What are the Normal and Abnormal Reasons for Spotting?
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Many women experience spotting at some point during their cycle. Sometimes it comes after the majority of menstrual bleeding is over, sometimes in the middle or days before a period is due. The two times that are most troubling are just before a period of a woman trying to conceive and after a period has already stopped. We receive 100s of emails every month asking about these.
There are times when spotting is perfectly normal, and there are times when spotting is an indication of something wrong, be it minor or major.
Spotting can come in different colors:
- Brown spotting – usually the least of concerns.
- Pink spotting
- Light pink spotting
- Red or dark red spotting – read on. This often means miscarriage is eminent but is not guaranteed
- Tinge of pink spotting
We recommend natural progesterone creams such as Happy PMS Cream and Cycle Balance Cream to be on hand when trying to conceive or when you have short luteal phase, luteal phase defect and a history of miscarriage. Visit our Beyond Fertility Store for more information and to compare products.
The timing of spotting is important also. Below are suggestions of possibilities but is not exhaustive:
- Spotting before a period is due – reasons for spotting before a period can be implantation, from a cyst or a short luteal phase and impaired egg quality
- Spotting in between cycles – this is a difficult term to answer but often means your cycles are growing shorter; often with perimenopause
- Spotting while on birth control pills or depo-provera – this is also called breakthrough bleeding. Often times the shot is wearing off or the pill’s dose is low. Let me say that upping your dose is not a healthy choice; just as the pill is not a healthy choice
- Spotting after ovulation – could be a cyst that has ruptured (usually a good thing) or implantation. Knowing your body best will help you decide which it could be at this point. Read about taking temperatures in Charting Your Fertility. This is helpful to being able to track possible pregnancy. The Fertility Tracker is also exceptional for this as it can spot implantation as well as fertility signs.
- Spotting when pregnant – Though scary it does not have to be. The color is what matters as well as the amount. Light pink, pink and brown spotting is common with implantation. Use our Comments form to ask about your particular situation if you do not find the information here.
- Spotting only when “I” wipe – Read about the different times of spotting to determine when this is a concern or write to us using the Comment Form.
- Spotting from STDs – This is a subject of its own and usually means something more serious. It is best to have a doctor check you out and possibly give you a prescription for anti-biotics.
- Implantation spotting – the scariest for someone TTC and the most welcomed. Implantation spotting is just the little drops of blood that come from the “baby” (fertilized egg) implanting into the wall of the uterus and is a very popular reason for spotting before period. A small release of blood slowly travels down to the opening of the cervix.
- Spotting after a period – Often times the uterus is weak and does not contract strongly enough. This will leave blood on the endometrial lining that will slowly shed even after it seemed menstruation was over.
Can I just say that spotting is rarely comforting; right? Unless you have PCOS and you are hoping for a period it is usually something to wonder about instead of cheer. Do you know there are 10 main reasons for spotting and only some of them are covered here?
How Do You Know if it is Spotting or a Period?
First, let’s define “spotting”. Spotting is when a bit of blood is passed through the vagina. Normally it doesn’t reach the underwear, but rather is swiped with toilet paper after a bowel movement or urination. The blood can be pink-tinged mucus, rusty brown or bright red. Spotting can be a one-time occurrence, or it can last for several hours or even several days. Spotting does NOT define the first day of menstruation. The first day of menstruation should always be considered the first day of actual bleeding. Spotting often does come before a period but it is not your period until you are on your first real day of bleeding.
Are YOU spotting NOW? Don’t run around the web wondering about spotting. Visit our Contact Us page and let us help you more personally with answers about spotting. This allows others to learn from your questions as well. Let’s figure out why YOU are spotting.
Normal spotting is what may occur at the very end of your bleeding days. A day or two of spotting after 3 to 5 days of bleeding is normal, and just the end of the bleeding period. Spotting before your menstruation is common but not ideal. A period ideally should freely flow once started.
Spotting that occurs in the middle of your cycle or spotting that occurs some ten to fourteen days prior to the start of the next cycle is normal too. This spotting may occur during ovulation. Seeing a spot of blood around ovulation is considered an excellent fertility sign. The term is called Mittelschmerz when you have a twinge of pain around the ovary and is often followed by a tiny bit of spotting within a few days. This is not considered spotting before a period since it is really spotting AFTER ovulation.
It is thought that mid-cycle spotting occurs for one of two reasons. First reason is possibly that when the egg bursts through the follicle, and a little bleeding may occur. This blood will then make its way out and show up as spotting. Or, during ovulation, the level of estrogen rises, and this sometimes prompts the uterus to shed a bit of lining, which shows up in the form of spotting.
Spotting that occurs about a week before the cycle is due – and only lasts for less than one day- is possibly considered implantation spotting. This happens as a result of the fertilized egg burrowing into the uterine lining.
Or another reason for seeing implantation spotting may be due to a slight rise in estrogen and drop in progesterone before the corpus luteum takes over the production of progesterone. The corpus luteum takes over the production when the implanted fertilized egg signals the body that pregnancy has occurred and that the lining must be maintained. Keep in mind that spotting that continues for days is not implantation spotting.
“Abnormal” Spotting, spotting in early pregnancy and spotting when a period is due
Abnormal spotting shows up at times other than the above mentioned times. Abnormal spotting lasts for days. It’s abnormal to spot days before your menstrual cycle is due. The causes of abnormal spotting vary.
One common cause of spotting several days before the menstrual cycle is due is low progesterone. It is the hormone progesterone that helps to maintain the uterine lining for pregnancy. When pregnancy occurs the progesterone should keep the lining in place and fluffed up to hold on and nest the new life.
In a cycle without the occurrence of pregnancy, progesterone begins to diminish and and when the progesterone level drops the lining is no longer held in place and the menstrual cycle occurs. In women who are deficient in progesterone, they will see spotting several days to a week before their cycle is due. This can also cause minor infertility and early miscarriage. Both are symptoms of low progesterone.
Spotting from Uterine Fibroids, STDs, Endometriosis and Birth Control Pills
Another reason spotting may occur could be uterine fibroids, which are fairly harmless, but need to be kept an eye on. Fibroids tend to leech blood as they are attached to the uterus. You may feel extremely tired if this is your diagnosis from the iron which become depleted through fibroids.
Endometriosis, birth control pills are a few other reasons spotting may occur. The most harmful reasons for spotting are possible sexually transmitted diseases and some cancers.
It is advisable if you have re-curring spotting each month to have your healthcare provider to exam you, just to rule out possible harmful reasons for it and to help you to deal with and/or cure the reasons behind the spotting.
Read more articles about spotting related to progesterone deficiency, about the progesterone creams we choose and why like Cycle Balance Cream or Happy PMS Cream and get more answers at another site we recommend Reasons for Spotting.
Feel free to contact us through the comment form below this article. (Don’t cheat. Make sure to read the rest of the article before writing; your answer may be below.) We would love to help you. I have had numerous times of spotting in my fertile years; some due to impending miscarriage, sometimes from cysts. I have had placenta previa and low progesterone leading to spotting later in pregnancy. It is what has been learned through these times that Beyond Fertility and InfertilityWorkshop.com have come to be. We have been there many times and understand.
Lastly, click to join our Beyond Fertility discussion group at YahooGroups.com or to ask questions about fertility, beyond fertility and infertility. Tell us how progesterone cream may have helped you, as it has helped 100s of 1000s of women over time, among other things you learned about here at Beyond Fertility.
Make sure you know when you are pregnant. Use the ovulation calculator, calendar, predictor below:
Your results will show here. [ovulation-predictor]
If you find yourself spotting before a period is due and you believe you might be pregnant, don’t take any chances. You should always have best natural progesterone cream on hand when TTC. Visit our Beyond Fertility Shop to purchase progesterone cream, fertility trackers, home pregnancy tests and other items for trying to conceive.
If you like what you read here please help us spread the word by sending a link (https://beyondfertility.com/top-10-reasons-for-spotting/) to your friends and sharing on your favorite forums. Our two progesterone creams are below. We believe every TTC household should at least have pregnancy tests and a great progesterone cream on hand.