your health.

All in all, spotting during pregnancy is very common, very normal, and in most cases is easily resolved. We hope this article reassures you and helps you take better care of yourself and your baby.  There are a number of hurdles and loops you are going to go through during your pregnancy, but in the end, you will agree it was all worth it.

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