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Of Spotting and Clotting: Causes of Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy

February 28, 2018 in About Pregnancy, Birthing Experience
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of spotting and clotting

The phone calls have been made, the hugs have been shared and the tears of joy have been shed. You’re going to be a mommy, and you know it doesn’t get better than this. Nothing could even come close to wafting away this perfect cloud of happiness that you’re floating on. Except that coin of deep crimson blood on your underwear you spy at ten o’clock on a Monday morning. Talk about Monday blues. And reds. It can be disheartening to spot vaginal blood when you’re pregnant, but hope is not always lost.

Here’s a little look at what you should do when you experience vaginal bleeding, and when to raise an alarm.

What Should I Do When I Experience Vaginal Bleeding?

First, relax. Then, call your hospital immediately to report the bleeding. There’s no need to panic at this stage, because your bleeding could have been triggered by something minor, but then again, that’s not always the case. When you reach your hospital, you will be asked to undergo an assessment, which will be composed of a physical evaluation, an ultrasound and a series of blood tests. These will provide a keyhole into your medical status and your baby’s condition. In a case where you experience significant bleeding and can’t contact your hospital over the phone, reach your hospital right away and report an emergency.

What Causes Spotting or Bleeding During Pregnancy?

Okay, first up, let’s talk about the difference between spotting and bleeding. Spotting is a very light, watery discharge of blood, similar to the tapering end of a period. Spotting is usually tinged pink or brown and can sometimes appear red. Bleeding on the other hand, is a flow of blood much like a period. While you can’t really put a finger on why either occurs, there are some factors that work as triggers.  


When you have intercourse, it’s natural for blood flow to be directed to the cervix. Consequently, there is a possibility of light bleeding. Alternatively, a cervical polyp can also result in bleeding.

Internal Assessment

Like with intercourse, a pap smear or a routine cervical assessment stimulates blood circulation towards the cervix, causing slight bleeding. There’s nothing to worry about and the blood will dry up in time.

Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy

If you experience cramping as well as bleeding in your first three months of pregnancy, it is a possible sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a condition where the embryo burrows itself outside the uterus, most often in one of the fallopian tubes. The scenario can be fatal for an expectant mother, and it is important that you inform your doctor the moment you notice any form of bleeding. About 25% of pregnant women observe some form of bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy, but know this: if you’ve already heard your baby’s heartbeat after the 7-week mark, you have more than a 90% chance of carrying your pregnancy to term despite early pregnancy bleeding.


Infection-related bleeding doesn’t stem from your pregnancy at all. It is usually a by-product of a vaginal infection or a sexually acquired infection. Either of these can cause an inflammation of the cervix, which can be exacerbated by intercourse or an internal examination.

Premature Labour

Bleeding in the second or third trimester is unusual and never a good sign. Bleeding during these trimesters can be indicative of a serious complication, like a late miscarriage or premature labour. It could also be due to placenta previa, a condition where the placenta peels off from the uterus.

Any amount of spotting, however little, should be reason enough to reach out for medical help. On Cloudnine, our 24×7 team is always ready for an emergency. Trust us to catch you when you fall. We’ll go the extra mile to support you through your pregnancy.


If you found this article interesting and would like to know more, talk to a Cloudnine expert today!

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