Spotting While Pregnant -What Is Normal?

Spotting is characterized by a colored discharge which can range from a few drops to a light flow that lasts a few days. Though some find this experience uncomfortable and alarming, there is usually no reason to worry over it. Spotting during pregnancy is an experience shared by many women who go on to have intact health and a perfectly healthy baby.

Spotting is caused by implantation, excessive physical strain, polyps, intercourse, or a simple gynecological exam. These causes are considered to be harmless and common. On the other hand, any symptoms which resemble menstruation rather than spotting could be a sign of complications and should be reported to your obstetrician.

Though not bound to this period, spotting will usually occur in the first trimester and will have different causes. The discharge can vary in color, volume, and time when it happens. It is important to remember that normal discharge shouldn’t be excessive.

Almost a third of pregnant women will go through this experience. We have gathered some useful information to help you stay informed. This occurrence usually has a logical and medical explanation and is nothing to panic about.


Some women experience a bloody discharge while carrying a child. There are different reasons why this occurs in the first place. We are going to go through the most common causes of spotting in early pregnancy and bleeding while carrying a baby.


During conception, the egg is fertilized which can cause light spotting in the first couple of weeks of the pregnancy. The spotting sometimes lasts a few days.

A few drops of colored discharge usually characterize conception bleeding or implantation bleeding. Some women tend to mistake the light flow as their oncoming menstruation because the blood can be of lighter color. Be that as it may, you will be able to tell the difference as implantation bleeding will stop on its own after a few days.


Polyps are benign growths which can occur in various parts of the body. Women who have polyps on their cervix might notice a light-colored discharge if some change triggers the polyp.

The polyp will bleed if the body has an increased level of estrogen during pregnancy. In other cases, the polyp will bleed after intercourse or if it comes in contact with gynecological instruments during a standard exam.


Women can cause brownish discharge while pregnant if they strain themselves too much. Most women do not take it easy in the first trimester and indulge in exercising or lifting heavy objects. Though an action like this is not harmful in itself, it can lead to spotting if the action is too burdensome or forceful.

What Shades are Considered Normal

Different shades of red, pink, or brown discharge are considered natural and expected. Some women go through their entire pregnancies spotting a little bit without having any medical issues.


Spotting While Pregnant

Brown Color

The brown spotting early pregnancy can produce is nothing to be alarmed about. Brown shades are typical for the initial implantation bleeding.

Pink Color

Lighter pink shades characterize the late stage of pregnancy. Pink shades usually occur in the few weeks before labor starts.

Dark Color

Dark spotting during pregnancy usually occurs in smaller amounts and is characterized by just a few drops. If it is darker than a rusty brown color, be sure to let your doctor know and check if everything is okay.

Red Color

Bright red spotting can be an indication that something is wrong. Red discharge is alarming if it is followed by pain, excessive loss of blood, and if it occurs in later stages of the pregnancy. Be sure to contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

The Amount of Discharge

Though the discharge can vary in color, it is critical to follow the amount of bleeding to determine whether there are any problems. It is considered abnormal if the blood makes your underwear thoroughly wet or you need to use tampons or pads.

Spotting in the First Trimester

Many women wonder: how long does spotting last during pregnancy? Typically it will occur only in the first trimester.

In some cases, light spotting goes on throughout the pregnancy. This usually includes just a few drops now and then which is considered to be a normal symptom. Bear in mind that cramps followed by minimal discharge is actually one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy.

However, there are situations where a flow of blood in the first trimester can point to a more serious problem with the pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Spotting during early pregnancy can be a sign of more severe complications. Women who have ectopic pregnancies can experience bleeding similar to menstruation. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo attaches itself to the outside of the uterus.

You will be able to tell the difference between spotting and bleeding caused by an ectopic pregnancy quickly. This type of pregnancy will be marked by excessive bleeding which can be painful. It is best to consult your obstetrician if you experience any of these symptoms.


Unfortunately, a lot of women go through miscarriages during the first trimester of their pregnancy. A miscarriage is characterized by excessive blood loss, cramps, back pain, weight loss, and a decrease in pregnancy symptoms.

In these cases, vaginal discharge can be a clear indication of what has happened. The discharge will be characterized by light white and pink mucus. The fluid will contain tissue and clots or lumps.

If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to get timely medical care. Your physician will know what to do next.

Consult a Doctor

Experiencing brown blood while pregnant is not unusual in itself. However, if it is followed by back pain, stomach aches, cramps or a fever, it is best to contact your physician.

If women experience excessive bleeding in the second or third trimester, it will usually be a sign of complications. This occurrence requires medical attention and help.


Women who experience brown spotting during early pregnancy go on to have healthy babies. In some cases, it is nothing out of the ordinary and can be caused by everyday changes. This includes increased levels of estrogen, physical exercises, or a gynecological exam.

Though no harm will come to your baby, sometimes the symptoms are more excessive and need medical attention. Symptoms usually include colored discharge which will occur in the first trimester of the pregnancy. Keep track of the signs just in case the changes become out of the ordinary.


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