Spotting During Pregnancy

What is Spotting During Pregnancy?

Vaginal bleeding among pregnant women are common due to the increase in hormonal changes, anatomical and physiological changes. Increasing the amount of body blood requirements which makes pregnancy prone to possible complications and developing risk if triggered. [1][2][3]

Spotting during pregnancy brown

What is the difference between Spotting and Bleeding during pregnancy?

Spotting and bleeding tendencies are two (2) different concept and condition when it comes to childbirth processes. [1][2]

Spotting is the minimal amount blood loss which is usually manifested by small drops or stains of blood in the mucous. It can either occur during menses and first trimester. It is usually an indication that woman is about to start with it’s menstrual period or an implantation as an indication of pregnancy may also occur. To some cases, spotting can either be physiological or pathological.

Bleeding on the other hand excessive loss of blood in the body which can either lead to hemorrhage or to shock. That is why, bleeding should not be taken for granted or ignored for it can also be an indication of possible complications during the phases of childbearing.

What causes spotting during pregnancy?

A woman who is pregnant should know what is the difference between spotting and bleeding. Spotting usually takes place before the pregnancy is progressing while bleeding can either start during the first down tot the last trimester of the mother. There are common causes which may lead to the bleeding tendencies during pregnancy. [4][5]


one of the common cause is abortion among women who have problems during the first trimester. It can either be that the baby is was not holding well along the uterus or it can either be due to congenital anomalies.

Implantation bleeding

Spotting can be noted. The fertilized egg usually takes time to implant and upon implantation in the uterine lining, spotting or a minimal amount of blood can be noted for few hours. A lot of woman sometimes confuse menstrual phases with pregnancy implantation.

Ectopic pregnancy

This occurs if the implantation gas not been properly done in the uterine lining. The fertilized egg can either be implanted in the other arts of the body or in another anatomical location inside the female reproductive organ.

The common ectopic cases among women are found in the fallopian tubes, cervical area and abdominal area. In some cases, the egg can travel in the other parts of the body and no chance of being developed.

Molar pregnancy

Fertilized eggs that are that developed may lead to molar pregnancies. Instead of multiplying and developing into a fetus, the tendency of the egg to to multiply in number and make the uterus as if the woman is also pregnant.

The symptom that can be manifested is excessive vomiting (Hyperemesis gravidarum) because if the increase amount of HCG inside the body. The abdominal size on the other hand is two times larger than the normal. They are grape-like shape which were not properly develop into an embryo.

Sepsis or Infection

This can either be found from the outer reproductive organ going to inner organs. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause scarring in the linings of the vagina, cervix and uterus that can cause bleeding tendencies.

Cervical anatomical changes

The cervix is being impended and the increase in pressure can cause possible bleeding due to the extra flow and amount of blood concentrated on that area.

Placental anomalies

Placental physiological anomalies can cause bleeding where the implantation is impeded or either not properly placed. The common type of these are the Placental previa and Placental abruption.

Uterine Rupture

Trauma or damages on the uterine function can lead to uterine rupture especially if not properly assessed and wrong administration of Fundal pressure during childbearing.

Signs and Symptoms

Pregnancy needs close monitoring and the woman might feel the following signs and symptoms upon her bleeding episodes:

  • Tenderness on the abdominal area
  • Painful abdominal area
  • Bleeding tendencies
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sepsis or infections
  • Cramps and intense pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hypertension/Hypotensions
  • Excessive thirst -Figure 3: InfoBaby

Should I be afraid that I have spotting during pregnancy?

Women who experiences bleeding tendencies during pregnancy should panic because it might cause and aggravate any possible complication but rather should take note and take extra monitoring if the pregnant mother starts to experience the following symptoms which is needed to be immediately brought to emergency rooms or vicinities. [5]

  • Hemorrhage or excessive blood loss
  • Fever and chills
  • Fainting
  • Tissue discharges
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Intense cramps

Who are at risk for developing bleeding tendencies during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, women are prone to having complications and risks in their pre-partum, antepartum and postpartum phases. Women who are do not see their ob-gyn or pay a visit to their clinics are not able to monitor the status of their pregnancy and their baby. Not knowing that it can either be normal or risky childbearing.
That is why, it is always nice to see go to the nearest lying ins or clinics to see your ob-gyn. It is advisable to seek and have you natal appointments to prevent unnecessary complications.


If the bleeding episodes is not immediately intervene, possible complications may occur making the woman and the baby at risk:

  • Abortion
  • Shock
  • Loss of enough blood supply
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Dehydration
  • Impending seizure

How can I diagnose the bleeding episodes during my pregnancy?

The medical practitioners usually requests for series of examinations and studies to see for possible complications. They usually do:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – To assess and monitor the level of red blood cells and platelets.
  • Ultrasonography – To see if there are possible blockages, foreign objects or abnormalities in the structure of the reproductive organs that might contribute to the bleeding series.
  • Fetal Assessment – To see if the fetus is not being distressed.

When should I visit the doctor?

The pregnant woman should seek medical attention upon noting and noticing of abnormal bleeding episodes. The woman should also be aware of the symptoms that needs immediate and emergency attention to prevent possible loss of pregnancy and other complications.

Treatments and managements

In severe cases and complications, pregnancy can either be saved. As much as possible the doctors do not advise any chemotherapy because most of the medications and drugs are teratogenic. That is why the doctors usually advises preventions to bleeding tendencies. But if the patient have severe cases that is cannot be done through rests and minimal activities, possible surgical procedures are usually perform.

Are there preventions to stop my spotting during pregnancy?

The mothers or the pregnant woman are usually advised to minimize their movements and efforts that may contribute or trigger the bleeding episodes. That is why the ob-gyn or the doctors would usually advise the patient any of these following: [1]

  • Iron supplements and iron-rich food in the diet.
  • Minimal movement or activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Complete Bed rest
  • More time off your feet and elevate your feet when possible
  • Avoid lifting items over 10 pounds that might aggravate pressure and bearing down.



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