Spotting During Pregnancy: Which Kinds Are Normal?

An expectant mother has every right to be worried even about the most trivial things: light pricking in her side, nagging pain in her legs, or light bleeding in early pregnancy. It’s understandable because every future mother cares about giving birth to a healthy baby. So, it’s very important to monitor any changes in the condition of a pregnant woman.

Any discomfort or unusual feeling bothers a future mother. Mucous spotting during pregnancy causes such worries very often, and that’s why a woman should know which kinds of vaginal excreta are normal.

Spotting During Pregnancy: Normal Discharge

The hormone progesterone is regulating the functioning of the female reproductive system till the 12th week of pregnancy. It’s responsible for spotting during early pregnancy – experts even see this symptom as a sign of successful conception.

However, since the 13th week of pregnancy, the spotting should become copious and watery because the hormone estrogen has entered its active phase. Such normal watery pregnancy spotting doesn’t have any scent and causes no itching or burning. Its consistency resembles an egg white; its color is usually whitish or clear. Normal spotting during pregnancy must be homogeneous – without any clots, lumps, or flakes. If you experience abundant spotting while pregnant you can use daily liners in order to feel more comfortable. Just make sure you choose panty liners without fragrance. Health professionals also advise not to use tampons during pregnancy.


However, spotting during pregnancy may change in color. It’s happening due to various urogenital infections, hormonal changes, uterine cervix disorders, and other negative factors. Such vaginal excreta require immediate attention

White Spotting During Pregnancy

When spotting during pregnancy acquires strong white color, unpleasant acidic smell, and clotted consistency it’s an indication of candidiasis or thrush. If the manifestations of thrush are pronounced (unbearable itching, the burning pain in the genital area) your gynecologist may prescribe a course of antifungals.

White spotting during pregnancy is, in some cases, a sign of bacterial vaginosis. This syndrome causes clear watery discharge similar to yeast but with an unpleasant smell. If you’ve noticed such spotting while pregnant, consult a doctor because these diseases increase the risk of premature birth.

Bleeding During Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is really dangerous for an expectant mother and her baby when it’s accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen. If the bleeding has occurred in early pregnancy such excreta usually indicate the risk of a miscarriage or are a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. Visit your doctor – they’ll do everything possible to ensure you keep the baby.

Sometimes you can notice light bleeding in the second trimester of pregnancy, but such cases are extremely rare. The bleeding becomes heavier after sudden movements or intense physical exertion. During the third trimester, there is a risk of placenta previa or placental tear. When this is the issue the bleeding becomes too heavy and the pregnant woman must be immediately hospitalized.


Cervical erosion can also cause spotting during pregnancy. Sometimes there is some light bleeding, and sometimes the excreta are yellow or brown. Anyway, you’ll need a medical examination.

Brown Spotting During Pregnancy

Brown spotting during pregnancy should be regarded as equivalent to bleeding. It can occur in early or late pregnancy stages but, unlike bright red bleeding, brown smearing is not always a sign of danger.

A bit of brown spotting on the 6th-12th day after conception can be noticed because the embryo implants into the uterine wall – it’s the so-called “implantation bleeding” which, frankly speaking, doesn’t look like bleeding at all. It’s usually just one drop of blood in the normal vaginal discharge.

During the last weeks of pregnancy, there can be some mucous brown spotting when the mucous plug is passing. It’s completely normal as well, but you’d better remain on guard: such spotting is the harbinger of labor.

You should be worried only when the brown spotting during pregnancy is accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen or lower back as well as other unpleasant symptoms, such as acidic smell, itching in the genital area, or frequent urination.


Yellow Spotting During Pregnancy

Yellow spotting during pregnancy is also a bad sign. As a rule, normal vaginal excreta can have a yellowish or cream tint. The clotted spotting caused by thrush is sometimes yellow as well. But bright yellow, green, or grayish pregnancy spotting is an indication of a bacterial infection developing in the urinary tract. Such excreta have an unpleasant putrid smell and are accompanied by other symptoms of urinary tract infections: dragging pains in the lower back and abdomen, frequent and/or painful urination, itching, burning sensations, high body temperature, etc.

If yellow spotting during pregnancy has a foul odor and there are other symptoms of infection the woman should consult a gynecologist as soon as possible and have her swab tested for microflora. All genital infections should be treated immediately during this period! Remember: only a high-qualified medical expert is able to choose an effective and safe for a future mother course of treatment.

In general, vaginal spotting is a normal physiological process, and spotting during pregnancy in this sense is no exception. Nevertheless, you’d better consult a doctor once again, even if the excreta turn out to be normal, in order to avoid unwanted complications that can affect the baby.

Besides, don’t forget about the simple hygiene of the external genitalia. You should use a pH-neutral or hypoallergenic soap and abstain from applying cleaning sprays to the area. Don’t wear tight pants or underwear!