Bleeding that is observed in pregnant mothers-to-be is also known as vaginal spotting
What is spotting?
Spotting is a condition in which drops of blood come out of the vagina.
However, in the early weeks of pregnancy it is common. 25% of mothers-to-be have some sort of bleeding in the first trimester.You’re more likely to have spotting if you’ve had IVF(test tube baby), or similar treatment, to help you conceive. However, you need to be cautious as it can be a sign of miscarriage or can lead to other complications.
Causes of bleeding during pregnancy
In early pregnancy, spotting is usually harmless and some of the causes are:
- Hormones that control your menstrual cycle trigger bleeding when your period was due. This is called breakthrough bleeding.
- The fertilized egg embedded into the uterus lining, causes bleeding. This is called implantation bleeding. This type of light bleeding occurs for a day or two.
Other causes of bleeding
There may be other harmless reasons that are causing bleeding:
- Pregnancy hormones can change the surface of the cervix, making it more likely to bleed.
- You may have fibroids. These are growths in the lining of your uterus.
- You may have a small growth on your cervix.
- You may have a cervical or vaginal infection.
- You may have an inherited disorder that can lead to difficulty for your blood to clot.
Other complications causing bleeding
Pain in the stomach tends to go with these types of bleeding.
Early miscarriage generally happens when the development of the baby is not proper.
In ectopic pregnancy the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. A dark and watery bleeding occurs and it has to be removed quickly.
A molar pregnancy happens when the embryo doesn’t develop properly, but some of the cells in the placenta continue to grow. A molar pregnancy has to be removed immediately.
An accidental fall or a blow to your abdomen may also lead to bleeding.
Immediate step to take after noticing bleeding
- Call your physician for advice.
- A vaginal examination and scan are to be conducted.
- There may be a few routine tests. Your blood or urine may be tested to check your pregnancy hormone levels, blood group and rhesus status. Mostly, people are rhesus-positive. If you are rhesus-negative you’ll be offered an injection of anti-D immunoglobin to deal with the complications.
Even a slight bleeding may be a sign of preterm labor. If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, call your gynecologist right away:
- Contractions (your abdomen tightens) every 10 minutes or more often
- Leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina
- Pelvic pressure—the feeling that your baby is pushing down
- Low backache
- Aches that feel like your period
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
- Unusually strong cramps
- Severe pain in your belly
- Heavy blood flow
- Continual bleeding for more than 24 hours straight
- Fever or chills
- Contractions, painful or not like if your stomach tightens
- Discharge containing tissue to call your provider
- If you have heavy bleeding or bleeding for more than 24 hours
- If you have fever, chills or severe headaches
- If you have vision problems, like blurriness
- If you have quick weight gain or your legs and face swell