Spotting of blood from the vagina during pregnancy is similar to what happens during a period however the amount of blood is much lighter. Spotting is also characterised by blood that varies in colour from a reddish colour to brown. The occurrence of spotting or light bleeding from the vagina is common especially with women who are in the first three to four months of their pregnancy. Up to 25 percent of pregnant women experience spotting and this is generally during the first trimester.
Pregnancy spotting should not be considered as normal or ignored as light bleeding could be warning from your body that something more serious is going on. It is important to get in contact with your doctor as there are many problems that can cause pregnancy spotting which could potentially put you and your pregnancy at risk. Any bleeding or spotting especially if it keeps occurring should be checked by a doctor as soon as practical.
There are a large range of factors that cause bleeding or pregnancy spotting some of which are serious and other causes that are not so serious. One of the most common causes of spotting or bleeding is called Breakthrough Bleeding which occurs usually around the time of your regular period. What occurs is the hormones that look after the menstrual cycle are activated and cause some bleeding to occur. Women who have spotting that is caused by this breakthrough bleeding generally experience some spotting more than once throughout their pregnancy.
The other most common cause of spotting or bleeding during pregnancy is what is termed ‘Implantation Bleeding’ which involves the fertilized egg. The spotting or bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus wall. The bleeding in this case generally only lasts up to three days.
Some of the more serious causes of pregnancy spotting or bleeding include irritated or an inflamed cervix, an infection of the vaginal area, an inherited bleeding disorder, molar pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy. Spotting or bleeding can also be the result of trauma such as a fall or car accident.
It is important to see a doctor if you experience any bleeding or spotting as you may need a vaginal examination, an ultrasound or blood test to determine if the spotting is caused by anything serious. Using an ultrasound is a great way for the doctor to check the progress of the pregnancy and determine if everything is normal.