Reasons For Spotting

A Quick Guide on Reasons for Spotting During Pregnancy

Although it can be very frightening, spotting during pregnancy is not all that uncommon. It’s understandable that seeing any type of spotting may lead a woman to believe that she may be on the verge of miscarrying her baby, there are really many reasons for spotting, and a lot of them are not signs of miscarriage.


Some of the conditions that lead to spotting during pregnancy include:

When the fertilized egg is attaching to the lining of the uterus at the beginning of a pregnancy it can cause some minor spotting that lasts one or two days. This can occur approximately ten days after conception, give or take a few days.

Some additional causes of spotting during pregnancy may include a virginal infection, or a growth on the cervix, which is usually benign. It is also possible to have some spotting if the cervix becomes inflamed or irritated. During the second half of pregnancy the pelvic exam you receive when you visit your doctor can cause irritation and bleeding. Pap smears and intercourse is known to do this as well.


There are some cases where spotting during pregnancy can be an indicator of a problem. This is especially true if it occurs in the first three months of pregnancy. If there is bleeding present, along with cramping or other abdominal pain it could indicate an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg has implanted in the fallopian tune and not the uterus. This condition is a medical emergency so if bleeding is present along with pain you must contact your doctor immediately or visit the hospital emergency room.

Another serious condition that may cause bleeding is placenta previa. With this condition the bleeding will often occur during later pregnancy. Placenta previa is a condition that occurs when the placenta has implanted in the lower uterus and has blocked the birth canal. The bleeding may also indicate that the placenta has separated from the uterine wall. With both of these conditions your baby could be in danger so you should contact your healthcare provider and arrange to be examined as soon as possible. If the bleeding is more than just a little spotting, you will want to go to the emergency room.

Another reason for spotting during pregnancy is that you may be experiencing what is known as a show. This will occur within the last couple weeks of pregnancy and is an indication that labor will begin within hours or days. A bloody show will occur when the mucus plug is being dislodged from the cervix opening. The only time that this should be a problem is if you experience this too early, but after 37 to 38 weeks of pregnancy this is normal.

If you experience the bloody show after 37 weeks, you can probably conclude that your cervix is softening and dialing to prepare your body for labor and delivery. The spotting should only be slight, containing a small amount of blood. Even if you are further along than 37 weeks you may still want to call your doctor. If the bleeding is heavy, or what you may consider more than spotting, it could indicate a problem and you should be seen by your doctor as soon as possible.

In most cases, spotting during pregnancy is rarely a cause for worry, and will often disappear within a day or two. It is still a good idea to inform your doctor if you experience any spotting or bleeding, no matter how far along you are. Although it will likely not indicate any problems, it is better that your doctor knows what is going on so they can make the decision of whether you need to be seen or not.