Brown Spotting

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am about 13 weeks pregnant (with my second child) and did not know it until about the 9th week.

I have had an ultrasound and asked my midwife on my last visit about spotting. I have had some brown colored spotting on a couple of occasions. Nothing major, just some on the toilet tissue. I had absolutely no spotting during my last pregnancy and I haven't had any pain or discomfort.

Since the ultrasound appeared normal, my midwife didn't seem concerned.

I have read on this site that the spotting could be a sign of miscarriage during the first trimester, but is this still true now that I am entering the 2nd trimester?

ANSWER

It is much more likely that you have broken tiny capillaries on the cervix, possibly during intercourse, but it can happen with just normal everyday life also. There is a little bleed, and then the blood dries and turns brown. Eventually, it works its way out of the vagina. As long as the ultrasound is normal and you don't see bright red bleeding, I agree with the midwife that this is nothing to worry about.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.