Spotting During Pregnancy: Everything You Should Know

Being pregnant is a true miracle. Every woman waits impatiently to have this experience and cherish every moment of this fascinating period of her life. However, it can not always be as flawless as we want it to be. That’s why I have prepared this post about an important cause that concerns many pregnant women, namely, pregnancy spotting.

My name is Annabel Strickland, and I have a 2-year-old son. After I gave birth to my child, a lot of my friends who were willing to conceive were asking me a lot about pregnancy. So, I decided to start sharing my knowledge and experience of being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding, and so on. Today, I’m going to tell you about the symptom that scares a lot of women. If you’ve been wondering, is spotting normal during pregnancy, then this article will be of help for you.

It might seem terrifying at first, but in fact, it doesn’t mean that something goes wrong. Spotting during pregnancy is quite common and below, I will tell you so about why it happens, when it happens, and if it is really dangerous. Keep reading to find out more about this topic, and stay calm if it happens to you.


Is Spotting Normal In Pregnancy?

Before we dig deeper, I want to explain what spotting is and what are the signs of spotting in early pregnancy. Spotting is a trace of blood that can be pink, red, or even brown. The main point is that the amount of blood is insignificant, and it is lighter than your period blood. It looks like discharge you may see at the end of your period.

Spotting and bleeding are different. Bleeding comes as a bigger amount of bright red discharge that might require using a pad. Light spotting during pregnancy is not dangerous because it is the bleeding that can be an indicator of a more serious problem.

In both cases, I recommend contacting your doctor and describing all your symptoms to ensure that everything is going well. You can check out on the internet and find the difference between spotting and period pictures so that you can easily determine which one you have.

Being pregnant and spoting can be caused by several reasons. But the main thing for you to note is that minor spotting is normal during pregnancy. Also, passing blood clots during pregnancy first trimester shouldn’t be something to be concerned about.

Some women may have spotting at 6 weeks pregnant, and it can last a few days. Other women can have light bleeding during their entire pregnancy from time to time. Most of them have a normal and healthy pregnancy and deliver healthy babies. But being aware of the main causes of spotting is paramount for you.

Implantation Bleeding

This is the main reason for light bleeding in the earliest stage of pregnancy, which 30% of women experience. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg or embryo attaches to uterine walls.

It can happen approximately around the time you expect your period to begin, so a lot of women can confuse it with menstrual bleeding. It’s a great time to take your pregnancy test. Spotting is completely safe and normal in this case, so you have nothing to worry about.

Sex

Sex is also a common reason for spotting week 7 of pregnancy. During the early pregnancy, more blood vessels appear in your cervical region, and respectively, the blood flow in this area increases.

In case you see light bleeding after sex, you don’t have to worry about it as it is quite normal. This area is so tender, so even intercourse can cause spotting. Sometimes, cervical polyps, which are completely harmless, can cause light bleeding after having sex.

Gynaecological Examination

Spotting pregnancy 4 weeks can be caused by an internal pelvic exam. As I’ve already mentioned above, this area becomes even more tender during pregnancy so that a gynecological examination can also be a reason for light bleeding. With a larger amount of blood vessels and increased blood flow, it’s easier to hurt it and trigger light bleeding. It’s completely fine to have spotting at 6 weeks as well, so don’t worry about it.

Infections

Being 5 weeks pregnant and bleeding can be triggered by various infections. This condition is not related to the whole pregnancy thing, but it still can cause light bleeding.

These might be caused by some vaginal infections such as yeast infection. Sexually transmitted illnesses such as herpes, gonorrhea, or chlamydia can cause cervical inflammation that can result in bleeding. That’s why I always insist on checking with your doctor in case you notice spotting or bleeding.

Subchorionic Hemorrhage

Subchorionic hemorrhage can be another reason for spotting 6 weeks pregnant. To make things a little bit more clear to you, it’s worth knowing that chorion is a membrane that encloses your placenta. Subchorionic bleeding happens in folds of the placenta and chorion, but it’s not serious and most likely wouldn’t lead to any pregnancy-related problems. It’s advisable though to contact your doctor for diagnosing, and some treatment might be required in this case.

Approaching Labor

As labor becomes closer, you might have a mucus plug approximately 37 weeks of your pregnancy. There is no reason for concern as it’s just the way your body prepares itself for future labor to allow your cervix to dilate. Once again, if it turns to heavy bleeding, then reaching to your gynecologist is obligatory.


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Cases When Spotting While Pregnant Can Be a Sign of a Problem

If you have the following symptoms, you should wait no longer and see your doctor to prevent potential problems. So, be careful when experiencing these:

  1. Heavy bleeding during pregnancy. If the spotting is less than menstrual, it shouldn’t be the reason for concern. In case of moderate or heavy bleeding (meaning, you use one or more pad/tampon in three hours), immediately call your doctor.
  2. Intense pain. Some cramps or mild pain can accompany spotting. However, if besides heavy bleeding, you experience severe pain, it’s a good reason to be concerned as it’s most likely the sign of some problem.
  3. Continuous bleeding. If you are spotting/bleeding for several days and feel some pain, contact your health care provider. If light pain and light bleeding is happening every once in a while, most likely, there is no problem. Nevertheless, getting checked at the hospital is obligatory just to make sure everything is fine.

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What Does Bleeding Mean for Your Pregnancy?

Whereas spotting is a moderate amount of discharge, bleeding usually looks like your period and might be an indicator of some serious problems. Generally, bleeding is associated with miscarriage. Miscarriage bleeding color also resembles your menstrual discharge, but that’s not just the only one problem that can be related to bleeding when 10 weeks pregnant.

Bleeding can accompany many pregnancy complications, especially if you experience some pain or cramps in your lower abdomen. Some women can bleed for no reason and manage to deliver a healthy baby. It’s not always the sign of an actual problem, but it’s better if you know what can cause heavy bleeding in 10 weeks of pregnancy or later.

Bleeding during your first trimester of pregnancy might be related to many factors, but the following issues are the most common for many women. In fact, 20% to 30% of women experience spotting at 7 weeks of their pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

5 weeks pregnant bleeding (5-12 weeks or more) can be related to ectopic pregnancy. Unfortunately, this problem affects 3% of pregnant women. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, an embryo will be implanted outside the uterus.

Usually, a fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube. This case is very dangerous as it can be detrimental to women’s health. Medical attention is immediately required if you feel dizzy, nauseous, have body weakness, and experience cramps and pain in your lower abdomen.

You are more likely to get ectopic pregnancy if you have already experienced one. It can also happen if you had fallopian tube surgery, pelvic inflammation, or experienced more than two years of infertility. Also, birth control placed in your uterus can cause this kind of pregnancy, so make sure to consult with your doctor once you feel the symptoms mentioned above.

Molar Pregnancy

If you have 10 week pregnant bleeding in a row, it can be a serious sign of molar pregnancy. Usually, it’s not threatening for life. If you have bleeding throughout weeks after the conception, then most likely it’s molar pregnancy which is a not common condition of your placenta.

In this case, it becomes cystic because of the malformed embryo and is caused by pregnancy hormones. In some very rare cases, the tumor can spread throughout your body.

Miscarriage

Miscarriage is almost always associated with vaginal bleeding that occurs in the early stage of pregnancy. Usually, it can happen during the first 12 weeks after conception.

In case you have heavy bleeding with severe pain or cramps in your lower abdomen, contact your doctor immediately as you may be experiencing a miscarriage. Unfortunately, almost half of all women who experience these symptoms end up miscarrying.


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Causes of Bleeding at The Second and Third Trimesters

Bleeding during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy is associated not with miscarriage, but mostly with some issues related to placenta issues, abnormal vagina, or cervix problems. Here are the main causes that trigger bleeding and spotting at 30 weeks:

Placenta Previa

Bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of placenta praevia during the late period of pregnancy. It is the condition when a part of the cervical opening is covered by the placenta that is supposed to cover the womb only to connect the fetus to it.

It can cause some bleeding because the placenta might stretch and rupture. Women who had a cesarean delivery, previous pregnancies, or experienced placenta praevia before can be in a risk group to reencounter this issue.

Abruption of Placenta

It can happen during the second half of pregnancy or during the last trimester. In this condition, the placenta separates from uterus a little bit earlier than it’s supposed to happen in a typical case. It results in bleeding between the placenta and uterus.

A woman with placenta abruption can also feel cramps, pain in abdomen, backache, as well as tenderness in the uterus. If the placenta separates from the uterus just a little bit, there will be no harm to the baby. But in case the separation is significant, the risks are higher. Women of prior abruption of the placenta might experience it again. Also, this condition tends to happen to women who smoke.

Uterine Rupture

Uterine rupture is quite abnormal and happens rarely, but still, I feel that I have to name all the possible causes. In this case, we talk about the splitting of the uterus related to the prior cesarean section. The fetus gets expelled to the abdomen, which can be very dangerous not just for the baby but for the mother as well.

Rupture can happen during labor or before it. Risks are also high at those women who had severe trauma or who had taken a significant amount of medicine to strengthen contractions (for instance, oxytocin).

Rupture of Fetus Vessel

This condition is rare, and it happens when blood vessels of the fetus are growing in number during pregnancy. Thus, they can cross the opening of the birth canal. It’s also called vasa praevia and can be lethal to the baby because of the severe bleeding of these vessels. It can be accompanied by an abnormal heart rate of the baby.

Pre-Term Labor

The labor is called pre-term when the delivery happens between the 20-37 week of pregnancy. Along with bleeding, you will experience cramps, backache, contractions, pelvic pressure in case it’s the pre-term labor. A few days before labor starts, you will pass the mucus plug first, which means your body is getting ready to give birth. This is the first alarm for you to contact your doctor right away.

Whereas bleeding during the early stages of pregnancy can be usually harmless, you can relax and wait until the doctor checks it and gives you some advice or instructions. My main advice is to avoid stress and not provoke other problems. In case you notice the mucus plug, you should consult your gynecologist immediately.


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Quick FAQ About Spotting When Pregnant

I have heard a lot of questions related to spotting during pregnancy and possible complications. That’s because I experienced some light bleeding myself during my pregnancy, so I know things about such cases. Here are the most common questions I have heard and expert answers to them.

Is Spotting Normal During Pregnancy?

Many women face blood in discharge but not period. Light bleeding during early pregnancy is quite common. You should remember though that there is no reason to be concerned and it doesn’t mean that you will have an unhealthy pregnancy.

However, if you experience heavy bleeding during early pregnancy, it’s better to make an appointment with your doctor right away. Report your symptoms to make sure everything is okay with you and your baby.

What Causes Spotting?

Bleeding lightly during pregnancy can be caused by several reasons, and implantation of the embryo is one of the most widespread ones. It happens when an egg that has been fertilized attaches to your uterine lining. Light bleeding can occur even before a woman knows she’s pregnant, so it’s a good reason to take a pregnancy test.

Another reason for spotting is a growth on the cervix, which is completely harmless for your health. It’s called cervical polyp, and it can cause bleeding during pregnancy because of the higher level of the hormone estrogen. Your cervix has an increased number of blood vessels during pregnancy, so this area can bleed slightly after a gynecological examination or simply after sex.

Avoid lifting heavy things and exercising hard during your pregnancy as it can also cause some minor bleeding. If you wonder, can stress cause spotting, the answer is yes, spotting from stress is possible. Spotting can be triggered by almost anything, so try to avoid stressful situations and to get very nervous as it can have an impact on your pregnancy.

How Early Can Spotting Happen During Pregnancy?

As I have already mentioned before, spotting or light bleeding that lasts from a couple of hours up to a few days can occur right after the implantation. It can happen 6-12 days after possible conception. That’s the earliest time this symptom might occur. If you want to know how long does breakthrough bleeding last during early pregnancy, spotting can last from just a few hours up to a few days.

Almost 20% of women experience light bleeding during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy, and it is okay. Moreover, spotting can happen during the whole period of pregnancy. Women experience spotting at 5 weeks and spotting at 8 weeks, but if it isn’t accompanied by cramps and pain in the abdomen, you have probably nothing to worry.

How to Avoid Spotting During Early Pregnancy?

I have explained the main reasons of why spotting many occur to you. Though you can take control over some causes, generally light bleeding is a part of your pregnancy, and there is no way to avoid it. Nevertheless, some methods will help you to take care of your body while light bleeding early pregnancy is happening to you.

So, how to stop spotting? First of all, you should get some really good rest. If you’re bleeding, it’s highly recommended to use pads instead of tampons. Also, it’s imperative to avoid sex as it can resume bleeding when it eventually stops. If you have some slight pain, take some pain relievers you usually ingest. Always report your symptoms and any changes in your well-being to your doctor.

Can I Take Pregnancy Test During Spotting?

Yes, you can take a pregnancy test while spotting. In fact, spotting is one of the signs that the embryo has attached the lining of the uterine. Implantation bleeding usually happens 10 to 14 days after ovulation and occurs because some blood vessels there can be broken down.

Therefore, some women can mix it up with period during early pregnancy happening. Pregnancy tests can give you accurate results even if you have some slight bleeding. The test will detect the presence of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), and if it is in your urine or blood, you are pregnant.


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Final Words

Pregnancy is the most exciting period in the life of each woman. We all look forward to experiencing all the happiness of maternity and can’t wait to meet with our child. Every woman wants her baby to be healthy and happy. But to make it happen, we all should pay extra attention to our health during pregnancy. It is important to notice every single detail that might be an indicator of a potential problem to have the chance to prevent it.

Being 5 weeks pregnant and bleeding is scary and frustrating. If you experience spotting or bleeding during pregnancy, you should definitely contact the doctor to check if everything is okay and get professional advice on this topic. However, the information that I have shared in this article should be useful and help you to understand what’s going on with your body, and if it’s normal during pregnancy.

Remember, the light spotting is completely normal, and it can last for a few days or repeat from time to time during the whole pregnancy. In case you have encountered heavy bleeding, wait no longer, and contact your doctor.

I wish you all the happiness and well-being! Take care of yourself and your baby. Also, I would love you to share your experience of being pregnant in the comments below. Have you experienced spotting while being pregnant and how you felt about it? Our discussion may help other pregnant women to know more about spotting cases.

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