Close Close
Mother and Baby

Fertility Health A-Z: Spotting

Spotting blood or light bleeding spikes fear into any pregnant woman who experiences it. Here’s what you need to know...

What is it?

It’s light bleeding from the vagina that’s triggered by hormones controlling your menstrual cycle. While it might sound scary, especially during pregnancy, it’s quite common during the first trimester. ‘If you’ve experienced spotting within the first few months of getting pregnant, don’t panic,’ says independent midwife Virginia Howes of Kent Midwifery Practice. ‘Most of the time spotting is usually harmless.’ Generally, in pregnancy the change in hormones stop you having a period. But, for the first month or so, the hormones may have not changed enough to stop a bit of bleeding.

What are the symptoms?

It’s similar to getting your period, but tends to be lighter and lasts for a shorter period of time. ‘You’ll notice some blood from your vagina around the time your period is due,’ says Virginia. This usually goes on for a few days for most women, but can last longer. Spotting tends to be much lighter than bleeding caused by other complications.

What can you do?

Firstly, don’t stress about it too much. Spotting won’t harm your baby and should stop on its own. But even if you think it’s harmless, it’s important to get it checked out in case it’s a sign of a more serious issue. During your doctor’s appointment, your practitioner may examine the inside your vagina. He may also suggest a blood and urine test or an ultrasound scan to eliminate any other causes of bleeding such as an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

See your GP...

Spotting usually goes away by itself. ‘But whether you experience light, medium or heavy bleeding, it’s important to contact your midwife and let him/her know,’ says Virginia. You may only need a quick examination, or you could be referred – either way, they’ll be able to advise you on your next step. You could also contact your local early pregnancy assessment clinic. 

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Subscribe to Mother&Baby!

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Win £1,000 of Carpetright vouchers
Win £1,000-worth of Carpetright vouchers!

Create a fantasy world on your floor with your baby for your chance to win £1,000-worth of Carpetright vouchers!

Win an Abeille cellular blanket from Hippychick
Win an Abeille cellular blanket from Hippychick

Abeille Cellular Blankets, available fromHippychick, are delectably soft, made from 100% cotton and now available in six super-stylish colours. Click for your chance to win!

Win a year’s supply of Blueiron liquid iron supplement
Win a year’s supply of Blueiron liquid iron supplement

Blueiron is Scandinavia’s fastest-growing liquid iron supplement and has already helped thousands of women low in iron during pregnancy, breastfeeding and those with intense fitness regimes. Click for your chance to win!

Win a bumper box of Kiddylicious Super Snacks
Win a bumper box of Kiddylicious Super Snacks

Made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas, and packed with vegetable protein, Kiddylicious Super Snacks help to keep your little ones whizzing about. Click for your chance to win!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator

Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.

Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.