Brown Spotting During Pregnancy

Brown spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy is a completely normal phenomenon. Many women experience this during the first 3-6 weeks of pregnancy, without any negative effect. Normal brown spotting will often last around 2-3 days and should not be a heavy flow. The color will typically be a brown hue, but may also be pink or red. Normal spotting should be relatively odorless or mild smelling; it should not have a strong or noticeable smell.

Miscarriage and Brown Spotting During Pregnancy

If this spotting is accompanied by dangerous symptoms - such as pelvic cramping or discharge of large blood clots - then you may have experienced a miscarriage. It is estimated that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, with more than 500,000 miscarried pregnancies experienced each year in the US. These statistics make pregnant women very fearful of this brown spotting. Around 20-25% of women will experience some form of bleeding during their pregnancy; 10-12% of women will experience a miscarriage and 10-12 % will have healthy pregnancies. If your brown discharge is accompanied with pain or blood clots, contact your doctor immediately as these symptoms could signify the start of a miscarriage.

Experience From Other Pregnant Women

In this section we will relay stories from women who have experienced brown spotting during pregnancy.

  • I am spotting in the 9th week of my pregnancy. The spotting started brown in color, but later developed into a red color with clots. I was very worried about this because this was my first pregnancy, so I had no previous experience. I went to the doctor and he said that everything was fine. A ruptured capillary apparently caused it. He also said that you should only be worried if the blood is soaking a pad in just an hour.
  • I am 8 weeks along in my pregnancy and I experienced spotting in my 5-6 week. It was brown in color and I had no cramps or pain. I went to the doctor and she told me that it was the result of my uterus expanding. She also said that one out of every three women she sees experience similar spotting.
  • When I was at 10 weeks I experienced spotting. This was brown, thin, and with no visible clots. I was quite worried about the blood, so I went to see my doctor. She did an ultrasound and told me the baby was moving and had a good heart beat. She told me that the brown blood was okay; it was just old blood.
  • I am currently 6 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Earlier today I went to the doctor for a regular check up, and while there I started to spot. This spotting was red in color. I was very worried about this due to the color, so I went to have an ultrasound. The baby was healthy and had a strong heartbeat. My mind is now at ease.
  • I am approximately 5 weeks pregnant and have begun experiencing brown spotting. I panicked when I saw it, as this is my first pregnancy and I am an older woman. The spotting is accompanied with stomach cramps that feel like premenstrual cramping. I am going to see my doctor tomorrow so hopefully everything is okay.
  • I am 8 weeks along in my pregnancy and have been experiencing brown spotting for the last 5 days. I went to the doctor and she told me that it was completely normal to have brown spotting during the early months of pregnancy. Cramps or clots have not accompanied the brown spotting, which is a really good sign.
  • I am 4 weeks pregnant and have begun to spot brown blood. This spotting ranges in color, from dark brown to very light brown. This spotting caused me to become extremely stressed out and worried. I went to the doctor and he told me that it was only old blood and the baby looked fine.

When Should You Visit the Doctor?

If your spotting is heavy with blood clots and accompanied by pain, contact your doctor immediately. You should also seek medical attention if pain lasts more than a couple of days.