What Does Spotting Look Like

What does spotting look like in early pregnancy, on the pill, on toilet paper, on a pad, on a tampon, when I wipe, or even between periods?

These are common situations in which  bleeding or spotting could occur.

What is spotting?

Spotting is a light vaginal bleeding that is not the same as your menstrual period.

Spotting is lighter or scanty than your regular period and it could be light pink or dark red in color.

There are many reasons why vaginal spotting occurs. Some of the common causes of spotting but no period are implantation bleeding, birth control pills, perimenopause, ovulation spotting and cervical cancer,PCOS, endometriosis and so on.

What Does Pregnancy Spotting Look Like and How long does it last?

Early pregnancy spotting is known as implantation bleeding or implantation spotting.

Here are the main characteristics of spotting during implantation.


Pregnancy spotting is usual light pinkish spots of blood or dark red spots of blood. Dark brown blood means the blood is a bit old before leaving the uterus.


Early pregnancy spotting occurs around the same time you are expecting your normal period.

Although some women will continue to have a light bleeding through out the first trimester.

Any bleeding during pregnancy should be reported to your doctor immediately.​


Implantation spotting usually last for 2hrs to 48 hours. Spotting on and off for more than two days may be a sign of a serious underlaying condition.


Implantation spotting is not heavy and should not soak your pad or tampon.

It is a very light bleeding that most women notice only when they wipe themselves. It should not contain any blood clots as well.

Other symptoms of pregnancy before a missed period are:

  • Nausea
  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Frequent Urination
  • Lower abdominal cramps
  • Food Aversion or craving
  • Sore breast and breast tenderness
  • Excessive milky white discharge
  • Spotting before period

Pictures of Spotting in early pregnancy

What Does it look like on a pad

What It Looks Like on a Tampon

What It Looks Like on a Toilet Paper

This is what it should look like when you wipe yourself with a tissue or toilet paper

When does Spotting Occur

Implantation bleeding or spotting occurs when the embryo attaches itself to the walls of the lining of the uterus around 6-12 days after implantation.

It occurs in the week 3-4 of pregnancy. This is why most women think their period is about to start when they notice very light spots of blood.​

Although some women spot in the first, second an third trimester. It is important that you let your health care provider know of any spotting or bleeding in pregnancy.

It may be nothing to worry about or it may be an early sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. ​

What Does It look like if you may be pregnant

If you are pregnant, the spotting that you are likely to experience in early pregnancy is implantation bleeding. And it is a very light blood that is shed when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the walls of the uterus lining.

It is light pink or dark brown in color.​ It is not as heavy as your normal period and it doesn't last 3-7 days as your normal period.

If you had unprotected sex during ovulation and you are spotting before period. You may be pregnant.

What Does Spotting During Pregnancy Look Like

Bleeding or spotting during pregnancy can be scary and alarming.

Especially when you are in your second trimester and it feels worse in third trimester.​

Spotting during pregnancy is light pink or brown. While bleeding is a bright red color that signifies fresh blood.

Difference between menstrual period and spotting

Period blood is a normal vaginal bleeding that occurs every month as part of the menstrual cycle.

Spotting is a lighter than your normal menstrual period.  And it often occurs between period.


When To Worry

You should be worried about spotting if:

  • You have a positive pregnancy test result and you are spotting or bleeding​
  • You are cramping or have abdominal pain
  • You are in your second trimester or in the third trimester
  • You are in menopause

Any time spotting is caused by other condition than implantation bleeding, see a doctor immediately.

Related Read

What Does Implantation bleeding Look Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.