What To Do About Spotting During Pregnancy
If you notice light spotting during your pregnancy, get to your doctor as soon as you can, even if the bleeding stops. More than likely this is just a normal sign of pregnancy, however it could be something more serious.
This could mean you need to take a few tests like a physical, an ultrasound, and blood tests. When these tests come back normal, your doctor will know for sure you and your baby are healthy and make sure there are no complications.
Whats the difference between bleeding and spotting?
What causes this spotting during pregnancy?
Sometimes, even your doctor won’t be able to tell you the reason for your prenatal spotting or bleeding.
These are the most common causes of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy:
When you have intercourse, more blood goes to your cervix, so it’s normal if you see some light spotting after sex. Some women could develop a cervical polyp (a benign growth on the cervix), and not even know about it, but this could be the reason you are seeing blood after intercourse.
Pap smear or internal exam
After a pap smear or other kinds of internal exams, you may also notice this light spotting, and for the same reason – more blood is flowing to the cervix.
Before you even take a pregnancy test, its possible to experience bleeding, even this early in a pregnancy. Doctors aren’t for sure but they believe this is caused by the fertilized egg trying to burrow into the uterus.
If spotting is followed by abdominal pain and cramping, this may be a sign you are having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Its important to let your doctor know about any signs of blood or spotting, because a miscarriage could be life threatening, not only for you but also the baby.
Studies show about 25% of pregnant women show some spotting during early pregnancy. About half of those end up being a miscarriage. You should get an ultrasound between your 7th and 11th week of pregnancy. And if it shows a strong heartbeat in the baby now, the chances of your pregnancy continuing normal are higher than 90%.
Sometimes your spotting may be totally unrelated to your being pregnant. Your cervix may get irritated and become inflamed because of vaginal infection (yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis) or even an STD. An inflamed cervix is known to cause spotting after sex and certain tests.
Bleeding or spotting in the 2nd or 3rd trimester could be a sign of a more serious problem like placenta previa, placental abruption (placenta separates from uterus), late miscarriage (week 13 to mid-pregnancy), or premature labor.
Even if you see bleeding in the 1st trimester, this could be a sign of some other problem with the placenta. In studies, there has been a bigger chance of later complications in women who experience early pregnancy spotting, such as early delivery or placental abruption, especially if there is a lot of bleeding.
Anytime past 37 weeks you may pass your mucus plug, and this is normal. But if it looks red like there’s a lot of blood, make sure you call your doctor.
Note: If your blood is Rh-negative, you’ll need a shot of Rh immune globulin if you have vaginal spotting or bleeding unless you know for sure that the baby’s father’s blood is also Rh-negative or it’s clear that the bleeding is not coming from the uterus.