What you must know about spotting and bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy?
When you're expecting a baby, any kind of bleeding or spotting is ever significant disturbing. Therefore, it is very important to learn the causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, and what you should know and do if it happens to you.
Any type of bleeding or spotting is horrifying during pregnancy, even for the most experienced and even-tempered mothers-to-be. However, the reassuring news: Despite the fact that spotting occurs practically in one-third of all pregnancies, it commonly presents no threat to mom and baby. Actually, the larger part of spotting is harmless. But vaginal bleeding, regardless of the scantiness, can be signs of various complications, including misbirth, placenta previa, and ectopic pregnancy. Therefore, it should never be ignored.
How to difference spotting from bleeding?
Spotting is a light bleeding that can be different in color from pink or red to the brown-colored of dried blood. Actually, it's alike to what you usually see at the end of a period. But if your spotting has saturated bright red color, and an amount of blood you see is sufficient to soak a sanitary napkin, consider it bleeding.
What's the most likely causes of spotting or bleeding in the first trimester?
It's estimated, that nearly 30 percent of women note some bleeding during the first trimester. And usually in most of the cases pregnancy has a normal progress without complications. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the probable causes of harmless spotting or bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy may include:
- Implantation bleeding, as a consequence of attaching the fertilized egg to your uterine wall. It usually occurs about 4 weeks into pregnancy.
- Hormonal changes, which can make your uterine and vagina more sensitive and increase the secretion of cervical mucus.
- Sexual intercourse. During pregnancy and particular first trimester more blood flows to your cervix. Therefore, it's not uncommon to notice spotting after intercourse.
- Infections. Spotting can be caused by factors unrelated to pregnancy. A vaginal infection such as a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis can irritate and inflame your cervix.
- Internal exam carried out by your obstetrician or nurse.
Sometimes, vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of your pregnancy can be caused by a serious condition, such as:
- Subchorionic hemorrhage. It is bleeding around the placenta. Although the most of the subchorionic hemorrhages resolve, it can increase the risk for other complications including preterm labor.
- Chemical pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg doesn't implant in the uterus.
- Miscarriage, which is the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks. Often, the bleeding or spotting during a miscarriage will occur with cramping or abdominal pain.
- Ectopic pregnancy. It's a complication when a fertilized egg implants somewhere else than the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy cannot progress normally and can be life-threatening to the mother.
- Molar pregnancy. It's a variant of nonviable pregnancy that caused by an abnormal growth through the placenta.
What should you do if you notice spotting or bleeding?
Any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be a symptom of a larger and severe problem. So, call your doctor or midwife right away, even if the bleeding have stopped. It's very important to be prepared to tell about the amount of blood you've lost and a description of your overall condition. You should see if the bleeding is going on and you must notice, have you any accompanied signs, such as pain, fever and vertigo.