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Is Menstrual Spotting Concerning You?

Throughout their lives women can experience spotting or bleeding. Here are some of the common reasons it occurs and when you may need to do something about it.


Spotting refers to vaginal bleeding between your menstrual periods. Almost every woman experiences this common problem at some point in life.

In most cases, you don’t have to worry about spotting a week before period. In rare cases, it can be a sign of a reproductive health problem.

Each month, your body releases different hormones that make your ovary to release an egg at ovulation. The process is followed by buildup of the uterine lining.

Your progesterone levels come down after some time and that makes the uterine lining to slough off, which leads to the menstrual flow.

Some possible reasons for spotting

There can be different explanations if you’ve noticed spotting before period. Here’s a bit more about it.

1. It is implantation spotting

If your period isn’t due for a week or more, but you have still noticed spotting, this could be due to implantation spotting. In this situation, the fertilized egg implants itself on the wall of your uterus. Your uterus has nourishing blood for the growing baby and this blood may be expelled at implantation.

2. You’re experiencing delayed ovulation

In case you ovulate later in your cycle, it may lead to spotting that usually comes with pain in your ovary at ovulation. You will notice a small amount of blood afterwards.

It may also mean you have a small cyst on the surface of your ovary, so your egg breaking through can cause spotting. Strengthening your ovaries will help prevent cysts and prevent spotting a week before period.

3. You have a coil or other IUD

An IUD usually prevents you from getting a period, but you may still notice spotting within the first three to six months of having one inserted. You may notice it even if you’re using copper or hormonal IUD.

At menopause many women do have a coil to deal with heavy bleeding, rather than contraception.

4. The Pill may be behind it

You may notice spotting if you have just started or stopped taking the Pill. This may also happen when you switch from one type of pill to another with less oestrogen. With a change in the level of oestrogen, there will be a change in the lining of your uterus, which may cause spotting.

This spotting usually clears within 1-3 months. Sometimes, missing a dose will also lead to spotting. The best thing is to take your pill as soon as you remember.

Again some women are given the Pill or an implant to help with heavy bleeding so the article above will also be helpful.

5. You’re stressed

Stress can make your body to release the hormone cortisol, which have a direct impact on the level of progesterone and oestrogen in your body – the levels will come down with an increase in cortisol.

6. You have fibroids

You’re more likely to have uterine fibroids when spotting is accompanied by some other symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful periods, and pain during sex.

Research shows that about 70% of women will develop uterine fibroids at some stage in their lives. Fibroids can often be treated with bioidentical natural progesterone to help shrink them, as it is excess oestrogen dominance (excess oestrogen) that is associated wit their growth.

7. You Have Slow/low Thyroid

Low thyroid levels are common at menopause and again associated with oestrogen dominance. This will have a huge impact on how you feel and will also affect your bodily temperature and change your metabolism as well.

You will notice other signs along with spotting, such as quick weigh gain, fatigue, and pain in the front of your neck.

8. Your hormones are unbalanced

Sometimes when using bioidentical hormones women get light spotting or bleeding when their hormones start to rebalance, even when they may not have had period for some time.

This is often due to old, retained, endometrial lining being shed and it seems the body can hold on to this for some time until it can be triggered to release it.

Women with a history of oestrogen dominance and previous heavy periods may experience this as part of their hormones rebalancing. It is healthy to shed this lining as it can pose a health risk.

When to talk to your doctor

In most cases spotting is a temporary matter and not something to worry about. However, it is important to pay attention to how heavy your vaginal bleeding is as that, and these factors, are when you need to check with your doctor:

– Excessive vaginal bleeding that lasts more than three days

– Light spotting that continues for at least three menstrual cycles

– Any vaginal bleeding with a pattern different from the normal for you

– Vaginal bleeding that occurs more frequently than every three weeks

– Heavy bleeding soon after sex

– Vaginal bleeding post menopause