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Houston Fertility Center

Is Spotting during Pregnancy Normal?

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on October 17, 2017

Pregnant woman grasping stomachFinally receiving that positive pregnancy test and seeing your growing baby on a sonogram brings a new level of joy and happiness. While pregnancy is an exciting time in life, certain side effects may occur that can be alarming if you are not expecting them. When undergoing infertility treatments at Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen will discuss the treatment in detail and the side effects you may experience. One of the most common occurrences we see in our Houston, TX office is spotting during pregnancy.

What Does Spotting Mean?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, around 20 percent of women experience spotting in the first trimester. Spotting is any light bleeding that appears light brown in appearance. It is generally not enough to cover a panty liner. Although spotting may seem alarming at first, it can be a natural part of the fertility treatment and pregnancy.

However, in some cases, it can be a sign of something serious and it’s always best to contact your doctor as soon as possible when it occurs. This is especially important if the blood becomes redder, increases in flow, and requires a pad to prevent soaking your clothes.

Common causes of spotting during pregnancy include:

  • Implantation Bleeding: This is when the embryo implants into the lining of uterus. It generally last about two to three days and occurs before the pregnancy is confirmed. Many women confuse this with the beginning of their period.
  • Cervical Polyp: This is a harmless growth that occurs on the cervix and tends to bleed during pregnancy due to the increased levels of estrogen. Cervical polyps usually develop during pregnancy as a result of a higher number of blood vessels in the cervical tissue. Bleeding can occur whenever contact is made with the cervix through either a gynecological exam or sexual intercourse.

In more serious cases, spotting can also be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, chemical pregnancy, or preterm labor. This is why it’s always best to contact the doctor as soon as bleeding occurs so any serious issues can either be quickly addressed or ruled out. The sooner care is administered the better for you and baby.

Tips for Managing Spotting during Pregnancy

While spotting during the first trimester is a fairly normal occurrence, if any type of bleeding occurs during your second or third trimester, this can be considered abnormal and should be handled immediately by a medical professional. A simple phone call and examination with your doctor can help rule out any abnormalities.

To help you in managing your spotting so you achieve a healthy pregnancy, your doctor may provide a few simple steps that you can follow in the comfort of your home. These may include:

  • Partial or complete bed rest
  • Resting or napping during the day
  • Limiting physical activity
  • Elevating your feet
  • Avoiding lifting anything over 10 pounds
  • Limiting prolonged activity on your feet

Research has shown that the majority of women who experience spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy go on to have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy delivery. However, it’s still important that any type of bleeding is reported to your doctor as soon as possible.

Contact Our Office

If you have recently experienced spotting during pregnancy and are concerned there may be a problem, please contact our office today. It is important that spotting and any other symptoms you may be experiencing are discussed with Dr. Kristiansen so she can provide the necessary care. You can reach our office online. We offer two locations in Houston and Sugarland to make care more available for our patients.

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