Bleeding During Pregnancy?
Millions of women and couples try to get pregnant every year. And a successful pregnancy is a wonderful experience. However, there are a few symptoms women experience in the process. Spotting, or light bleeding from the vagina, is one such symptom that can be concerning. Have no fear. Spotting during pregnancy is quite common. In most cases, spotting does not mean an underlying health problem with the mother or baby. However, some signs can be concerning.
Spotting during implantation
So why does spotting happen? The first signs of spotting can occur during conception. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, the blastocyst or embryo travels down to the uterine lining. After a few days, the embryo implants into the uterus. In the process, the embryo damages blood vessels, which presents as spotting from the vagina. This spotting is commonly called implantation bleeding. The blood is usually light pink to brown and only happens for a few days.
Light bleeding beyond implantation
Spotting can continue to happen right up until birth. The blood presents as a few drops of blood on the underwear or liner. After implantation, the cervix and uterine lining continue to change to get ready for delivery. These changes can cause light bleeding, as well. Hormonal changes can also cause bleeding. Closer to the end of pregnancy, some women experience light bleeding during sex, medical exams, or infections that cause inflammation. Most cases require no medical intervention. However, if the bleeding is consistent, speak with an OB/GYN immediately.
Look for these danger signs
Spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy should be a few drops of blood that happens occasionally. However, there are other concerning signs to look out for during pregnancy. Heavy bleeding that’s bright or crimson red, for instance, requires medical attention. Women should also look for sharp stomach or pelvic pains, cramping, and dizziness. Keep track of blood flow, frequency, and pain, then seek help immediately.
What does heavy bleeding mean?
Heavy bleeding could be a sign of a miscarriage. Miscarriages happen when the baby dies within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. This unfortunate instance is usually accompanied by bleeding. Heavy bleeding is also a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy, where a live birth is impossible. Beyond 20 weeks, bleeding could be preterm labor or labor between 20-37 weeks. Closer to labor, there could be issues with the placenta or uterine lining. At any stage, seek help immediately for heavy bleeding.
Monitor your light bleeding closely
Spotting, at almost any stage of pregnancy, is expected. The issue could be a natural part of implantation or spotting that happens with hormonal changes. Heavy bleeding, pain, and other symptoms could be a sign of a serious issue. Monitor blood flow and seek help if the bleeding appears excessive.