Spotting during Pregnancy

Updated at: Apr 17, 2015
Spotting during Pregnancy

Spotting during pregnancy is usually due to implantation, i.e. when placenta attaches to the uterus. Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy is considered normal but not so in the second and third trimester.

Vatsal Anand
PregnancyWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Aug 30, 2011

Woman using creamLight bleeding from the vagina is called spotting. It is common for women to have spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you find yourself fearing the blood in such situations, know the reason for it and that will make you realise the action that needs to be taken. At times, due to twin pregnancy or some other factors, the spotting experienced by women can be more than usual. No need to raise an alarm as these may be due to some perfectly normal causes.


Some natural and normal causes of spotting during pregnancy are:

  • Implantation – Spotting due to implantation bleeding occurs when fertilised egg gets attached to the uterus. Spotting occurs after first 2 weeks of implantation. This is a very common type of bleeding and can last for a few hours up to few days.
  • Physical exertion – Any sort of physical exertion such as climbing stairs, lifting a heavy object, prolonged standing or strenuous exercise can cause spotting in women. In pregnancy, the risk of spotting due to such strain is all the more likely. It may be possible when a woman undertakes physical without feeling pregnancy symptoms, and this accentuates spotting.
  • Mucus Plug – Spotting caused by mucus discharge, also known as mucus plug means labour is not far. Mucus plug can occur a few weeks before pregnancy or just before the onset of labour.
  • Miscarriage – Cramps, lower back pain and blood clots with heavy bleeding indicates spotting.

At times the reason for spotting is mistaken. The most common is mistaking implantation bleeding for regular menstrual bleeding. It is common because implantation spotting usually occurs around the time of menstrual bleeding, i.e. 5 to 12 days after conceiving. The former is light and does not cause any problems and neither does it last long

While spotting during the first trimester is normal, those that occur in the second and third trimester do pose some cause for concern. Both mother and the foetus could be adversely affected by such bleeding. Problems of the placenta are often the cause of bleeding in the second half of pregnancy. Painful bleeding can be the indication of placenta detaching from uterus, painless bleeding is often caused by a condition called placental previa, and watery discharge is a sign of early labour.


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