Causes of Spotting during Early Pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 07, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Spotting can occur in early pregnancy.
  • One in four pregnant experience spotting.
  • Sexual intercourse could cause spotting.
  • Pregnancy hormones can be another cause.

Spotting, similar to bleeding (although blood varies from red to brown or pink), can occur early in your pregnancy. It is a slight bleeding which is noticeable as staining of innerwear.

Pregnancy Spotting

One in four pregnant women have some spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy, out if which half may miscarry. An ultrasound suggesting a normal heartbeat (between 7 and 11 weeks) suggests the chances of continuing the pregnancy.

What can Cause Spotting?

The reason behind prenatal spotting cannot be determined at all times. Some of the most common causes of spotting include:

Sexual intercourse: It's not unusual to notice spotting after intercourse, as more blood flows to your cervix during pregnancy. Owing to this, a cervical polyp (a benign growth on the cervix) can cause spotting during or after sex.

A Pap smear or internal exam: After you've had a Pap smear or internal exam, more blood flow to the cervix or a cervical polyp can lead to spotting.

Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy: Spotting, if accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping, is one the early signs of miscarriage. An ectopic pregnancy is indicated by the same signs, a condition when the embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.

Infections: Conditions unrelated to pregnancy such as a vaginal infection (a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis) or a sexually transmitted infection (trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes) can make cervix inflamed or irritated, to lead to spotting.

Pregnancy hormones: Pregnancy hormones may change the surface of the cervix, especially when the opening to your uterus is irritated, making it more likely to bleed.

Pregnancy Spotting

There may not always be clear answers as to why spotting occurs. . In many pregnancies, spotting turns out to be normal although it may be serious in some. Because of this, it's always better to take any bleeding seriously. Owing to this reason, expecting mothers are advised to abstain from heavy lifting, exercising, to stay off your feet or other such precautions when experiencing spotting during early pregnancy.


What should you if you Notice Heavy Bleeding?

If you see heavy, bright-red bleeding during early pregnancy, you should call to your practitioner right away. It is more concerning if bleeding is accompanied by cramps or pain in your lower abdomen. However, it should be assumed that its miscarriage as women bleed for unknown reasons throughout the pregnancy. You need an evaluation, which includes a physical exam, an ultrasound and blood tests, to ascertain that you and your baby are not at any sort of health risk.

Image source: Getty Images

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