Spotting Before Period: 8 Reasons Why?
Signs of spotting are often seen on stained undergarments or toilet paper after using the restroom. Spotting before your period may occur for many reasons. When bleeding or spotting happens outside of your regular period, then it’s defined as abnormal vaginal bleeding. Occasionally, spotting before your period can hint at a serious issue, but it’s usually nothing dangerous to worry about. Many of the causes of spotting are treatable and/or curable. Read on to learn more about your menstrual cycle and reasons you could be spotting.
1. Hormone-based birth control
Whether it’s a pill, patch or injection, hormonal-based birth control can cause spotting within the first three months of use. Medical professionals define this as ‘breakthrough bleeding’. This can be linked to changes in the uterine lining, caused by hormone disruptions stemming from your birth control. Barrier contraceptives like latex condoms aren’t associated with spots.
Skipping pills, or completely stopping the use of birth control pills can cause spotting to occur as well. This is completely normal, and not a red-flag. However, an irregular routine in using oral contraceptives (e.g. birth control pill) can warrant an unplanned pregnancy
2. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise in many areas around the globe. For instance, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause spotting before your periods and after having sexual intercourse. These STI’s can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and draw blood spots by inflaming the uterus.
Symptoms of the pelvic inflammatory disease include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Abnormal bleeding during or after intercourse
- Fever sometimes with chills
- Heavy, foul-smelling vaginal discharge
3. Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the lining of the uterus. The reason behind fibroids causing spotting is not completely known. However, there are many theories on this matter. One theory is that uterine fibroids cause hormones to be over-produced, potentially causing spotting, weeks before your period.
Another theory is that the uterine fibroids cause the lining of the womb to stretch over fibroids. Thus, the veins surrounding the womb become more fragile and more susceptible to leaking.
4. Spotting During Ovulation
During ovulation, a handful of women can secrete a cervical fluid that has blood streaks, or a slight hint of blood. Hormonal changes during ovulation may be responsible for this kind of discharge.
Ovulation happens about 14 days before you notice your period starting. When progressing to ovulation the bodies estrogen levels increase, and you may have noticed some spotting. Tracking vaginal spotting doesn’t give complete information of your hormone levels. The Mira Fertility tracker tracks your actual hormone concentrations and shows your unique hormone curve. Mira provides easy to understand fertility insights based on your unique hormone data, to take the guesswork out of ovulation tracking.
5. Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding happens when a fertilized egg sticks to the inner uterine lining. This can cause blood spots but does not happen to everyone when they do become pregnant.
On the off-chance implantation spotting/bleeding occurs, it usually happens several days prior to your next menstrual bleeding phase. The discharge appears to range from a lighter pink to a muddy brown color. The flow of blood is significantly lighter than a regular period and is much shorter.
Symptoms of implantation bleeding include:
- Mild headaches
- Feeling nauseous
- Rapid mood changes
- Tender breasts
- Lower backache
Implantation bleeding doesn’t endanger your unborn child. If you are certain of your pregnancy and experience a heavy period instead of spots, seek medical advice from a professional.
6. Cervical Cancer
Cancers can be responsible for spotting and other forms of vaginal discharge. This includes various types of cancers in the female reproductive tract.
These types of cancers are more likely to occur in women that have reached menopause but can still happen to younger women. Most of the time your spotting is not due to cancer. Still, consider getting checked out by an OB/GYN, especially if you are over the age of 40.
Cervical cancer can cause vaginal bleeding between periods, even after your menopause stage. Also, cervical cancer can cause brown spotting. Besides spotting, you may also notice irregular discharge. This discharge can smell unpleasant, and look watery or blood tainted.
These are some of the earlier symptoms of cervical cancer. You should get regular pap smears, and let your doctor know about any unusual symptoms to help catch cervical cancer early.
7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) makes the body produce excess levels of the androgen hormone, including testosterone. Also, this causes irregular periods. In some cases, if you have PCOS you may not ovulate regularly or at all. With a lack of regular ovulation, spotting may occur between periods.
Symptoms of PCOS also include:
- Whiteheads (acne)
- Decreased fertility
- Oily skin
- Rapid hair growth
- Rapid weight gain
Think you may have PCOS? Make an appointment with your OB/GYN to get a diagnosis. The symptoms of PCOS are highly treatable and can be solved with medication and changes in lifestyle.
When approaching menopause, your hormone levels shift, and as a result, the lining of your uterus thickens. Perimenopause makes it difficult to guess when your period will start. It can possibly make you experience some spotting along with other symptoms.