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Is it true that you may see spots of blood during pregnancy?
Q: Is it true that you may see spots of blood during pregnancy?
A: Dear Chantell,
There are a number of reasons a pregnant woman could have mild bleeding. In the first trimester, spotting could be the result of a vaginal or cervical infection, a cervical growth called a polyp, or from the new pregnancy itself. Often, a woman may have spotting in a normal pregnancy, such as during implantation, but 50% of the time the bleeding may be a sign of a problem such as an impending miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Your health care provider should evaluate any bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. If you have heavy bleeding and pain or cramping, you should seek medical help immediately.

Later in pregnancy, bleeding may occur if the placenta is located close to the cervix, or if the placenta begins to separate from the wall of the uterus. Bleeding can occur after sexual relations, because the cervix is very soft and has many blood vessels. Spotting or bleeding can also be an early sign of labor, and may be a sign of premature labor if it occurs prior to 36 weeks.

If you experience bleeding, check to see if the blood is indeed coming from the vagina (as hemorrhoids are another common cause of bleeding) and contact your health care provider. Avoid strenuous activities and sexual relations until your provider tells you whether this is safe.
Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist