When to Worry About Spotting During Pregnancy

Discovering bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, at any time from conception to your due date, can cause anxiety and concern.  If you’re pregnant and have any concerns about bleeding (or anything else) please call our office, no matter the time of night or day.  We’re here for you!

Just here looking for information to be prepared?  Read on information about spotting during pregnancy and what you need to know.  If you have additional questions, call us at (970) 419-1111, or ask about them at your next prenatal appointment.

Spotting vs bleeding

There can be some confusion about what is considered “spotting” and what is “vaginal bleeding.”

Spotting is when you experience a few occasional drops of blood. The quantity of blood would not even cover a panty liner.

Vaginal bleeding is a heavier flow, and the quantity is such that you need a liner or pad to absorb the blood.

When to worry about spotting during prgnancy

Spotting During the first trimester

Spotting is a frequent concern many pregnant women face and is often considered normal in the early stages of pregnancy. Almost 20% of women report spotting during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During this time, the color of the blood flow can vary from pink to red to brown and is lighter than a typical menstrual flow. Spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy can be caused by the following:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • An infection
  • The fertilized egg is attaching itself to the uterine lining. Called “Implantation bleeding” this can occur before you even know you are pregnant.
  • Hormonal changes

While spotting is more common during this time in your pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to share the information with your OB-GYN at your next prenatal appointment.

spotting in the second or third trimester

If you notice spotting or bleeding during your second or third trimesters, it’s essential that you call your OB-GYN immediately.  We can be reached at (970) 419-1111 24/7.

If this occurs, your doctor will want to be aware of the following conditions. Having answers to these questions will help us to diagnosing what is occurring.

  • How many weeks are you into your pregnancy?
  • Have you experienced vaginal bleeding before this or with a previous pregnancy?
  • When did the bleeding start?
  • Is the bleeding steady or does it come and go?
  • How much blood is there and what is the color?
  • Are you noticing an odor?
  • Are you experiencing cramps or pain or feeling dizzy, tired and weak?
  • Are you currently experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or a fever?
  • Have you recently been injured or increased your level of physical activity?

Spotting & Miscarriage

It is important to remember that any bleeding you experience during pregnancy can be an early indication of a miscarriage. Typically, bleeding that precedes a miscarriage is also accompanied by additional symptoms. If your vaginal bleeding is a brownish-pink in color, and you begin to experience any of these more severe symptoms, be sure to call our office immediately:

  • cramping, abdominal or lower back pain
  • an increased amount of bright red blood
  • fluid or watery discharge from the vagina

If you cannot reach your doctor, you should immediately proceed to your local emergency room.

Treatments for bleeding during prgnancy

In many instances, the recommended treatment for any degree of vaginal bleeding is rest. However, it is very important to see your OB-GYN so that testing can be done to find the cause of your bleeding. In addition to recommending rest, we may also advise the following:

  • Taking medical leave or time off from work
  • Limiting the amount of time spent standing
  • Refraining from sexual intercourse
  • Not using douches or tampons
  • Increasing the amounts of bed rest or naps throughout the day
  • Staying hydrated by drinking more water or herbal teas
  • Limiting the amount of physical activity you perform
  • Elevating your feet when sitting or reclining
  • Avoiding trying to lift objects heavier than ten pounds

Your OB-GYN may recommend any of these treatments to help you maintain a healthy pregnancy and manage the spotting or vaginal bleeding you are experiencing.  In some cases we may also have recommendations outside of those in this list, as every woman and every pregnancy is different.

A Woman’s Healing Center Will Support You

While the discovery of spotting or vaginal bleeding can be frightening, please remember that the majority of women who experience bleeding during their pregnancy will go on to have healthy pregnancies. Never hesitate to contact your doctor when you have questions and concerns about what you are experiencing. Spotting and vaginal bleeding are serious medical topics, and it’s important you feel comfortable speaking about them with your OB-GYN.

Located in Fort Collins, Colo., a Woman’s Healing Center is an OB-GYN and surgical-quality aesthetics practice whose mission is to help women of all lifestyles heal their way to better health and happiness.

We accomplish our mission through deep listening and straight talk. As such we are the only local alternative to corporatized medicine that provides women the specialized knowledge and training of board-certified female-only obstetricians and gynecologists.

Christine Skorberg, M.D. and I are dedicated to helping each patient through her life’s journey—from delivering her babies to navigating the changes in her body and emotions, to offering the latest medical-grade procedures for looking and feeling younger.