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The last thing women who are newly pregnant want to see is vaginal spotting. Women who do notice spotting are likely to wonder whether that points to a miscarriage immediately. But, while pregnancy spotting can be a miscarriage symptom, it doesn't have to be so. Here is a list of other possible causes of pregnancy spotting, besides an impending miscarriage.

  • An irritated cervix, caused by pregnancy hormones and often induced by sexual intercourse, is a very common cause of pregnancy spotting. If this happens to you, refrain from sex until you talk to your doctor about it. Normally, this is completely harmless though.
  • Women who have cervical polyps may see a growth of them during the first trimester of pregnancy (because of higher estrogen levels). This can also cause pregnancy spotting.
  • It sometimes happens that old blood or even clots leave the uterus, causing spotting. It is important to identify whether you are losing fetal tissue or just random clotted blood if this happens, so keeping what you lose and taking it to your healthcare provider will be a good idea.
  • Some women actually have regular "menstrual periods" during their pregnancy! Weird, but true. Keep in mind that these are not real periods, and that bleeding like that may indicate a problem, or a threatened miscarriage.
  • If you notice spotting before or on the date of your expected period, this could be an implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding is caused by the fertilized egg implanting into the lining of the uterus, and is not harmful. Around a third of newly pregnant women have an implantation bleeding.

If your bleeding increases on volume and you are worried, and especially if you have other miscarriage symptoms like abdominal cramping and pain, we advise you to contact your doctor immediately. Another alternative is heading to the ER. Even if your spotting is caused by one of the things above, you probably want to know that everything is OK.

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