What is Spotting? And what are the causes of it?

Get the facts about spotting: we answer your questions and tell you all you need to know about spotting or bleeding between periods. Light spotting can be common in women who worry about having a red or brown discharge in between their normal menstrual bleeding. Do women need to be worried about spotting? This kind of spotting or vaginal bleeding can be perfectly normal or indicate more serious problems. It can be a symptom of ovulation spotting, or early pregnancy, or a side effect of being on the contraceptive pill. On the other hand, spotting or abnormal vaginal bleeding can be a symptom of sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or it can be a symptom of serious conditions like endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, or cervical cancer.

Is spotting common in women? Once a month most women of childbearing age experience the natural process of her periods, or menstrual bleeding that lasts from 3- 8 days. But some women experience unexpected spotting, or bleeding, at other times in the menstrual cycle. What causes spotting or bleeding before or after a period?

Light spotting often happens in a woman’s menstrual cycle, sometimes happening around ovulation, or with breakthrough bleeding in the first few months of using the pill.  But vaginal bleeding between periods is not usually a normal part of the menstrual cycle and there are many possible causes that need to be checked out. Let’s find out what spotting really is, and if you need to be worried.

Before moving on to our main topic, there are a few things you need to know about spotting.

  •       Firstly, there are three types of spotting: light, medium, and heavy. If there is light bleeding at the beginning of your period, then it is not considered to be spotting.
  •       Secondly, if you suspect unexplained spotting, you should talk to your doctor.
  •    Thirdly, spotting can be a side effect of your hormonal contraceptive, especially in the first three months of taking it.


What is Spotting?

If there is an unexpected bleeding when not on period or before period, then it is considered as spotting. Or we can say, a small amount of blood that you can notice outside of your menstrual period cycle, that remains for one or two days at the start or end of periods is known as spotting. It is actually vaginal bleeding not period, so there might be many reasons for it.

girl in wuka period pants - spotting
girl wearing wuka period pants from the front - spotting

Reasons for Spotting

Spotting after the period or before period usually comes from the upper and lower reproductive tract (uterus, cervix). It is totally different from the menstrual periodic cycle.

    Hormonal Contraception

    The most common reason for spotting is the side effect of hormonal contraception. Yes, if you have recently started a new birth control method, you can face spotting but there is nothing worried about it as it will go away after a few months. However, if there is unscheduled  light bleeding between periods, then might be you need to change your pills. If there is continued spotting, then it is most common with the Hormonal IUD and Mini-Pill. More

      You are about to become pregnant

      Many times in your married life, throughout pregnancy you may notice spotting, and if this is for the first time, then it is harmless and can even happen before you know that you are going to be a mother.

      However, about a week after ovulation, when the egg is fertilized, it then implants into the uterus. The overall process can cause a little bleeding, or we can say a little spotting.

      You have an STI

      If both chlamydia and gonorrhea left untreated, then the infection can easily move up to the reproductive organs and can be the reason for the vaginal bleeding. Due to this, you can also become a victim of PID, an inflammatory disease, which can do damage to the fallopian tube and disturb the fertility process.

        Growths on your ovaries, cervix or uterus

        There are different types of non-cancerous growths which include, ovarian cysts, cervical polyps, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps that some women can easily develop. However, heavy bleeding is not so common with ovarian cysts, but again many women may spot it. Similarly, cervical polyps are the most common in the women that are over 20 or who have had kids. If there is bleeding from any of these growths, then it is common but the best is to visit your doctor and so that he can do some tests.

            Ovulation Issues

            Spotting can also be occurred due to the ovulation issues for a few people. The reason that contributes to it is the rapid drop in estrogen level after ovulation. However, it is still confusing why some women victim to this ovulation experience while some not. So, the answer is; many women have higher levels of hormones overall than others, so it’s natural.

            While on other hands, if spotting starts before the periods, in the late luteal phase, might be your progesterone level is low.

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