Whats the difference between bleeding and spotting?
Spotting is very light bleeding, similar to what you may have at the very beginning or end of your period. It can vary in color from pink turned to brown (the color of dried blood).
Why spotting during pregnancy happens?
There's a lot of different reasons to why a spotting can happen and even your doctor cannot be sure of why. Here's a couple of reasons why it could happen.
1. Early Implantation Bleeding
Before you even take a pregnancy test, its possible to experience bleeding, even this early in a pregnancy. Doctors aren't for sure but they believe this is caused by the fertilized egg trying to burrow into the uterus.
When you have sex, more blood goes to your cervix, so it's normal if you see some light spotting after sex. Some women may develop a cervical polyp (a benign growth on the cervix), and not even know, but this could be the reason why we are seeing the blood after sex.
3. STD Infections
Sometimes your spotting may be totally unrelated to your being pregnant. Your cervix may get irritated and become inflamed because of vaginal infection (yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis) or even an STD. An inflamed cervix is known to cause spotting after sex and certain tests.
Placental problems or premature delivery bleeding or spotting during the 2nd or 3rd could be a sign of a more serious problem such as placenta previa, placental abruption (placenta separates from the uterus), late miscarriage (Week 13 in mid-pregnancy), or preterm labor. Even if you see bleeding in the 1st quarter, this could be a sign of another problem with the placenta. Studies showed that there has been a greater chance of complications later in women who experience early pregnancy spots, such as premature labor or placental abruption, particularly if too much bleeding.
4. Ectopic Pregnancy or Miscarriage
If spotting is followed by abdominal pain and cramping, this may be a sign you are having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Its important to let your doctor know about any signs of blood or spotting, because a miscarriage could be life threatening, not only for you but also the baby.Studies show about 25% of pregnant women show some spotting during early pregnancy. About half of those end up being a miscarriage. You should get an ultrasound between your 7th and 11th week of pregnancy. And if it shows a strong heartbeat in the baby now, the chances of your pregnancy continuing normal are higher than 90%.
5. Internal Exam or Pap Smear
Normally, after a Pap test or other types of internal reviews is done, one can also observe this light bleeding. It is caused by more blood flows to the cervix area.
6. Impending Labor
When you get close to giving birth your cervix dilates and you may pass your mucus plug. It may be colored red from blood, this is why they call it the "bloody show". Anytime past 37 weeks you may pass your mucus plug, and this is normal. But if it looks red like there's a lot of blood, make sure you call your doctor.
So that's some of the reasons that can cause spotting. Remember to have a regular visit to your doctor and consult with then for every doubts, concerns that you have.