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Spotting as a Sign of Pregnancy: Why Does It Happen?

    Spotting as a Sign of Pregnancy: Why Does It Happen?

    Spotting as a sign of pregnancy and one of the signs of implantation bleeding is common knowledge among a lot of people. But what exactly is the reason that this happens, and are there any other symptoms that moms-to-be need to be aware of?

    Spotting as a sign of pregnancy: Why it happens

    First off, what exactly is spotting? Spotting refers to light bleeding from the vagina that happens outside your normal period.

    The reason why spotting happens as a sign of pregnancy is because of implantation bleeding. Once fertilization happens, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube where it will “implant” itself in the uterus.

    The process takes about a week, and when it happens, implantation bleeding can occur. This usually manifests in spotting or light bleeding from the vagina.

    Not all pregnant women experience spotting, but it is one common sign that you are pregnant.

    It is important to note that implantation bleeding is not the only cause of spotting. Some women experience what’s known as “ovulation spotting” or spotting that happens during their ovulation cycle. Additionally, some forms of birth control can also trigger spotting in between a woman’s menstrual cycle.

    This is why when you’re looking for signs of implantation bleeding, it is important to not simply focus on spotting. There are also other signs that let you know if you might be pregnant.

    When is the Right Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?

    What are the signs of implantation bleeding?

    Here are some of the other signs and symptoms of implantation bleeding:

    Light cramps

    Some women might feel light cramps at the start of their pregnancy. These are similar to the cramps that women feel during their menstrual cycle, but they are not as severe or painful as regular period cramps.

    However, some women can experience severe cramps in cases where there is an ectopic pregnancy. If you think that you are pregnant and you’re having painful cramps, it would be best to talk to your doctor about it.


    Another sign of implantation bleeding is headaches. These are most common during the start of pregnancy and has something to do with the hormonal changes happening in the woman’s body.

    Headaches can also happen because of increased blood volume as the body gets ready for pregnancy.

    Morning sickness

    Nausea, especially in the morning, is a well-known symptom of pregnancy. Despite its name, pregnant women can also experience this during the afternoon or in the evening.

    It can happen very early on in the pregnancy, or sometimes it doesn’t even happen at all. It really varies from woman to woman.

    There are situations wherein morning sickness can become too much, and a pregnant woman might lose her appetite entirely. This is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and women experiencing this should seek their doctor’s advice since they need to eat and stay healthy during their pregnancy.

    spotting as a sign of pregnancy

    Mood swings

    Another symptom of implantation bleeding is mood swings. Mood swings happen because of the hormonal changes that a woman’s body goes through to prepare her for pregnancy. This means that some women might feel irritable, anxious, or even depressed at the start of their pregnancy.

    Usually, this can go away over time. However, if it goes on for too long, or if feelings of anxiety or depression get worse, then it might be a good idea to seek professional help and talk to a doctor about it.

    Missed period

    Aside from spotting as a sign of pregnancy, another telltale sign is a missed period. This is the most distinct sign of pregnancy because it means that your body stops ovulating and is getting ready for pregnancy.

    It’s also much easier to notice for women who have regular menstrual cycles. On the other hand, a missed period might not be the best pregnancy sign to look for if your menstrual cycle is irregular.

    Though, certain things such as stress and hormonal imbalance can also cause a missed period.

    Key Takeaways

    While spotting and other symptoms of early pregnancy can give you a clue if you’re pregnant or not, these methods are not always reliable. If you really want to be sure if you’re pregnant or not, the best way would be to take a pregnancy test.

    Additionally, if you experience severe bleeding or unusual pregnancy symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

    Learn more about Pregnancy and Gettig Pregnant here.


    Due Date Calculator

    Use this calculator to find your due date. This is just an estimate – not a guarantee! Most women, but not all, will deliver their babies within a week before or after this date range.

    Cycle Length

    28 days

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Implantation bleeding vs. period | What should you look for? How long does it last, and when does it occur | Mother&Baby, https://www.motherandbaby.co.uk/pregnancy-and-birth/the-difference-between-implantation-bleeding-and-a-period, Accessed December 2, 2020 Am I Pregnant? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy & When To Test, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant#:~:text=Less%20common%20signs%20of%20early%20pregnancy%20can%20include%3A,place%20several%20days%20after%20conception., Accessed December 2, 2020 Implantation bleeding: Normal in early pregnancy? - Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/implantation-bleeding/faq-20058257#:~:text=Implantation%20bleeding%20%E2%80%94%20typically%20defined%20as,the%20lining%20of%20the%20uterus., Accessed December 2, 2020 What is Implantation Bleeding? :: American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-symptoms/what-is-implantation-bleeding-24176/, Accessed December 2, 2020 Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy - NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/, Accessed December 2, 2020 Spotting During Pregnancy: American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-concerns/spotting-during-pregnancy-5374/, Accessed December 2, 2020
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    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Mar 22, 2021
    Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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