Sometimes spotting is harmless, but sometimes it's a sign of something more serious. Here is some advice from women who've been there - and some of their firsthand experiences, too.
Don't panic! First find out what's going on with your body.
- Go test your hcg levels, even if it means going to the ER. I just had a miscarriage in January (1st pregnancy) and I just found out I'm pregnant again (4 months later) about a week and a half ago. Well, 4 days ago I had some brown discharge. I freaked out and went to the doctor. He tested my hormones, looked at me, said it wasn't blood - he just called it brown stuff. He told me I would have to wait and see what my hcg levels were. Today, being that I've been worried and I didn't feel like waiting till Wednesday (which is 4 more days from now) I went to the ER and they tested my levels of hcg. I've gone from 111 last Saturday to 3488 this Sunday, so my baby is growing strong. My girl friend told me that with 1 out of her 3 pregnancies she had the brown discharge too, and her daughter is beautiful. So my suggestion to any of you who are worried is: go test your levels even if it means going behind your doctors' back to the ER. It's your baby and its your piece of mind that is at stake.
- It's common to have brown discharge and it isn't necessarily a sign of a problem with the pregnancy. Here's my story: I started spotting (light brown discharge) last Wednesday. It isn't heavy, only saw it sometimes (three times a day if that, otherwise normal clear discharge) when I wiped, did have extremely sore breasts and was extremely moody as well as feeling hungry all the time. I was planning to go to a scan on Tuesday, because I had had a miscarriage only 2-3 months ago at 5weeks 3 days. The doctor indicated that this was the same; I'm seven weeks, done 4 pregnancy tests and come out positive with a very strong line each time. Was feeling sick - probably due to being nervous (it had been 5 days, though before this started I did have a yellow/darkish discharge for about 2 days before - the nurse said it was due to hormonal changes. I didn't know if this was spotting). Well, it turned out to be ok. I had an internal scan done and they found a heartbeat and everything was fine with the baby - well, as much as they could tell as this stage. It is incredibly common to have a brown discharge, it is just due to hormones - my discharge comes out all funny (different shades of yellow). But the bottom line is, as long as there is no pain or severe cramping, it's considered to be ok.
- Spotting brown blood is an indication of old, dry blood that is for some reason in the cervix. The most common reason is if you have sexual intercourse and irritation of the cervix causes a little tear. Not enough that it comes flowing out, but like when you urinate or you wipe, you might see it on the tissue. Unless you are passing bright red blood and clots, brown spotting is pretty harmless.
- Brown spotting is perfectly normal in early pregnancy. One reason for this type of spotting is called implantation bleeding. This occurs approx. 2 weeks after conception and 4 weeks since your last menstrual period. Another reason this could be happening is your body could be releasing old blood. Neither of these reasons are cause for concern.
Some women's experiences of spotting and miscarriage:
- Coming to terms with a miscarriage... I was 5 weeks pregnant when I noticed a tiny bit of brown spotting. I had been exercising when I noticed it and figured that caused it. Over the next week and 1/2 I noticed that I didn't have a lot of pregnancy symptoms. I did have tender breasts but that was it, no morning sickness or aversions to food. One week and a half later I noticed more brown spotting and went to the hospital. The ultrasound showed that my fetus was only 5 weeks in size and that my hcg levels were low for 7 weeks. I was sure about the dates and knew that I was experiencing a miscarriage. The brown spotting turned into red and brown blood over the next few hours. That night, I woke up with absolutely terrible cramps which were actually contractions. I have been bleeding for three days and am trying to come to terms with the idea that I am no longer pregnant.
- Even if it's bad news, it's good to know about it ASAP.Spotting brown blood seamed to be normal. I am around what I thought was 11wks pregnant with my first child. I noticed some spotting last night it kept changing from red to brown. However, I am feeling no pain, no cramps, nothing out of the norm! I went to the emergency room and they can't find my baby's heartbeat. They are preparing me for a miscarriage. I have to go back on Wednesday to check and see what my hormone count is. Right now I'm at 14 thousand. If by Wednesday two days from now it has not increased to 28 thousand, then I am losing the baby. So brown spotting can be a bad sign - go get checked ASAP.
Here is more advice and input from others:
- I had brown spotting when I was pregnant this year, it was a sign of early miscarriage. Last year, I didn't have a brown spotting when I was two months pregnant but I had another miscarriage. Some women can have implantation bleeding during pregnancy, which is normal. But brown spotting, I doubt it. I don't know.
- I am spotting brownish/pinkish fluid and had my scan yesterday. I am six weeks and they saw the heartbeat, but they still see some implantation blood in my uterus, which they said is what is probably coming out. Even though this is common, it was explained to me that there is always that threat that whenever blood is coming down the fetus may be affected/may abort...but there is really NOTHING that can be done about this. When the blood turns reddish/clotty that is cause to worry.
- I spotted brown early in my pregnancy, 2 weeks after ovulation. I had abdominal pain located on my right side, I had tender breasts. I had an ectopic pregnancy (in my fallopian tube), it might be normal, but can also be a sign something is wrong, speak to your doc, and don't take any bull***t either, get a scan arranged, the sooner the better!
- I started to have brown blood and long brown clots at 7 weeks. This is definitely a sign of a miscarriage, as I found out. If there is just a little bit of blood red or brown then you have nothing to fear.
- I had a miscarriage before this pregnancy so when I noticed brown spotting when I wiped at around 7 weeks I was nervous. I had had sex the day before and was wondering if that could have started it. I went to the hospital and they did an ultrasound and they saw the baby's heartbeat and said that everything appeared to be fine. I continued to notice spotting whenever I used the bathroom for about 5 days and then it just stopped. It was always brown in color and just mixed with a little discharge. The doctors did say that there was no way the could say for sure that this was not a threatened miscarriage. But seeing the baby's heart beat was a good sign and as long as it was just spotting and brown it was most likely implantation bleeding. I had went to the hospital though because I am O negative and wanted to get the Rhgam shot since I didn't know whose blood this was - mine or the baby's. If you are O neg or aren't sure what your blood type is it is VERY important to tell a medical professional if you have bleeding or experience a situation in which some of the baby's blood could have mixed with yours. After delivery they should give you a shot of Rhgam if the baby's blood type is anything other than O neg. So, I am now 16 weeks pregnant and I've seen the baby, heard it's heartbeat, felt it move and I am confident that everything is going to be okay. I do understand the fear of miscarriage and that should be treated as a valid worry. Just get medical attention and trust your instincts. I've been told some crazy things with this baby as well as when I was pregnant with my daughter and luckily you have the right to a second opinion. Doctors are human too and they can make errors. I also believe that your mind has power over your body to some extent and that the baby is intuned to that. I was always such a negative fearful person but with this baby I have tried to believe in the positive. You can and will have a healthy and successful pregnancy. If you notice warning signs or have concerns address them and seek help until you feel you've received appropriate help.
- I am 10 weeks pregnant and have been spotting brown blood on and off for about a month now. I have a weekly internal ultrasound and everything looks good. The baby's heart is beating and she is moving around. The doctor told me not to worry unless there is bright red blood with lots of cramping... this might indicate a miscarriage. The doctor also said that my placenta looks healthy and can't explain were the blood is coming from. He indicated that I should have a healthy pregnancy with brown spotting.
- I am 11 weeks' pregnant and have spotted brown for the past six weeks. In addition, I had heavy bleeding and a huge clot (we thought I had lost the baby). However, when the ultrasound was performed the baby's heart was beating - that was two weeks ago. During this time I had no cramping/pain whatsoever. Subsequent ultrasounds have shown some bleeding in the uterus and I suspect that this is why the spotting is still occurring. I am still working and doing the usual things but in moderation. I really think that this is an individual thing and that end results vary. I do agree that with spotting or heavy bleeding and pain, we should call our doctor immediately. One should however not get overly stressed out or panicky at the sight of blood because we put our bodies under added stress which is not good for mommy or baby.
- Before I found out I was pregnant I had some brown spotting. This is my first pregnancy and wasn't quite sure what to think. I did some research after I found out that I was pregnant and found that this is common during early pregnancy.
- Before I became pregnant, my monthly cycles for years had intermittent reddish-brown spotting many days before my period. Four months before I became pregnant, I began to drink organic raspberry tea (from Whole Foods) twice a day on advise from herbalist that said that raspberry tea strengthens the uterus tissue/muscles. Two months before conception, I notice that my spotting had significantly dropped. Now, I am in my 15th week of pregnancy, and I am drinking the tea twice a day or more. Since conception, I have only had the spotting three times, not counting the bright red "implantation" bleeding that occurred too. I hope this is encouraging.
- I had a lot of brown and red spotting with my first pregnancy. At first, I was diagnosed as a miscarriage (based on falling HCG levels) but it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and I lost my right fallopian tube at six weeks. Three months later, I was delighted to find out that I was pregnant again and at six weeks began very, very light brown spotting. In a panic, I called the doctor and had an ultrasound, which showed that the sac is in the uterus this time and everything looks fine. Both the doctor and u/s tech told me that early brown spotting is completely normal. So, make sure to call your doctor and check up on any spotting, but it doesn't necessarily mean that there's a problem!
- When I was pregnant 6 months ago I experienced a lot of spotting (fairly heavy), after 10 weeks of being very ill and finally collapsing, I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and had emergency surgery. Before finally collapsing, I had been sent home from the emergency room (suspected miscarriage) and from our local clinic 3 times (they thought I was worrying too much!). I am 6 weeks pregnant again and have been cramping with some light brown spotting. Suspecting another ectopic I was rushed to the emergency room (they take it more seriously after the last time!). Fortunately, they found the pregnancy to be intra-uterine and with a heartbeat. I am still spotting and cramping but there is not much we can do but wait and see. The doctors cannot find any reason for the spotting so it remains a mystery.
- I am 8 weeks pregnant at the moment and last week i was admitted to hospital with brown spotting (more like a brown heavy discharge). I was given an internal scan and much to my relief they found the baby's heartbeat and told me everything was fine and that i had nothing to worry about. They cant give any explanation. I am still spotting a week later but again-nothing to worry about. I would advise if you get this to contact your GP asap - prob is nothing to worry about but you can make yourself ill worrying. Its only natural!
- My friend had brown spotting while pregnant, and she was told it was normal. She continued a normal healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Today I started to have brown spotting when I wiped and I totally freaked out and called the hospital. They told me not to worry, and brown spotting usually has no effect on the pregnancy.
- Unfortunately I was right in suspecting a miscarriage when I began some brown spotting 4 days ago. It has progressed into further and heavier bleeding and there's no question, I'm miscarrying as I write this message.
- I have had brownish discharge off and on for about the last 4 weeks, but nothing heavy just real light enough to notice. But this is my 4th pregnancy no miscarriages, so I ask and they say it is normal, when I went for my examine she said my cervix was very sensitive and was bleeding this would cause the brown color with discharge as it was healing, not sure what happen with my cervix. But I have had no cramping or pain at all.
- I am 7 weeks pregnant and went to the doctor yesterday for "brown spotting". As soon as I told the doctor my symptoms (cramping and brown spotting)he had me come in right away. He did an internal and confirmed that there was spotting (although I could have just confirmed that to him) and he sent me for an ultrasound (both external and internal) this morning. According to the person that performed the ultrasound everything is fine (so far). When I was at the doctor's office he gave me a little explanation about any bleeding during pregnancy and it was this: Out of 100 pregnancies 80% are without any issues and about 20% are "active" (meaning bleeding brown, red, pink, cramping) out of that 20%, 80% of those women go on to have a healthy baby but the other 20% lead to a miscarriage. If you are having any spotting no matter what color go to your doctor. It may not be anything but you should have it looked at.
- I am eight weeks and have had very slight brown spotting for the past week. Had intercourse the day before this all started. Talked to my gyno twice about it and was reassured both times that semen can cause irritation to your cervix early on in pregnancy. Your cervix has numerous blood vessels in it and if one happens to burst can cause light bleeding for no more than 48hours and then will turn to brown spotting which is just "old blood." This old blood can take a while to come out of you. Can be different for every person. As long as there are no clots or cramping not to worry.
- Last week, at 6 wks 2 days, I began spotting brown. It's light, only noticed when I wipe, but very worrisome. I went to the doc's that day had a pelvic exam (looked okay), blood work (also ok) and an ultrasound which didn't look okay. My embryo looked too small for 6 weeks, so I am having a second ultrasound tomorrow, to check for any growth. Perhaps my conception date is off, my last period was 33 days... However, I am still spotting, have no morning sickness and breasts seem smaller. My gut feeling is not good. It's been torture. I totally feel for all of you and hope that no one else has to go through what I have this week. Still, please hope for the best for us. My mood swings have been something else, hopefully hormone related and I'll get back to normal. This is my first pregnancy so I am not sure what to expect.
- I have been spotting/staining brown for 6 days. Just went to the OBGYN and had an ultrasound. I saw a heartbeat. The doctor told me to just ignore it that it's normal, not to worry. If it turns to blood or clots then it's time to go to the hospital or call your doctor. I miscarried in Nov 2005 and got pregnant immediately. I was scared to death I was miscarrying again but it's fine. My Mom, my friend and my aunt all spotted during their first trimester and all had healthy babies.
- I was also worried about the brown spotting when I had it yesterday. I am in 6W 4D. Today when I went to the Doc they sent me for an emergency scan and in the scan they saw the heartbeat. And everything seemed normal in the scan. There wasn't any collection of blood inside. But the Doc asked me to rest for a week since they consider spotting as a threatening case.
- I started spotting brown (at times pink) for 11 days now.tho it has never been enough2fill a pantyliner (mostly upon wiping) im extremely worried 4 the fact that ive already suffered 3 miscarriages (none which passed 4 wks) one that just recently happened in Nov. 05. i got pregnant very quickly in January. The difference between my recent miscarriage and my pregnancy now is that i had no nausea,just tender breast n cramping,on top of that,just a gut feeling that it wasn't gonna turn out right.i started bleeding red a lil, then more n more as each day passed.as of now,i have nausea,very swollen breast,fatigue, n i truly feel good about this pregnancy despite the worries over the spotting.2day i had n ultrasound n im 6 wks! This makes me very happy cuz i never passed4 wks in my other pregnancies,so i think this is a good sign.n just for the record,ive never had brown spotting when i had the miscarriages. im tryin2keep my head up and fingers crossed. good luck2every1 who is experiencing wut im goin thru.
- I was pregnant last year and beginning around 7 weeks, I started bleeding bright red blood and had some cramps. I thought for sure I miscarried. I called my doctor and she guessed that I might be right but said I would need to have an ultrasound done. They found a heartbeat and everything appeared normal. I went to a high-risk doctor and he guessed that it might have been my fibroid tumor that caused the bleeding. I bled very heavily for about a week. Then it stopped. About a week and a half later, I bled again, exactly like before. This off and on bleeding continued throughout my entire 1st trimester and every single time, they would do an ultrasound and found everything was okay with the baby. I ended up delivering the baby perfectly and she is completely healthy. So, not all bright red, heavy bleeding leads to a miscarriage! However, I'm pregnant again this year, and am only 6 weeks into it. I started brown bleeding with cramping a couple days ago. It was definitely more than spotting, enough that wearing a pad was necessary, but not very heavy. I had blood drawn to measure my HCG level a couple days ago, and had it drawn again today so they can see if the count doubled in 48 hours. If so, then they will assume everything is still okay. If not, then I'm probably going to miscarry if I haven't already. I call the lab tomorrow morning to find the result. I'm surprised they didn't do an ultrasound but they thought it was too early in the pregnancy to try and detect a heartbeat. I'm seeing a different doctor's office with this pregnancy because of insurance reasons. Anyway, I'm hoping it's just a result of my fibroid tumor again and that everything will be okay. I had a pap and trans vaginal ultrasound a week ago at 6 weeks and one day. Two days later I began spotting (dark brown) and experiencing mild cramping. This went on for about 5 days until I had thoroughly convinced myself that I was having a miscarriage and began mourning the loss of my baby. I made an appointment with my ob to confirm what I was already sure of. Upon examination I was told that my cervix was still tightly closed and that there was no active bleeding. Even better was my baby's heartbeat on an ultrasound! I was told that this kind of spotting is completely normal after a vaginal exam.