Spotting Early in Pregnancy

    Spotting especially if asociated with pain can be the first sign of an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the uterus. If your doctor has already diagnosed that your pregnancy is inside the uterus, then the spotting cannot come from an ectopic pregnancy.

    Sometimes the spotting is accompanied by mild low back pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The endometrium, the uterine lining, builds up a thick bed of blood vessels and as the "blastocyst," the fetus, implants, some blood is normally released from the uterine wall. Brown discharge with no pain is less likely associated with a miscarriage, while spotting and heavy red blood is typically how a miscarriage begins. The fact that the spotting is brown or pink is a more reassuring sign.

    For many women it can be reassuring to see or hear a fetal heartbeat and to make sure the fetus is growing as expected. Unfortunately, there is no specifictreatment to prevent an early miscarriage and with spotting it’s often difficult to predict whether you are going to have a miscarriage or whether it’s normal. Despite the fact that bedrest is sometimes recommended for early spotting, no well controlled studies have confirmed its usefulness.

    Warning signs of a miscarriage:

    • Heavy bleeding, like a period or more
    • Increase in pain and/or fever
    • Passage of clots or tissue

    Bleeding after the 14th-16th week can be more of a problem. Call your doctor immediately if you experience bleeding in the 2nd and 3rd trimester.