Spotting leads many women to wrongly assume that they have started their periods when in fact they are pregnant. This can lead to anxiety and a need for reassurance, especially if the woman cannot feel the baby moving. Mothers-to-be need to be informed that spotting or light bleeding can occur during pregnancy because something has gone wrong.
Spotting is considered implantation bleeding
Spotting is considered implantation bleeding which occurs normally when embryos try to burrow into their mother’s uterus to establish a pregnancy. They first make a hole in the cells of the uterus and then burrow into it. They do not manage to make such a hole in all cases and the attempt leads instead to light bleeding.
Implantation is when an embryo burrows into its mother’s uterus
In the majority of cases, the pregnancy continues normally and there will be no further bleeding. This type of implantation occurs about six days after fertilization. The embryo burrows into the uterus to establish a stable pregnancy, and this is when implantation bleeding may occur.
Pregnancy spotting happens during the early days of a pregnancy
A woman can mistake light bleeding for her period or she can make a connection between it and intercourse two or three days previously. In many cases, women do not connect the symptom with pregnancy. Women need to know that early pregnancies are characterized by implantation bleeding so they need not be alarmed if they notice spotting on the day their menstrual period is due, or just before it comes.
Doctors used to believe that spotting was caused by a mother’s hormones being unsuitable for the embryo, but this was not borne out by research. Spotting is a part of implantation and the woman should be informed of what to expect so that she will know if something is wrong with her pregnancy.
The problem of pregnancy spotting can be reduced using simple measures. For example, women may be advised to urinate after intercourse to avoid sperm reaching the uterus at a time when implantation may have already occurred.
Pregnancy spotting can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a period
This type of bleeding only lasts for a few hours and normally does not require medical attention. We can more easily understand this symptom and its cause by analyzing the facts:
• Implantation bleeding occurs six days after fertilization and affects women in almost 100% of cases;
• It is associated with some discomfort, such as cramps;
• The blood only lasts for a few hours;
• It occurs in all pregnancies and does not cause any harm to the fetus.
Implantation bleeding is a common early pregnancy symptom
When spotting appears before menstruation, it needs to be investigated because there could be some problem with the pregnancy. Implantation bleeding may be accompanied by mild cramps or pain in the abdomen, which may resemble menstrual pain. However, it can be differentiated because menstrual pains worsen during the second half of the period whereas abdominal discomfort associated with implantation bleeding subsides at around two o’clock in the afternoon, and is usually not accompanied by nausea or vomiting.