Why am I bleeding before my period is due?

Is spotting before my period normal?

Spotting before your period is usually harmless and doesn’t last more than 1 to 2 days. However, one out of 10 women experience spotting before their period. If you notice spotting lasting longer than four days, it would be time to talk to your medical doctor. Tracking your cycle via an app or writing it down will help you determine what to expect during your menstrual cycle and what is normal. Spotting before your period can happen for a wide variety of reasons. 

Spotting before your period usually happens two days before your period. Spotting will be lighter than an average period and should not be heavy enough to need the use of a tampon. Spotting occurs when the lining of your uterus sheds slightly and stops instead of shedding the lining uniformly. 

Common reasons for spotting before a period

Ovulation

Halfway through your cycle every month, it is not uncommon to notice spotting. This spotting is due to ovulation. Ovulation is when the ovaries release an egg. It then travels down the fallopian tubes into the uterus. Sometimes this may cause spotting and other symptoms, such as breast tenderness, bloating, and increased cervical discharge. In addition, some women may feel pain on the left or right side of their lower abdomen during ovulation. A heating patch may help reduce ovulation pain. 

Hormonal changes

Estrogen and progesterone are the essential hormones that play a part in regulating your cycle. During the first half of your cycle, Estrogen causes the lining of your uterus to thicken to prepare for a fertilized egg. Progesterone prepares your uterus for pregnancy during the second half of your cycle.. If conception does not occur, then both estrogen and progesterone levels drop. Sometimes, the hormone levels are not at the proper levels and cause an imbalance. These imbalances can cause spotting in between periods. 

Stress

Stress and anxiety have an impact on your cycle. Some women may notice they experience spotting between periods, delayed periods, or even skipped ones. This is relatively common when you are under high amounts of stress. Fortunately, getting your period back on track with stress reduction is fairly easy. 

Uterine fibroids

Although heavy and prolonged periods are one of the most common symptoms with Uterine fibroids, spotting is also a symptom. Uterine Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow in and on the uterus. Depending on the location of the fibroids, it can cause spotting in between periods. Uterine fibroids are relatively common; about 3 in 4 women will develop them in their lifetime. 

Endometriosis

Only about 10 percent of women who are childbearing age are affected by endometriosis. Endometriosis happens  when tissue that normally lines your uterus during your cycle starts to grow in other places outside your uterus. Endometriosis can cause prolonged periods or spotting in between periods. 

UTIs

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria entering your urinary tract, causing inflammation and infection. Someone with a  UTI will notice a burning while peeing, frequency of needing to use the restroom, and spotting. This spotting is not similar to breakthrough bleeding between your period because it comes from the urinary tract. You may notice blood in the toilet after urinating or see blood on the toilet paper. If you notice blood in your urine, it is essential to contact your doctor for treatment. 

Birth control pills

Many women find taking birth control pills helps regulate their period and makes it more predictable. However, when you first start taking birth control pills, your body goes through an adjustment of hormones which may cause spotting, which is best known as “breakthrough bleeding.” When starting birth control pills, spotting  is usually harmless and will resolve after a few weeks to a few months. This breakthrough bleeding does not indicate something wrong with the pill or that it is not working. Instead, it simply indicates that your body is adjusting to the hormones. 

However, if you have been on birth control pills for over three months and miss a pill, you may notice some spotting. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what to do if you miss a pill. Spotting could be a sign of pregnancy if you don’t follow the correct pill schedule for your prescription.

STIs

Certain Sexually Transmitted diseases can cause symptoms such as spotting between periods. The most common STI’s that cause bleeding is Chlamydia. Breakthrough bleeding may be light or as heavy as a standard period. If left untreated, Chlamydia can damage your reproductive system. However, 95% of women who develop Chlamydia don’t often experience any side effects, so it is important to get tested for STI’s regularly if you are sexually active.

Pregnancy

Spotting during pregnancy can occur for many reasons. However, heavy bleeding is a cause for concern. Spotting during early pregnancy is commonly referred to as “implantation bleeding.” Implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall inside the uterus. Spotting can also occur during hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. Finally, spotting may also be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg grows in places other than the uterus. This commonly happens in the fallopian tubes. If you experience pain and spotting during pregnancy, please reach out to your medical doctor for an appointment. 

Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the transition prior to menopause which can last up to 10 years. Women are considered to reach menopause when she goes a year without having a period. During perimenopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone start to fluctuate and increase and decrease unevenly. Most women at this stage may begin to notice menopause symptoms such as hot and cold flashes. They may also see changes in their period cycles. They may have spotting and longer or shorter periods as well.

When to see a doctor

If you are pregnant and notice spotting, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. Spotting between periods is generally harmless, but it is important to reach out to your doctor if you are spotting and experience: 

  • Bleeding that occurs more often than once a month 
  • You’re pregnant
  • Pain in your lower abdomen 
  • Heavy bleeding that is similar to a regular flow period
  • You missed two or more birth control pills 

Tips for managing spotting

  • Take your birth control pill at the same time every day 
  • Reduce stress
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep every night
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Wear leak proof underwear

Leak Proof Underwear from Proof

Spotting in between your periods sometimes comes when we least expect it. With leakproof underwear, you are always prepared for any surprise that comes your way. It replaces the need for a panty liner and is perfect for all-day wear. Leakproof everyday underwear is available in various absorbencies to ensure you get the perfect protection when you need it most. The “super-light absorbency” is seamless for invisible protection under clothes. It can hold up to 1 light tampon or panty liner. Leakproof underwear is perfect if you experience bladder leaks or spotting. 

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