Spotting During Pregnancy - Questions and Answers

Even though you may know that spotting can occur in viable pregnancies and may not mean anything is wrong, it's normal to worry about miscarriage. Light vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy can occur for a variety of reasons, and here is some helpful information to help you understand pregnancy spotting and why it happens.

What is Spotting?

The term "spotting" means very light vaginal bleeding during pregnancy or between periods. Spotting is usually light and brown, although heavy spotting can be red. A woman who is spotting might need only a panty liner rather than menstrual supplies to control the flow.

Spotting can be a symptom of impending miscarriage but can also happen in a normal pregnancy. Sexual intercourse in pregnancy may cause spotting, as might a vaginal exam or other irritation to the cervix, but this bleeding would stop.

Any woman experiencing spotting should call her doctor if she is concerned.

What Causes Spotting?

Miscarriage is just one possible cause of spotting; light bleeding in pregnancy can have a number of other explanations.

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What Does Spotting Looks Like?

Generally, the term spotting is used for very light bleeding at any point in pregnancy, which is usually of a small quantity and lasts for a short duration of time.

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Does Spotting Mean Miscarriage?

Spotting can be a sign of miscarriage, but, as stated above, it can also occur for other reasons.

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Is It Implantation Bleeding?

Implantation bleeding may occur very early in the pregnancy, around the time that you would otherwise expect your menstrual period, but the quantity would usually be minimal and bleeding would not last a long time.

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What Should I Do If I Am Spotting and Worried?

If the bleeding is very minimal, you can usually wait and see what happens and then mention the matter to your doctor at your next prenatal appointment, but if you're concerned, you can call your doctor for tests to rule out miscarriage.

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