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What Does Pregnancy Spotting Look Like?

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Updated June 06, 2014

Question: What Does Pregnancy Spotting Look Like?

The term "spotting" is commonly used for very light vaginal bleeding. Spotting can occur both in viable pregnancies as well as in those that will go on to miscarry.

Answer:

Generally, the discharge that causes spotting is brown in color and has a slightly gummy or stringy texture (because the discharge consists of a few drops of dried blood mixed with cervical mucus). The discharge may also be pink.

If you are experiencing spotting in pregnancy, try not to panic -- spotting can have a number of causes, many of which are not miscarriage. If the spotting stops after a day or two, it is probably nothing to worry about, although it may be worth mentioning to your doctor. If the spotting gets heavier and begins to resemble a menstrual flow, there may be cause for concern and you should call your doctor for a checkup and diagnostic tests.

Sources

American Pregnancy Association, "Bleeding During Pregnancy." Aug 2007. Accessed 20 Jun 2008.

Mayo Clinic, "Bleeding During Pregnancy: What It Happens, What to Do". Mayo Clinic Health Information May 2007. Accessed 20 Jun 2008 at CNN.com

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