It is quite natural to feel terrified when you experience any type of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. Spotting, or light vaginal bleeding, is more common than you think. The color of the spotting can be brown to red, but the bleeding is usually much lighter than you experience while having a period. You are more likely to notice spotting during your first trimester, but it does not always indicate a problem.
Is It Normal to Have Spotting in Early Pregnancy?
About 20% to 30% of all pregnant women experience spotting during their first trimester. It is a quite common issue, and you do not need to be panic. Most women who experienced spotting during pregnancy continue to have a healthy pregnancy and deliver normally.
What Others Say
"I started noticing spotting when I was 4 weeks pregnant and it continued for a week or so. My doctor checked and confirmed that my HCG levels were just fine. I could also see the heartbeat ultrasound when I was 6 weeks pregnant. Spotting did not affect my pregnancy as I gave birth to a healthy baby girl last week. I would suggest that you should not panic but must talk to your doctor about spotting to ensure everything is fine."
"I was 5 weeks pregnant when I noticed spotting for the first time. It continued for a couple of weeks. I could even notice clots with blood. Although my HCG levels were on the rise, my doctor could not see the fetus initially. The bleeding continued for a while and stopped eventually. I was terrified, but still managed to deliver a healthy baby girl. So, do not take tension if you notice spotting during early pregnancy."
What Are the Common Causes of Spotting in Early Pregnancy?
During your early pregnancy, spotting can be caused by a number of reasons. For instance:
1. Implantation Bleeding
It is the most common reason why you notice spotting in early pregnancy. About 20% of pregnant women have experienced this type of bleeding. It usually occurs about 10-14 days after conception and results from an egg implanting into the wall of the uterus. It may be heavy enough to make you feel that you have had your period. However, the bleeding occurs few days earlier than your normal menstrual cycle and is usually relatively shorter than your period.
2. Hormone Deficiency
Both progesterone and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) play big roles in carrying out your pregnancy in a healthy way. A deficiency of any of these hormones may lead to spotting. You should contact your doctor, and he or she will suggest a treatment option to increase the hormone production.
3. Physical Activity
Strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and exertion can dislodge the fetus in the uterus, which may result in bleeding. It is for this reason that you should avoid doing strenuous exercises during pregnancy. You should always talk to your doctor before doing any exercise in pregnancy.
4. Pressure on the Cervix
When you are pregnant, the blood flow to your cervical area increases considerably. In this situation, a pelvic exam or even sexual intercourse can irritate blood vessels and cause bleeding. The bleeding is usually harmless in this case for both mother and baby.
Your spotting during early pregnancy may bedue to an infection in the vaginal area. Any infection in the cervix may also lead to the same. If your spotting is due to any infection, you may also experience symptoms such as vaginal discomfort, itchiness, etc. Be sure to contact your doctor about it to clear the infection.
Are There More Serious Causes of Spotting in Early Pregnancy?
Spotting in early pregnancy does not indicate anything serious in most cases, but things can go wrong sometimes. For instance:
- You may experience bleeding because of an early miscarriage. If that is the case, your bleeding will become heavier with the passage of time. Early miscarriages are quite common; in fact, many women miscarry even before they realize they are pregnant.
- You may have bleeding because of an ectopic pregnancy. This happens when the fertilized egg implants outside of your uterus, usually inside the fallopian tube. If you have an ectopic pregnancy, the bleeding will become heavier and be quite like prune juice. An ectopic pregnancy is emergent and needs immediate attention.
- You may also experience spotting due to molar pregnancy in which the placenta turns into cancerous cells and continues to grow rapidly. It is a rare condition and usually affects 1 in 1,000 pregnant women. It needs to be removed quickly.
In addition, you may notice bleeding when you have an accident. It means your bleeding may well be the result of an injury. So, consider that as well.
What Can You Do When You Notice Spotting During Early Pregnancy?
If you notice spotting, you should consider talking to your doctor first. Even if it stops, let your doctor know about it. Your doctor will examine you carefully to identify the cause of bleeding. They may examine inside your vagina and order an ultrasound to ensure your baby is healthy and your bleeding was not due to a serious issue. They may also order urine or blood tests to ensure your hormone levels are just fine.
Once your doctor examines you, it is important to follow their advice. They may ask you to take bed rest and spend more time off your feet. Follow it. Limiting your physical activity, avoiding heavy lifting, and elevating your feet will also help prevent pregnancy related complications.