Pregnancy Spotting - It Can Be A Warning Sign

Pregnancy spotting can be a form of implantation bleeding as well as a sign of danger.

Spotting In The First Trimester

The reason for early vaginal spotting is the implantation of the embryo onto the uterine wall. This bleeding is not a cause for any special concern. However, if you feel that bleeding is more than usual it is advisable to consult the doctor.

Normally, spotting in the first trimester is a very minor form of bleeding. The spotting is light, similar to that observed during the start or end of menstruation. The color of the blood may range from light pink to brown and usually looks like dried blood.

The exact causes of pregnancy spotting are not clear. However, there are some obvious reasons for which bleeding may take place in the first trimester. The most common reason for bleeding is implantation of the fertilized egg on to the walls of the uterus. This usually takes place very early during pregnancy, within 6-7 days after conception. Due to early onset, many women are even not aware of their pregnancy when implantation bleeding takes place.

Bleeding may also be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. It is characterized by implantation and subsequent development of the embryo out of the uterus. If the bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping, it may be an early sign of miscarriage.

If the fertilized egg has abnormalities and cannot develop further or survive, the condition is termed as molar pregnancy. Bleeding may also be a part of molar pregnancy.

Spotting In The Second And Third Trimesters

Spotting during the second and third trimesters can have serious implications. It may be due to a condition known as placenta previa, which is a major reason for failure of pregnancy or miscarriage. If spotting takes place between the 13th week and mid pregnancy, it may be a sign of placental abruption. The abruption is due to the serration of the placenta from the uterus, usually a late miscarriage. If the spotting takes place between mid pregnancy and 37th week, it may be due to premature labor.

If spotting takes place after 37 weeks and is accompanied by a mucous discharge, it may be a sign that the cervix is preparing for labor. However, in these stages, any kind of spotting should be reported to the doctor.

Apart from reasons associated with pregnancy, spotting may also occur due to infection. This may be vaginal infection, such as yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. It can also be a sexually transmitted infection, including Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and herpes. Bleeding because of infection usually occurs due to inflammation or irritated cervix.

It should be understood that vaginal spotting is mostly associated with miscarriage. It has been observed that nearly 30% of all pregnant women get pregnancy spotting and half of these pregnant women have a miscarriage at a later stage. Therefore, it is essential to bring any kind of spotting to the doctor’s knowledge, as soon as possible.