Your menstrual cycle shouldn’t start in days or maybe you are done with your monthly cycle – so, why are you spotting? Is it something to be worried about? In most cases, it’s usually harmless. But there are chances it could mean something else altogether.
Spotting is a term that refers to bleeding that is light and occurs when a woman’s period is not expected. Spotting may be fresh red blood loss for a few days or more, or may be a light brownish blood loss lasting less than a day.
Reasons For Spotting Before Your Period
Using contraceptives may alter your hormone levels, which can cause bleeding even though your periods are nowhere around the corner. Spotting is commonly noticed with both hormonal and copper IUDs, especially within the first six months of having one inserted. Spotting may also occur if you’ve just started or stopped taking the birth control pill. Birth control increases estrogen levels to keep the lining of your uterus in place. If birth control is the cause of your spotting, symptoms usually clear up in one to three months. You may notice spotting even if you skipped your birth control pill. Emergency contraceptives can also cause spotting.
Stress affects your entire body and your periods are no exception. Stress can cause your cycle to become irregular and start a vicious cycle of you getting stressed about your irregular period and irregular periods causing stress. It causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol, which causes the body to release less progesterone and estrogen that can mess with your cycle. When your hormone levels are imbalanced, your periods may be irregular, or you may notice spotting before your periods.
3. Beginning Of Periods
When adolescent girls start getting periods, the cycle may be irregular for the first few years. To make matters more confusing, you may experience some spotting in between your irregular periods. This is just your body adapting to the new changes that are going to be an important aspect of your life. If you’ve got your period for the first time, that may be the cause of your spotting, especially if your cycle is irregular.
4. Uterine Fibroids
Sometimes, uterine fibroids may also cause spotting before your periods. If you experiencing symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy bleeding and pain during sex, uterine fibroids may be the cause. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that very commonly occur during your childbearing years. Experts estimate that 70-80 percent of women may have fibroids at some point and there are many treatments available to manage the condition. If you think fibroids may be the cause of your spotting, consult your doctor.
A light spotting may indicate ovulation. Ovulation can also cause some bleeding and cramping. Along with spotting, some women may have pain on one side. When the blood mixes with your cervical fluid, it may cause the discharge to appear pink, red, or brown. If spotting occurs two weeks before your period, then ovulation is the most likely cause. Ovulation spotting is a good sign that indicates that you’re ovulating normally.
Occasionally, an injury can result in spotting. The opening of the uterus or the cervix is sensitive and can bleed if you’re not careful and gentle. Women who are more sensitive than others are more prone to bleeding. Sometimes, aggressive intercourse or a pap test is all it takes to injure the opening of the uterus. This type of injury usually causes brown or red spotting. If the spotting occurs the same day as the injury, it will mostly be red in color, but if the spotting occurs a few days later, the blood may be brown in color.
Spotting before periods may also be caused due to certain infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and bacterial vaginosis. Most infections can be cured by taking antibiotics. Cervicitis is the inflammation or irritation of your cervix. The symptoms are similar to vaginitis, such as vaginal discharge, itching, pain during intercourse, and spotting. Most women with chlamydia may not experience any symptoms and bleeding between periods is one of the least common symptoms for this sexually transmitted infection. If the spotting is because of an infection, consult your doctor immediately.
8. Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems can also cause irregular cycles and spotting in between periods. A slow thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can alter your body temperature and your metabolism. Although it can be serious if left untreated, thyroid issues are easily managed with medication and are quite common.
Even pregnancy can cause spotting before your periods. When fertilized eggs implant themselves into the uterine lining, it results in light bleeding called as implantation bleeding. Pink spotting or discharge may be the first sign of pregnancy. Implantation usually occurs 10-14 days after conception and may be accompanied with slight cramping or pain in addition to the bleeding, which is very light. But, if your spotting continues for a few days or gets heavier in flow, pregnancy is probably not the cause.
It is important that you consult your doctor to ensure that there is no underlying cause for your spotting. Sudden changes to your cycle are an indication that must be analyzed by a qualified specialist and must not be ignored.