Bleeding from the vagina and spotting are two different symptoms that can occur during pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding will look just like a normal menstrual period with bright, fresh blood or large amounts of old blood. Spotting may be mixed with other fluids and appear light and sporadic.
Causes of Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting in Pregnancy
Light spotting is normal during the first few months of pregnancy and is a result of the embryo implanting in the uterus. Spotting is a good sign that the pregnancy is viable and healthy. After intercourse, spotting can also occur due to the increased sensitivity of the vagina and increased blood flow to the area. As the pregnancy reaches its final stages, spotting can be a sign that the cervical mucus plug has released and the baby is getting ready to come into the world.
Vaginal bleeding, similar to a menstrual period, can be a sign of a serious health condition and needs to be brought to the doctor’s attention immediately for diagnosis.
Important Facts About Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting
Many pregnant women overact about vaginal spotting and report it as bleeding to their physician. This is just fine. During pregnancy, it is better to be safe than sorry, so report any bleeding to your doctor as it happens.
Treatment for Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting
Vaginal bleeding needs to be treated immediately. Some pregnant women choose to rush to the Emergency Room at the first sign of vaginal bleeding and this is a great choice. The hospital will call the attending physician when you are seen by the doctor on call.
Vaginal spotting is just a part of pregnancy. Wearing a protective pad during the first few weeks or months of pregnancy will prevent staining of undergarments. During intercourse, vaginal lubricant may help to reduce friction in the vagina and prevent vaginal spotting. However, vaginal lubricant is not recommended when trying to conceive as several reports indicate that it lowers sperm count.