Spotting during pregnancy
Experiencing light spotting does not mean that there is a complication with your pregnancy. It is completely normal as long as your gynaecologist is kept informed.
While you enjoy the beautiful experience of pregnancy and await the arrival of your little one, you may also experience several bodily functions. One of the most common ones among them is spotting. It is a common occurrence characterized by light vaginal bleeding.
Pregnancy spotting is mostly light or brownish. However, you may also notice it to be bright red on days of heavy spotting. It’s nothing to be worried about. You just need to take extra care, consult your doctor, and ensure that it is not a sign of something serious.
Here is everything you need to know about vaginal spotting.
The Causes of spotting
There are many factors that trigger spotting in a healthy pregnancy. They are:
1. Implantation bleedingImplantation bleeding happens in the early days (first trimester) of pregnancy. It is a result of a fertilized egg that attaches to the uterine lining. You will notice light spotting for a few days and may experience it even before you confirm your pregnancy.
2. Abruption of the placentaThe placenta separates from the uterine wall before delivery. This results in heavy bleeding before the delivery. Oftentimes, the bleeding is contained automatically, and you will only notice mild spotting.
3. Irritation of infection of the cervixThe cervix can get irritated by a minor contact during pregnancy. Sexually transmitted conditions like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, and trichomonas can cause an infection in the cervix. The infection may also be triggered by an allergy to latex, the material used to make condoms.
4. Uterine ruptureUterine rupture takes place when the uterus tears down at the time of labour. This occurrence is very rare and is triggered when there is scarring in the uterus from a previous pregnancy or surgery.
5. Hormonal changes in the bodyPregnancy brings with it a sea of changes. Your body undergoes several hormonal changes throughout your pregnancy. This is one of the major reasons why you are likely to experience spotting.
6. Vaginal ultrasoundYou are likely to spot vaginal bleeding after a gynaecological exam. This is especially common post undergoing a virginal ultrasound.
7. Physical labourVaginal bleeding is normal after excessive physical labour or a straining activity.
8. Sexual intercourseSexual intercourse can also trigger light spotting.
Spotting and bleeding – what’s the difference?
As noted above, spotting is the light bleeding that happens when a few drops of blood mildly stain your underwear. The blood is very light, and you will feel nothing more than just a bit wet down there. Bleeding, on the other hand, is a heavier flow of blood that incessantly drips from your vagina. The dripping blood can even soak your underwear and clothes. You will need a Panty liner or a pad to manage the flow.
When should you be concerned?
If you do experience light pregnancy spotting, you do not have to be concerned. In most cases, you may notice spots during your pregnancy. Do note that experiencing light spotting does not mean that there is a complication with your pregnancy. It is completely normal as long as your gynaecologist is kept informed.
Incessant spotting or bleeding does warrant a doctor’s consultation. This is especially important if the spotting is accompanied by other unusual occurrences like cramps or pain in the lower abdomen. Again, this is no certain sign of a miscarriage or a complicated pregnancy if you spot bleeding. Let your doctor provide a more thorough diagnosis.
Steps to follow to control spotting
The first step is to listen to your body. If you do feel concerned or find the spotting to be unusual (especially during pregnancy), get in touch with your doctor. They will evaluate the condition and order tests. A blood test and ultrasound will reassure you about your baby’s wellbeing. Apart from seeking medical help, you must also do the following:
- Keep a track of the spotting or bleeding. Maintain a journal of days when the spotting gets lighter or heavier
- Keep a check on the varying colour of the blood. It can range from dark brown to red to pink. this information can help your doctor in better understand the possible cause
- Discontinue sexual intercourse and douching
- Avoid tampons
- Take some time off work or other activities and do not over-exert yourself
Spotting during pregnancy does not have to dampen your joyful ‘mom-to-be’ experience. In most cases, spotting can be managed effectively with proper use of panty liners and sanitary pads. You may consider ALWAYS panty liners and pads for more reliable support. They will keep you fresh and ensure that you truly embrace the joyful journey towards motherhood.