Spotting is common during pregnancy. Most women are afraid when they see blood during pregnancy. However, it is important to know that spotting is different from bleeding. Bleeding has a heavier flow of blood whereas spotting is a minor discharge from the vagina due to various reasons. In bleeding during pregnancy, the flow of blood is less as compared to the menstrual blood flow. Moreover, during spotting, the colour of the blood is dark red to brown, similar to what can be seen during the last days of periods. Women who experience spotting during pregnancy have normal babies and do not suffer from any complications.

It usually happens during the first trimester, that is, after 12 weeks into pregnancy. It can happen at any time and there is nothing to worry about if there is just spotting. However, if there is bleeding, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Causes for spotting

Spotting during pregnancy is benign. The reasons for spotting are –

1. Implantation

Implantation bleeding is the most common cause for spotting in most pregnant women. When the fertilised embryo attaches to the uterine wall, it triggers vaginal spotting. It becomes normal after a few days.

2. Cervical polyp

Cervical polyp is a harmless growth in the cervix. It usually starts to bleed because there is an increase in the number of blood vessels in the tissue near the cervix and contact with that area through intercourse or through gynaecological examinations can trigger bleeding. There is an increase in the level of estrogen, which also triggers spotting.

3. Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections are quite commonly seen during pregnancy. Vaginal infections or cervical infections can also cause spotting. These infections can be treated. Consult a doctor if the spotting continues due to infections.

What to do?

If spotting continues and you are worried, consult the doctor or your midwife. The doctor will examine your cervix and suggest for ultrasound and a few tests just to be on the safer side. The baby is likely to be fine as spotting is quite natural.

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