What does spotting during pregnancy mean?

What does spotting during pregnancy mean?

With bodily changes on one hand and mood swings on the other, you already have too many concerns. But here we are to add one more “Spotting during pregnancy”. This is not a concern in every case.

Spotting nothing but blood discharge from the vagina which may be pink, red or dark brown in colour. You may experience a little of it whenever you pee or a few drops on your underwear or when you clean the area a little blood may be seen on the paper. This condition is quite common especially during the first trimester and not always is a sign of miscarriage.

spotting during pregnancy

Why do we experience spotting?

It has been studied that around 25-40% of women witness spotting and is totally normal. Nevertheless, there are no exact reasons why some women do not witness spotting at all. The reasons for spotting are :

Implantation bleeding: When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus wall, it may cause a little bleeding termed as implantation bleeding. You may have a few drops of blood for a week or 10 days after conception and you do not have to worry

Sexual Intercourse: As the blood flow in the body increases and high estrogen levels, there might be times that your cervix may be irritated due to sexual intercourse and this might cause in spotting especially during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Cervical Polyp: This is a condition of harmless growth of the cervix resulting in an increase in blood vessels in the tissues of the cervix. This may lead to spotting in the area around the cervix. This occurs mostly during the second trimester.

Other Causes: There might be various other reasons that might lead to spotting during pregnancy. Such as –
• Cervix examination or a Gynaecological exam of the vaginal ultrasound leads to slight bleeding which mostly goes away in around 24 hours.
• Lifting heavy weights or excessive exercising. Hormonal changes may also be responsible for this.
• Infections may also cause spotting which may be sexually transmitted or otherwise of different causes and sometimes may need to call upon a doctor.
• Also, preterm labour where spotting is accompanied by contractions before 37 weeks. (However after 37 weeks its normal labour. )

When to call for your doctor?
Although, spotting is normal there might be some conditions where you need to get yourself checked because it’s always better to be sure and safe. Here are situations when spotting could be a medical complication:

Miscarriage: Most miscarriages happen during the first 13 weeks especially when you are pregnant for the first time. The symptoms could be spotting or bleeding which does not stop in a few hours on its own. It is also accompanied by lower abdominal pain and cramp, ejection of white-pink mucus or fluids and tissues, sudden contractions, etc. There may be procedures to stop bleeding and help you. Although, there could similar signals for late miscarriage during the second or third trimester in a few cases where no movement of the foetus could be one more sign.

Ectopic pregnancy: This is a case where the egg implants itself outside the uterus mostly in a fallopian tube. In such a case you could experience spotting. Although this condition could be dangerous for the mother and so should be treated immediately. This type of pregnancy is also termed as tubal pregnancy.

Molar Pregnancy: It can be characterized by an abnormal growth of the placenta and also the foetus, being one of the reasons for spotting in some mothers.

Dealing with spotting:

You could take some preventive measures to help you with spotting along with managing it and staying healthier throughout the pregnancy period.
• Have proper naps and stay on bed rests.
• Avoid standing or walking for long time periods.
• Try to keep your feet elevated by placing a Pillow underneath.
• Do not be involved in physical activities that strain your energy.
• Stay hydrated always!
• And most importantly, do not lift weights more than 10 pounds in weight.

Remember, women who experience spotting have also undergone a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. So do not panic. If you experience severe bleeding or deep red blood drops, then report to your doctor. And for a safer side, always talk about spotting to your doctor or midwife. Also, tell them about the cramps, back pain, fever or any such symptoms you have had. Be cautious and be safe.

Why do we experience spotting?

Implantation bleeding

Cervical Polyp

Other Causes

Cervix examination or a Gynaecological exam

Lifting heavy weights or excessive exercising.


Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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