A guide to spotting during pregnancy: Here’s everything you need to know

Updated on:11 December 2019, 18:00pm IST
Spotting during pregnancy is common but experts say not to ignore it as it can prove to be fatal.
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Ignoring spotting during pregnancy can be dangerous, says expert. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

From the moment a woman learns she is pregnant till the time she feels the first kick inside her womb to the actual birth of the child–the prospect of bringing a child into the world is something that all to-be-mums look forward to.

However, the journey has its own difficulties as well. The human body undergoes a sea change as the baby develops inside the mother’s womb and any type of anomaly can cause alarm among to-be-mums. One such instance is spotting during pregnancy.

Is spotting during pregnancy a cause of concern?

Spotting may not always be a sign that something is wrong. A light amount of pink, crimson, or rust-coloured blood during pregnancy might just be visible when you pee.

According to a study funded by the National Institute of Child and Human Development and the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, about 25% of pregnant women are estimated to experience spotting during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. 

Furthermore, the 2010 study, published in the journal PubMed Central, says that spotting is most common during the sixth and seventh week of pregnancy.

Here’s what experts have to say about spotting during pregnancy

Experts opine that spotting is mostly caused by implantation bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage. The cause of spotting could be unknown as well.

According to Dr. Anjila Aneja, director of obstetrics and gynecology at Fortis La Femme, “if a person is not pregnant and sees spotting, a pregnancy test is mandatory.”

She adds, “If it is positive then it means that ‘implantation’ has occurred.”

Dr Aneja further advises that if one is pregnant and sees spotting, it could be indicative of a potential miscarriage. She reveals that one should get checked by the doctor immediately, especially, during the early months of pregnancy. 

She adds:

Once you report this to your doctor she will get an ultrasound done to check the heartbeat of the baby. She might also do a local examination to give you the required medication.

According to the doctor, the woman should take complete bed rest and abstain from sex if they see spotting.

Dr Aneja reveals that spotting happens due to low lying placenta, premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, or presence of cervical polyps. 

She said that in 35 percent of cases doctors do not know why spotting during pregnancy occurs, “But it is a sign that all is not well and medical attention is needed.”

So, all you would-be-moms out there, be cautious and don’t ignore any discomfort that you face during your pregnancy.

Also read: Hear it from an ob-gyn: The dos and don’ts of exercising during pregnancy.

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