Spotting is one of the earliest and most common early signs of pregnancy. Basically, it involves a slight discharge of blood from the vagina. This is caused by the fertilized egg attaching itself to your uterine wall. In many cases, you will experience cramping at the same time.
As you may well guess, many women mistake this slight spotting and cramping for the start of their period. Spotting can occur anywhere from six to twelve days from the time you conceive. Assuming you conceived during your ovulation window (as nearly all women do), spotting may occur very close to the time you were expecting your period anyway. Most women who experience cramps as an early pregnancy symptom claim that they feel a lot like menstrual cramps.
Spotting can be scary for those who think they are pregnant. This is largely because it can be mistaken for a miscarriage. Generally, spotting is not anything to worry about in the early stages of pregnancy. If you know you are pregnant, and spotting becomes heavy, or if you are still spotting well into your pregnancy, you will want to seek your health care provider’s advice.
If you are trying to become pregnant and you notice spotting accompanied with cramps and it isn’t followed by your regular period, it may be time to go out and buy an early pregnancy test. If the test comes back positive, or if you notice other early pregnancy symptoms, you should quickly follow your home test up with a trip to the doctor for confirmation and to begin prenatal care.
Spotting and cramping are only one of several early pregnancy symptoms. Other signs that you might be pregnant include:
- Vaginal discharge. This milky white discharge is harmless, and can continue throughout pregnancy. If it burns or itches, let your doctor know.
- Changes in your breasts. Many women’s breasts become tender. Generally, breasts will begin to swell as they prepare to make milk for the baby. Some women notice their bras are uncomfortable.
- Fatigue and Morning Sickness. Most women experience morning sickness or fatigue in their first trimester. Morning sickness typically starts around week six, though it can start earlier. Fatigue is sometimes the first noticeable symptom a woman feels after she has conceived.