Spotting During Pregnancy

Before you freak out, here are some common reasons why you may be spotting during your pregnancy


 

It can be very unnerving for a pregnant woman to see blood in her underwear or on the toilet paper after she wipes - but don’t panic! If what you see is pinkish or brownish in colour, rather than bright red, and is a small amount (definitely not enough to soak a sanitary pad), it is probably just “spotting.” Spotting is not unusual during pregnancy and often happens at certain times: 

  • Shortly after your period was due. At this time, the fertilized egg is implanted into the wall of the uterus and that disturbs some of the uterine lining. Some women get enough bleeding at this point that they believe they are having their period, but it usually lasts only a day or two.
  • Around ten to twelve weeks. At this stage, the placenta is developed and attaching to the wall of the uterus; some women see some spotting at this stage.
  • After having sexual intercourse. Your cervix is often quite sensitive during pregnancy and sex can cause a small amount of bleeding.
  • When labour begins. The mucous plug that was in the centre of your cervix comes away in early labour and is usually streaked with blood.

Some women do have spotting at other times. If your placenta is across your cervix during some parts of the pregnancy, you may see more blood, for example. (Don’t worry, the placenta usually moves away before labour begins.) In some cases the cause of the spotting isn’t known — it just happens and then stops. 

Bright red blood, especially in substantial amounts, is more concerning. This may be the first sign of a miscarriage, for example. It may also mean the placenta is over the cervix and contractions are beginning, or that the placenta has partially separated from the uterine wall. If you see this kind of bleeding, even if you are not feeling any contractions, contact your doctor or go to the emergency room to have things checked out.

 

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