Discovering that you are bleeding or spotting when you are expecting can be very distressing. Naturally, your first instinct is to assume that the worst is happening. However, in most cases, light bleeding or spotting – particularly during early pregnancy – is usually nothing to worry about.
According to statistics, about 20% of mums-to-be experience bleeding in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy , yet most of them have gone on to have healthy pregnancies and babies. Some of the most common causes of bleeding during pregnancy include:
- Implantation bleeding – a common cause of spotting, which occurs when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
- Cervical changes – extra blood flows to the cervix during pregnancy. As such, a Pap test, heavy lifting and/or exercise, or even sexual intercourse may trigger some light bleeding or spotting.
- Infection to the cervix, vagina, or from sexually transmitted diseases.
Bear in mind that bleeding during pregnancy can also signal more serious conditions. Amongst others, it may be due to:
- Ectopic pregnancy – occurs when the fertilised embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube
- Molar pregnancy – a rare condition where there is an unusual growth in the placenta
- Pre-term labour
The concern becomes even greater if heavy bleeding is accompanied by abdominal cramps and/or fever in your second or third trimesters. At the end of the day, any signs of bleeding or spotting – light or otherwise – should always be reported immediately to your doctor.