Any spotting during the 34th week of pregnancy should be reported to a doctor. While the spotting may not indicate anything serious, it is important that a proper diagnosis is made right away. Some of the more serious causes of spotting are rare at this point in the pregnancy, unless the woman has had previous pregnancy complications, says the Mayo Clinic.
Any labor before the 37th week is considered to be pre-term labor. It is possible that slight spotting indicates that labor is about to begin, but other symptoms will accompany the bleeding. Other signs of pre-term labor include frequent and regular contractions, spotting that increases or the breaking of the bag of waters. The Mayo Clinic also points out that if the spotting is the result of impending labor, the woman may notice more mucus discharge with the loss of her mucus plug. If possible, a medical care provider may administer drugs to help stop labor. In the rare event that the baby has died in the womb and the body is attempting to eject it (stillbirth), a trip to the doctor will help confirm this.
Sexually transmitted diseases and any type of vaginal, uterine or cervical infection can cause mild spotting during pregnancy, says Epigee.org. Having sexual intercourse can also irritate the cervix, causing some bleeding. The cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy and is surrounded by more blood. Intercourse can cause pressure to the tissues, leading to a bit of blood loss. This bleeding resolves within a few hours and usually doesn't come along with any other symptoms. Some women do experience mild cramping during or after intercourse, and after an orgasm. This is the result of the muscles contracting in the abdominal area. Sexually transmitted diseases and yeast infections will require treatment to improve the health of the mother and prevent the risk of the baby contracting the disease during labor. Not all diseases or infections can be transmitted to the baby.
Placental abruption occurs more often in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, but it is still very rare, says the American Pregnancy Association. This serious condition refers to the placenta detaching from the uterine wall before labor has been completed. In addition to bleeding, a woman may experience stomach pain. Placental abruption can be life-threatening to the baby, as the loss of the placenta means the infant is without oxygen and nourishment, vital to his survival in the womb.