Spotting is a common concern for pregnant women. If you fall into this category, you are not alone… 20-25% of women report spotting during their first trimester. Before you worry, here are some things to consider.
Spotting vs bleeding?
It is important to understand the difference between spotting and bleeding. Spotting is a slight amount of blood that you may notice in your underwear or when you wipe after going to the bathroom. There should not be enough blood that you feel the need to wear a pad. Bleeding is a heavier flow of blood that requires you to wear a panty liner or pad. Both can vary in color from pink to bright red to brown.
When to call your doctor?
With any spotting or bleeding, you should touch base with your doctor just to be safe. If you are having bleeding that is accompanied by pain or cramping on either side of your lower abdomen, contact your doctor immediately. Any spotting or bleeding during the second or third trimester can also be a concern, and you should contact your doctor immediately.
Implantation is one of the most common causes of spotting during the first trimester. Implantation is when the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. This can trigger light spotting for a few days and sometimes is mistaken for a period. During pregnancy, blood flow to the cervix increases, so sexual intercourse or a vaginal exam can cause spotting. Infections or STIs can also be another cause of spotting. More serious causes of spotting or bleeding could be ectopic pregnancy (in which the egg implants somewhere other than the uterus), and early pregnancy loss (when the pregnancy does not progress as it should)
The good news?
A majority of women with spotting in the first trimester go on to have healthy pregnancies. Your doctor can help you determine the cause of your spotting, so don’t hesitate to call them with any concerns.
Advice and Aid has nurses on staff who are available to answer your questions. And our services – all of them – are always free. Usually, you can even get in the same day to speak to a nurse, who can then advise you on next steps.
Most importantly, you just don’t have to do this alone. We are here to help!