Information About Spotting During Early Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and notice even the smallest amount of blood in your underwear or upon wiping, you may be alarmed. Spotting, similar to bleeding during pregnancy, can occur at any point in your pregnancy. Spotting is slight bleeding usually noticed when wiping or as slight staining of your underwear. It can be pink, red or brown colored blood and may be rather faint. Although it is very scary, many times there is a simple explanation for the spotting.

Causes of Spotting During Early Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

Spotting or bleeding during early pregnancy can be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy where the fertilized egg attaches to someplace outside of the uterus. It is also sometimes called a tubal pregnancy if it attaches to one of the fallopian tubes. If you experience bleeding or spotting accompanied by abdominal pain or dizziness, you could be having an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy can be an emergency situation. If you experience sharp pain or bleeding seek emergency care.


About twenty to thirty percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. A miscarriage may start off with light spotting or bleeding. Other signs of miscarriage include cramping, bleeding and loss of pregnancy symptoms. Keep in mind that many women have spotting during pregnancy and do not go on to miscarry. About fifty percent of women who experience spotting during early pregnancy go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

Implantation Bleeding

Spotting during pregnancy may be caused by implantation. Implantation bleeding occurs after the egg burrows into the lining of the uterus. As the egg implants into the lining sometimes a little bit of bleeding will occur. This bleeding may be noticed at the time of implantation or a few days later as brown spotting.

Spotting After Sex

Blood supply to the cervix is much higher during pregnancy. Sometimes having sex can irritate the cervix and cause slight bleeding afterwards. You should talk to your doctor or midwife any time you have spotting but make sure to let them know if you had intercourse before the spotting occurred. You may be advised to abstain from intercourse during your first trimester if you are having spotting.

Spotting After An Internal Exam

Frequently women will have slight spotting after an internal exam or pap smear. This is generally nothing to worry about. If the spotting continues or turns to bleeding contact your doctor or midwife.

Other Causes

Sometimes spotting occurs and there is just not a clear answer as to why. You may be advised to abstain from heavy lifting, exercising or to stay off your feet if you have had spotting during your first trimester.