Spotting During Pregnancy: The 1st Trimester 30

I remember the first time I experienced spotting during pregnancy. My heart dropped and my mind automatically jumped to the conclusion I was miscarrying, but spotting during pregnancy is actually quite common. In fact, around 20 percent of women experience it during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.spotting during pregnancy

Note: If you are not sure if you are pregnant, and curious if what you are seeing is your period, implantation bleeding, or pregnancy spotting, you may find my post on what looks like a period while pregnant more helpful. This post is more aimed at spotting after a confirmed pregnancy in the first trimester. Bleeding during pregnancy in later trimesters is covered here.

Common causes of spotting during pregnancy:

Cervical changes: During pregnancy the cervix becomes soft and blood flow is increased. This can make your cervix more prone to minor damage. Things such as sex, dilation or position checks, PAP smears, and even excessive physical activity which may have triggered small contractions can cause spotting during pregnancy. You should always mention any bleeding to your care provider, but know that short term spotting is not often a cause for concern, especially if it was just once and after an activity that may have affected your cervix.

Infection: Infections that may cause inflammation to the cervix or vaginal canal can also cause spotting during pregnancy. These may include common infections during pregnancy include yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Spotting accompanied by foul smelling discharge, itching, skin rashes or warts may be a good tip off this is what you’re dealing with, though not all infections present with symptoms.

Sub chronic hematoma: A sub chronic hematoma is a pocket of blood or blood clot within the uterine wall. This cause of spotting during pregnancy might sound a bit scary, but in most cases sub chronic hematomas are minor and resolve on their own. Bleeding from a hematoma may be as light as spotting or heavy with clots depending on severity. Ultrasound is often used to confirm and determine that severity.

Ectopic pregnancy: Sadly, there are a few causes of spotting during pregnancy that are bad news. Ectopic pregnancy, where the baby has implanted somewhere outside of the uterus such as the fallopian tube, is one of those causes. Ectopic pregnancy can cause long-term fertility issues and even be life threatening, so the earlier it is discovered the better. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy in addition to spotting may include severe cramping, abdominal pain, light headedness and a pregnancy test that is positive, then negative.

Molar Pregnancy: Keeping up with those bad news causes of spotting during pregnancy, molar pregnancy occurs when tissue (a tumor) begins to grow within the uterine wall causing a positive pregnancy test. Molar pregnancies are rare and caused by chromosomal abnormalities within the fertilized egg. In addition to spotting, symptoms may include severe nausea or vomiting, high blood pressure, measuring large (rapid uterine growth), passing of cysts, and occasionally pelvic pain or pressure.

Miscarriage: Finally, spotting during pregnancy can indeed be caused by miscarriage, whether missed or impending. Keep in mind that in almost all cases, nothing was done to cause or can be done to prevent early miscarriage. The most common cause is chromosomal abnormality.

Bleeding anytime in pregnancy is always scary, and we here at Life with Gremlins sincerely hope our info on the subject helps ease your mind. If you have any questions or just need to vent, we welcome comments and concerns and do our best to respond within 24 to 48 hours.

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30 thoughts on “Spotting During Pregnancy: The 1st Trimester

  • Perla Camacho

    7 weeks and 3 days.
    Friday after walking home from the doctors I stained pinkish/orange on the toilet paper. Coming from a miscarriage I freaked out and I’ve been laying down w my feet elevated. Today I stained again.. same color same amount. I called the nurse help line and they only suggested to go to the er. Any advice?

    • unwirklich admin

      Did you have a vaginal examination at the doctor’s visit? Sometimes that can cause some spotting, the blood flow to your vaginal walls and cervix is greatly increased and can be damaged far easier at this time.

  • Katrina

    I’m not for or not if I’m pregnant but I’m so confused it’s unbelievable. Okay so for the last couple weeks I had been feel like I’m pregnant from the Tender Breast to the Cramps Ect . I also noticed this Faint line coming down from my right Breast to my navel & also the dark line from my navel down to my pelvic it seems like it’s getting darker (Really can’t tell) . I end up taking 3test all 3 came back negative so went to the doctor also came back negative. So I decided to wait until it was time for my cycle , Well my cycle was suppose to come on the 9th of this month in stead it came 3 days earlier not only did it come 3 days earlier it was a very bright reddish orange color, at first it was only when I whipped but then as the hrs went by it got a little heavier coming out a little faster than normal . The cramps got worse && I threw up a couple times as well had to take IBUPROFEN to calm the pain also lost the tenderness in my breast as I was bleeding. On the 3rd day the day my period was suppose to start is when the bleeding stopped not only did it stop but after it stopped is when I notice a really light pinkish color discharge coming out only when I whip the discharge was not think at all only lasted a couple mins then went brown . Today is the 11tg & I feel as though the tenderness is coming back & im more bloated now than I was couple days ago . Line from navel to navel still appears to look dark & I can still see the faint line coming down my stomach. No cramps at the moment but I do feel them here & there . Am I pregnant ? Should I take another test ? I’m so confused on what’s happening.

    • unwirklich admin

      For your symptoms to be pregnancy related, you would have had to become pregnant at least 5 weeks ago, likely longer for things like the line of nigra to be showing up. Given that, along with bleeding and negative tests, my guess is you’re looking at some form of hormonal imbalance outside of pregnancy. Light periods, nausea, bloating, breast pain…I’d bet progesterone related, but you’d need testing to confirm that. Often hormonal shifts like these are a result of lifestyle or dietary changes and resolve themselves over time.

  • Aica

    Hi. Can someone help me? Cause i’m two months pregnant but now I had my period and at first it’s like i’m urinating but after a few minutes it’s slowly decreased until now.I’m just a little bit worried about having this period.I’m actually vomiting every other morning or night, always get tired,loss my appetite and my naped is aching.His it normal for me of having this??? It’s my very first time of being a pregnant and I hope you can read this.thanks…

    • unwirklich admin

      There are many causes of bleeding in pregnancy, but of course, miscarriage is also a concern. I’d recommend speaking with your care provider as all bleeding should be reported.

  • Jorden Hickerson

    I’m about 7, almost 8 weeks pregnant. I’ve taken 4 tests and they are all positive. But, today, I had a light spotting only when I wipe. Any idea of what could be happening?

    • unwirklich admin

      It could be the start of an early loss or it could be just some normal early pregnancy bleeding. I would wait until any bleeding has stopped, then retest, if it’s still positive let your care provider know you had some spotting.

  • Ashley

    I’ve had a positive pregnancy test. I had some spotting a few days before my period which must’ve been implantation bleeding. Then I stopped and a few days later (a few days after I was supposed to start) I had done more spotting but very light and I had thought maybe my period was starting but when it didn’t start a couple days later I took a test and it was positive 🙂 however every couple days I have very light spotting that only happens when I wipe. Also a creamy yellow non smelling discharge. It tends to dissipate by late afternoon and only shows up early morning/afternoon. I find this so strange that it tends to come on like clockwork and stops. I am fighting a horrible cold as well that makes me cough more at night. I’m setting my doctor in 2.5 weeks but I’m wondering if I should just go in early to make sure everything is ok. I’ve also taken another pregnancy test because I was worried I maybe having a miscarriage but it was still positive. I’m only 5 weeks and 2 days and have spotted pretty much every day but 3 since I’ve been pregnant. I’m wondering if anyone has experienced this?

  • Tiauntaye

    My period came 5 days early this month from the day my period tracker said it was suppose to. The next day there was nothing, only when I wipe. So I have been basically spotting on & off since last week Tuesday. This week Tuesday there was a spot in my panties like last week Tuesday. This week Tuesday was the day my period was suppose to come on. It’s very light. It looks like my period is going off other than coming on. I made an appointment w/my doctor. I just want some feedback on why it would be doing that. Now again there is nothing on my pad. I only see something when I wipe. It’s a brownish color. I took a pregnancy last week & this week. Both came out negative.

    • unwirklich admin

      To me this just sounds like an early, light period. The occasional off cycle is nothing to worry about. Perhaps your doctor can offer more insight though.

  • Kay

    Hi i had sex with my boyfriend on September 10 and 11. We didnt use a condom because we didnt expect that to happen but things led to things and we ended up losing our virginity. Im 16 and hes 17 (we know its an awful thing to do at such a young age and an idiotic thing at that but we truly didnt know it would happen) we kept checking for pre cum because although things werent meant to happen i was still paranoid because the biggest thing was there was no condom so we constantly kept checking for precum and there was none. He didnt finish in me, he had to finish himself by touching himself for about 10 seconds AFTER he went out of me. Im normally due on the 13th of the month so these occurences were just DAYS before my period. Im now 3 days late. But ive been stressing about school like it would kill me. Im in 11th grade where many tests and college opportunities are underway and the classes are worrying me with every bad grade i get. I have essays and tests day after day to the point where i have to just go to bed because im so tired after field hockey games. Ive been staying up nights late, and last night i stayed up until 12:30 doing schoolwork. I also play field hockey where im constantly running for at least 2 hours a day. Ive been stressing about me missing 3 days and i really REALLY would appreciate if someone could help me. Ive had cramps only a few intense ones, my discharge is white and dry with little chunk like things and kind of pasty?, my cervix is high,open and wet, no nasueous feelings, not tired than usual, no constant trips to the bathroom, no breast tenderness, slight constipation but barely, but i do have allergies, mood swings but minor, no implantation bleeding.

    • unwirklich admin

      It’s normal to have some variance at your age as your hormones are still in flux, and 3 days is well within normal even for an adult. I see you also commented on our chances of pregnancy page, so you may already know this, but your chances days before your period are quite low, because an egg has to be present for conception to occur, and late in your cycle the egg is usually long gone. The only way you could be pregnant, was if you ovulated very late. I’d be willing to bet you’ll see a period soon, but in the future, keep in mind that precum is thin and clear, unlike semen, and would be very difficult to see with cervical mucus from intercourse already present. Some form of reliable birth control is always a good idea. 🙂

      • Annonymous

        So im now a week late but i took a pregnancy test yesterday and it was a solid line for negative. It was the first response test. Im stressing soo much Im not sure if im just delaying my period because i think im pregnant or i really an pregnant? I have no signs of pregnancy other than my late period. But my period used to be on the 25 or around there so im not sure.. I think that its delaying because of school just starting again, stress, sports, and i had allergies last week? But im not sure What do you think? Do you think i should stop stressing or should i be worried?

    • unwirklich admin

      Possibly, but vomiting can be caused by many things, even just a common virus. When in doubt, a pregnancy test is the easiest answer. If they symptoms are pregnancy related, a test should be accurate.

  • Unsure222


    My cycle had been regulating and I was at 32 days last month. This month I was at 53 days but hadn’t taken a pregnancy test. I had sex and started noticing some spotting. Now I’m fairly certain I just got my period, but it’s so late so am not quite positive. I am reading that I shouldn’t use tampons if I was/am pregnant, but don’t know what to do. If I take a pregnancy test, will I know for sure?

    • unwirklich admin

      At 53 days, yes a pregnancy test would be accurate. If your cycles are irregular you may not be ovulating, which would explain the very long cycle. If you mean they were regular at 32 days though, then pregnancy seems a solid possibility.

  • Pss089

    Hi I would say I’m about 4-5 weeks , I got three positives about 3 days ago. I have not had an ob appointment yet to confirm. But anyways like I said I got three positives about three days ago, last night I had some minor spotting and just brushed it off being caused by being intimate earlier since everything is much more sensitive right now. But this morning I woke up and its no longer spotting but I would say it’s more like a light/moderate flow. I have no cramps or pain and sorry if tmi but it’s appears to be a bright reddish orangish color! I’m not sure what is going on? My appointment is not until next wed should I be concerned about a chemical pregnancy or a miscarriage? Any and all help/ advice will be much appreciated thanks!

    • unwirklich admin

      It could be a miscarriage, yes, it could also be break through bleeding. If it’s a loss, your tests would go negative fairly quickly. Sadly, if that’s the case there’s nothing that can be done, but many women experience early pregnancy bleeding and go on to have perfectly healthy babies.

  • Stella

    Hi. I’m so much confused about my situation. I have a regular 28 days cycle. My last menstrual period was on Feb 8. Me n my husband planned to have a kid so we had sex on between Feb 18th 27th. After missed
    My period on the 5th day(yesterday)I have a dark brown watery (not having tissue like or clot) like a periods and the flow is not too light n not too heavier. Today also I’m having that. Instead of that having head aches slightly itching on my breasts n I have a feel like I’m pregnant. Before I missed my period I had all the symptoms of pregnancy. Yesterday I took pregnancy test and it’s negative. I didn’t took PT before that. Please tell that I’m pregnant or this is my regular period. Thanks for ur support.

    • unwirklich admin

      At 5 days late you should have gotten an accurate result, but if you ovulated late you may have tested too early, however, it’s also possible you’re just having a light period.

  • Lilly Sturm

    I am eight weeks pregnant with my first baby. I have seen some light spotting but today there was a little more and some light period-like cramps. Today would be the first day of my cycle if I hadn’t fallen pregnant. Could this be an explanation? Where I live no scans are offered before week ten, so I am trying to decide if I need to see someone as a case of emergency or if I can wait. Thanks for any advice!!

    • unwirklich admin

      It could be whats called break through bleeding, this is where progesterone (the hormone that maintains the uterine lining) is low so some light spotting occurs, but not a full period. It is actually pretty common, but any bleeding in pregnancy should be reported to your prenatal car provider.

    • unwirklich admin

      It’s probably nothing if its just faint spotting with no pain, maybe even just some cervical bleeding (it becomes ultra-senstive in pregnancy) but any bleeding should be reported to your care provider, because without a physical evaluation, no one can tell you if its okay.

  • Maddiee

    I usually start my period around the 23-25. This month I started on the 20th. On the 20th my period was super light, the 21st it was heavy, and now it’s the 22nd and there’s no blood just very light brown spotting, and it’s basically over. My husband and I do have unprotected sex pretty often but I don’t keep track. Can I possibly be pregnant?

    • unwirklich admin

      Possibly yes. In the majority of cases you don’t get bleeding while pregnant, but in some circumstances, most commonly at the time where the first period should have been after conception, it does happen.