Bleeding during Early Pregnancy

Spotting or bleeding during early pregnancy is common. It causes concern for those who are pregnant. However, there may be various reasons for spotting which are completely natural and normal. It may be because the fertilized egg is implanted on the uterus wall. This is known as:

Implantation bleeding or vaginal bleeding

It can be observed for 1 or 2 days. For women in the early stages of pregnancy, this bleeding can be mistaken for a normal menstrual cycle. Though periods do not occur  during pregnancy, some women do experience bleeding at the same time as they would ordinarily have had a period. One quarter of all pregnant women experience spotting or bleeding at some point during pregnancy.

Differences between Bleeding and Spotting:

Spotting is slight bleeding that is similar to that you generally experience during the beginning or end of your normal menstrual cycle. It varies from pink to brown or red in color. Bleeding is generally what women experience during menstrual cycles.

If spotting is bright red or is accompanied by chills, cramping or fever, then consult a gynecologist as early as possible.

Causes of bleeding during early pregnancy:

Ectopic Pregnancy or Miscarriage:

One of the early signs of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is spotting, especially, if it is accompanied with cramping or abdominal pain.


Vaginal spotting may be the result of other conditions that are not related to pregnancy. Vaginal infection, sexually transmitted infections or yeast infections may cause the cervix to become inflamed or irritated. An inflamed cervix is susceptible to spotting after a smear test or after sex.

Premature Labor or Placental Problems:

Bleeding or spotting during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may be a symptom of complications such as:

  • placental abruption
  • premature labor
  • placental previa
  • late miscarriage

Normal Labor:

Vaginal discharge which is tinged with blood after 37 weeks is likely to be a mucous plug which has dislodged and is a sign that the cervix is preparing to dilate or soften for labor. Consult a doctor in such a situation.

Other Causes:

Spotting remains a mystery in some cases. There are numerous cases where women have experienced bleeding or spotting but carried the baby full term and have given birth without problems.

It is very important to consult a doctor if you experience spotting or bleeding during pregnancy.

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