Your body undergoes some pretty drastic changes during the first trimester — the first three months of pregnancy in which you may experience spotting in early pregnancy.
Although you might still be able to fit in your usual jeans, the inside of your body is a lot happening. This involves surging rates of hormones and creating a new network of blood flow. With so much happening inside.
spotting is normal during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester, and it is typically no cause for alarm. Although it is easy to concern, don’t panic.
Around 20 per cent of women report spotting during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy But because bleeding can often be a symptom of something serious, it’s important to know the potential causes, so your doctor tests you and your baby to make sure you ‘re safe.
The spotting can be caused by a variety of factors during pregnancy. Spotting is different from heavy bleeding, wear a pad or tampon will be required to stop blood from getting on your clothes. If you experience serious bleeding during pregnancy seek emergency treatment.
It may be a warning sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, depending on the rate of bleeding.
Bleeding occurring early in pregnancy appears to be lower in volume than menstrual cycles. The colour also sometimes ranges from red to brown.
There are many explanations why you may experience first-trimester vaginal spotting or bleeding. Let’s look at some of those rising causes.
Causes of spotting in early pregnancy ( First Trimester)
When you experience bleeding during early pregnancy the first thing you need to do is not panic! Bleeding or bleeding when pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean imminent miscarriage. … In reality, many women experience some sort of bleeding during their pregnancies, particularly in the early weeks.
Sometimes it begins as spotting and turn to heavy bleeding yes it is true that any heavy bleeding in early pregnancy and if associated with pain may be related to miscarriage.
Majority of miscarriage usually occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy.
In case you are going into miscarriage, you may experience following symptoms like
- Bright red or brown colour Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe cramping in the lower stomach
- Severe backache
- Passing of blood clots
If you are undergoing any of these above symptoms seek immediate help from your doctor.
2) Implantation Bleeding
As the fertilized egg binds to the uterine surface. That can cause light bleeding or spotting for a few days which refers to an implantation bleeding. It usually occurs about six to twelve days after you conceive.
Implantation bleeding is considered as the commonest cause of early spotting during pregnancy. Bleeding that happens after the day a woman typically considers her time too late to be considered as implant bleeding and is more likely to occur due to early pregnancy.
differentiating between the bleeding from the implantation and your period can be difficult because Some signs are mimic to PMS:
- mild cramping
- lower backache
- tender breasts
Bleeding from the implantation is typically lighter in colour than a period — a light pink to a dark brown. This normally lasts from a few hours to a few days and does not associate with heavy bleeding and pain.
3) Ectopic pregnancy
The conception usually begins in the fallopian tube where an egg and sperm meet for fertilisation. This fertilised egg then travels to attach the lining of the uterus but in ectopic fertilised egg remains inside the fallopian tube.
When the pregnancy grows larger it stretches the tube, which is very painful and can cause the tube to break or tear. When this happens, severe internal bleeding may occur, and immediate surgery may be required.
In an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience following symptoms
- Severe and sharp pain
- Light or heavy vaginal bleeding
- Rectal pressure
4) Irritation of the cervix
The cervix becomes very soft and vascular during pregnancy and sometimes may bleed with minimal contact following sexual intercourse. pelvic examination or transvaginal ultrasound.
Spotting due to cervical irritation making you worry that something may be wrong but don’t worry this spotting is not serious.
5) Infection of the cervix (cervicitis)
It means cervical inflammation, which is often caused by infections. They may be sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, or genital herpes, or diseases such as bacterial vaginosis that are not transmitted through sex.
6) Subchorionic haemorrhage
Subchorionic haemorrhage is the common cause of spotting or bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy.
It is the condition where the blood collection occurs between the placenta and wall of the uterus which leads to light to heavy spotting or bleeding but sometimes it may not. and it is diagnosed by Ultrasound Examination.
Majority of subchorionic bleeds resolve with their own and doesn’t cause any harm to the pregnancy. however, it may increase the risk of miscarriage. You may experience the following symptoms
- Minimal spotting or heavy bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain
- bleeding may be dark brown or blackish
7) Molar Pregnancy
Molar pregnancy is another reason for the bleeding in the first trimester. this condition is very uncommon but significant complication occurs.
It is also known as Hydatiform mole or gestational trophoblastic disease in which the placental tissue grows abnormally due to genetic defect during fertilization.
There is no growth of fetus at all. You may undergo the following symptoms with molar pregnancy
- Vaginal bleeding most common symptoms which mimic like incomplete or threatened abortion
- Blood mixed with gelatinous fluid
- Excessive Nausea and vomiting to the stage of Hyperemesis graviderum
- lower abdominal pain
What Spotting Looks Like
Typically speaking the word spotting is used at any stage during pregnancy for very minor bleeding. This is usually a minimal amount and lasts for a short period of time. And the colour of the blood may be light brown or red.
Severe bleeding which may need to have a menstrual pad is usually referred to as vaginal bleeding rather than a spot and needs to be evaluated by the doctor.
Does Spotting Mean Miscarriage?
Majority of people believe that spotting in early pregnancy is a sign of miscarriage, but that’s not always the case. Approximately half of women who experience early pregnancy spotting do miscarry.
This means 50 per cent of the women who notice spotting in early pregnancy are not miscarrying. Later bleeding during pregnancy is sometimes less serious, however often when it is really serious.
Between 10 and 30 per cent of women who deliver, healthy babies, having experience of spotting during pregnancy at some point. Someone who experiences the spotting during their second or third trimester will immediately contact their doctor.
What to Do If You’re Spotting and Worried
Incase if spotting or bleeding very minimal not associated with any other symptoms, you may prefer to wait to speak with your doctor until your next appointment. if you notice spotting along with extreme cramping, nausea, irregular or foul-smelling vaginal discharge or discomfort needs to be call doctor immediately.
It’s my personal advice it is better to consult your doctor if you are much concerned about spotting and it can be very helpful to be able to speak to your doctor about your symptoms.as everyone knows pregnancy is a very stressful time.
Precautions you must take during spotting
if you observe a minimal spotting during early pregnancy which may be due implantation or any other reason you must take some precautions to avoid miscarriage
- Complete bed rest with leg elevation
- Avoid lifting heavyweight
- Avoid unnecessary travelling
- Avoid heavy exercise
- Avoid intercourse
If the spotting doesn’t stop on its own or get heavier, let your doctor know. When you notice any symptoms along with spots, such as cramps, backache, or fever, let your doctor know too.
Spotting during the second trimester
During the second trimester, minimal bleeding or spotting may be due to irritation of cervix after sexual intercourse, or after cervical examination.this is common and generally does not triggers concern
The cervical polyp may be another cause for spotting during the second trimester
If you experience some intense vaginal bleeding, like a menstrual cycle, let your doctor know immediately. During the second trimester, excessive bleeding may be a symptom of a medical emergency, such as:
Placenta Previa is a condition in which placenta is placed over the opening of the cervix.
Placental abruption means separation of the placenta from the uterine wall before delivery results in heavy vaginal bleeding but sometimes bleeding is concealed above the placenta and results in spotting.
Premature delivery. In early labour, the cervix starts to dilate. A “Bloody Show” is common.
Spotting during the third trimester
Spotting during the third trimester usually happens after sexual intercourse and after cervical examination that is no need to worry. Spotting during the third trimester may be a sign of starting labour.
Heavy bleeding during the third trimester may be caused due to which needs emergency medical attention includes
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
How to diagnose spotting
your doctor can recommend that you go for an evaluation in case you experience spotting that isn’t implantation bleeding or doesn’t go by its own after a couple of hours.
- Vaginal examination to assess the amount of bleeding
- Blood test for hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin which helps to rule out ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
- Ultrasound to confirm stable normal developing fetus and to check for fetal heartbeats.
Note that many women who have spotting experience go on to stable pregnancies. The doctor will be able to help you determine the symptoms.