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Spotting during Pregnancy

At times spotting may be mistaken for a period, when in fact you may be pregnant and require rest. Read on.

I missed my period, but there was some spotting. Am I pregnant?

The answer to this question can normally be determined through a pregnancy test. It is certainly possible that you may be a few days late for your period, but in case of any doubt, visit your nearest lab center or hospital, and get your doubt clarified by means of a Urine Pregnancy Test. Labs generally examine urine passed by you, and will give you your results within around half an hour itself. You could also find out if your pharmacy stocks home pregnancy tests, and can check whether you are pregnant at home. However, this test is generally an accurate indicator only if you take it a few days to a week after your missed period. Also realize that although the test may show that you are not pregnant, you could still be pregnant. But it is very rare for the test to err the other way about. It will rarely return a positive result if you are not pregnant.

If the result is positive, congratulations! But you will need to be especially careful if you have noticed spotting.

A little spotting does take place sometimes when the embryo implants itself in the uterus, but this is fairly rare, and the spotting is very little, lasting just for a couple of days. So if you find that you have missed a period and have had a couple of days spotting and no incidents of spotting after this, there is little cause for worry. But if you find that the spotting has lasted longer, you should consult your gynaecologist without delay.

The minute you notice spotting during pregnancy, or spotting lasting for more than 3 days after a missed period which leads you to suspect you may be pregnant, get off your feet and lie down. Don't wait until the gynaecologist confirms you are pregnant. Just take an appointment and rest until you meet her, after which she may recommend further bed rest, along with medication and vitamins.

In general, if you notice that the spotting is brown, and at times you see blood when you wipe yourself, there is generally little cause for worry and at least 30% of pregnant women experience such spotting. However if the spotting is bright red, you need to be more careful.

Remember that early miscarriages don't generally require medical intervention, and the body takes care of it on its own. In fact, many women miscarry early on in their pregnancy, without even realizing that they were pregnant. They simply put it down to a late period.

Doctors do generally advise bed rest, and suggest that you don't get out of bed, except to go to the toilet. However, there are conflicting views that state that bed rest will not really help a lot - all a woman needs to do is avoid strenuous activity. However, one point is certain - rest is essential if you want to see your pregnancy through, and you may want to be better safe than sorry, and make sure you stay in bed. The bed rest doesn't have to last through your pregnancy. Generally you may just need bed rest for a couple of weeks or so, along with medication, while the doctor adopts a wait and watch approach. You will then need to have an ultrasound to determine if the baby is alright. Around 50% of women who spot early on in their pregnancy go on to deliver perfectly healthy babies, while 50% miscarry.

Here are a few additional points you should bear in mind if you are spotting:
Don't bend forward
Avoid sexual intercourse
Don't climb stairs
If you live in India where the roads are especially bad, be careful when traveling. Avoid roads that are bumpy, and don't travel by auto rickshaws at all, especially if you have had an incident of spotting.

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