Wednesday , 26 January 2022

Spotting and Bleeding During Pregnancy: Causes Symptoms and Management

Spotting and Bleeding During Pregnancy

Seeing blood on your under pants if you are expecting is typically worrisome and frightening.  However not all spotting and bleeding during pregnancy is a sign of trouble.

Spotting and Bleeding During Pregnancy
Spotting and Bleeding During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman may experience spotting or bleeding at any point during pregnancy.  It is not an unusual symptom especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Never the less, a female should never ignore this symptom, as some of the causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy may be serious and indicate a problem with location of placenta or miscarriage.  Therefore, it is imperative to notify your health care provider immediately about bleeding to obtain guidance.

Difference Between Spotting and Bleeding

There is difference between spotting and bleeding in terms of the amount of blood and its appearance.

When a few drops of blood is seen during pregnancy on your under pants it is known as spotting.  It may typically happen during the early first trimester of pregnancy and can be a sign of threatened miscarriage.

Difference Between Spotting and Bleeding
Difference Between Spotting and Bleeding

Bleeding on the other hand is heavy flow of the blood and if the female is not wearing a pad or a panty liner, the blood soaks her clothes.

When you visit your doctor on experiencing bleeding or spotting during pregnancy it is very important for you to be able to describe when the bleeding started, the colour of the blood that you observe and frequency. In addition, you will be asked if you see clumps of tissues or clots passed from your vagina and whether you have pain in abdomen. 

What Causes Bleeding or Spotting in Early Pregnancy

If expecting female experiences bleeding during the first trimester it may be due to following reason:

Implantation bleeding – 

It happens during the first 4 weeks after the conception. The bleeding is light and happens due to the attachment of the fertilized embryo to the lining of the uterus.

On having intercourse – 

Having intercourse during the first trimester of pregnancy, may cause cervix to bleed that is the lower part of the uterus.

Vaginal infection – 

Cervicit is or vaginal infection may cause bleeding or spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy – 

Bleeding during early pregnancy may be a sign that the fertilized embryo is growing somewhere else (often fallopian tube) and not developing in the uterus.  Pregnancy outside the uterus is condition of medical emergency.

Miscarriage – 

Almost all females experiencing miscarriage also experiences spotting or bleeding before the pregnancy loss.

 Molar pregnancy

It is a rare condition where the tissue that normally develops into the placenta abnormally grows in the uterus. It may result in dark brown or bright red vaginal bleeding during the first trimester along with nausea and vomiting. Sometimes grape like cyst is passed through the vagina.

What Causes Bleeding or Spotting in Early Pregnancy
What Causes Bleeding or Spotting in Early Pregnancy

What Causes Bleeding or Spotting In The Late Pregnancy

Cervical growths – 

Growth in the cervix or inflamed cervix leads to bleeding during the late pregnancy.

Haemorrhoids

As the female gains weight during pregnancy, she develops haemorrhoids or swollen veins in the anus or rectum.  When these swollen veins rupture, it causes bleeding.  Although the bleeding is not vaginal but a female might see the blood on her under cloth or in toilet bowl or on wiping with toilet paper.

Placenta previa – 

It is a pregnancy complications with the presence of placenta low in the uterus that is partially or completely covering the open to the cervix.

Placental abruption

 If there is heavy bleeding in late pregnancy it may be an indication of placental a bruption.  The placenta becomes detached from the uterine wall.  It is a serious condition as the oxygen supply to the foetus lowers. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

Preterm labour – 

If the pregnant women experiences heavy bleeding before 37th week of gestation it may be due to preterm labour.  Along with the heavy bleeding the other signs of preterm labour includes the pressure in lower abdomen, regular contractions and stomach cramps.  See your health care provider immediately.

What Causes Bleeding or Spotting In The Late Pregnancy
What Causes Bleeding or Spotting In The Late Pregnancy

The management of bleeding and spotting during pregnancy depends on the cause. Some females may receive a blood test to measure the level of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. Females may need the treatment for Rh sensitization. However, in most of the cases the treatment for bleeding or spotting is bed rest. 

*The information in this article is for the reading purpose. Do consult health care provider for proper diagnosis and management.

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