Spotting before Period

image001Spotting refers to light bleeding that typically occurs between 10-15 days before the beginning of a new menstrual cycle. This can occur for a variety of reasons and most women experience spotting at some point. Spotting can be embarrassing or uncomfortable which can promote women to seek out an explanation for this occurrence, particularly if it has never happened before. In most cases, light spotting is not a cause for concern, but if it occurs constantly or is accompanied by other symptoms, it may indicate an underlying condition.

Causes of Spotting before Period

The menstrual cycle lasts approximately 28 days with the period occurring for 4-7 days at the end of the cycle. It is not uncommon for the cycle to be longer or shorter than this time period and your period can last for up to 8 days. Vaginal bleeding that occurs after your period but before the next menstrual cycle is referred to as spotting. Spotting may be very light, leaving just a faint hint of pink on the toilet paper or in your underwear but it can also include droplets of blood or a flow that is heavy enough to resemble your regular period. There are some possible causes of this symptom.




In the first days of pregnancy spotting is a sign that the fetus has attached to the uterine wall. This may occur before you realize that you are pregnant. At the end of pregnancy spotting may occur as the mucus plug loosens as the body prepares for labor.


Spotting may occur as the body makes its transition to not having regular periods. During menopause spotting should not occur as your body is no longer experiencing a regular menstrual cycle. If vaginal bleeding after menopause occurs you should be investigated by a medical professional immediately.


Most women are not aware when their body begins to ovulate, but some women experience spotting caused by the estrogen increase in the body that occurs during this time. This estrogen increase will eventually lead to the expulsion of the uterine lining resulting in the period.


In some cases spotting before you have missed a period can be a sign that you have miscarried. Miscarriages often include symptoms such as lower backaches, pelvic pain or cramping in the abdomen.


Endometriosis is caused by an abnormal growth in the uterine tissue. When progesterone and estrogen levels drop the growths may bleed, giving the appearance of spotting.

Uterus Fibroids

Fibroids are a harmless, benign outgrowth of the uterine wall. These may occasionally rupture, causing spotting before your period.


Uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers often cause spotting. In this case an ultrasound should be performed to check for a growth that could be contributing to the bleeding. Your doctor can then determine if this growth is malignant.

Decreasing Progesterone

Progesterone is necessary for the body to maintain the lining of the uterus. A drop in progesterone levels can cause spotting just before the period which may be pink or light brown in color.

Side Effects of Medication

Blood thinners such as aspirin or ibuprofen may cause spotting before the menstrual cycle. During this time the body has high levels of hypothyroidism and insulin due to the hormonal imbalance which can increase your risk of spotting.

Oral Contraceptives

Vaginal discharge and spotting is very common for women that are using hormonal birth control injections, pills or Intra Uterine Devices. Some women will also experience spotting when they stop using these birth control options.


Stress can cause fluctuations in your hormone levels, causing a brownish discharge to appear before your period.

Other Causes

Some conditions including varicose veins, cervical polyps, genital warts, infection of the vaginal canal, ulcers, injury or dysplasia can cause spotting.

Home Remedies for Spotting before Period

While spotting may not be a sign that there is a medical problem, it can be an inconvenience or annoyance. If you would like to control this spotting there are several options you can use.

Home Remedy


Take Prescribed Birth Control Pills

Missing doses of birth control pills will frequently cause spotting or alter your menstrual cycle. Be sure to take your birth control pills every day around the same time as prescribed to avoid this side effect.

Change Birth Control Methods

Women who use Intra Uterine Devices will frequently experience spotting. Switching to birth control pills can help to eliminate this side effect.

Limit Aspirin Intake

Aspirin is a blood thinner that known to cause bleeding so those that are prone so spotting should avoid using this medication

Get Regular Pap Smears

Taking the time to check for cervical cancer before spotting occurs can help ensure that there is no generous underlying cause to be concerned about. Cervical cancer is most treatable if it is caught early, making a Pap smear a valuable examination.

Keep a Healthy Weight

Obesity increases the risk of uterine cancer, particularly in women who have been through menopause. If you are post-menopausal and experience any type of vaginal bleeding, contact your doctor to have it investigated.

Manage Stress

Stress may alter the menstrual cycle, causing irregular periods or frequent spotting. Practicing meditation, deep breathing, aerobic exercise, yoga or visualization can help to eliminate these symptoms.

Log Menstrual Cycle

Keep track of the days your menstrual cycle starts, finishes and the dates of any spotting in between. Also note how heavy the flow was during your period and whether or not the blood also contained vaginal discharge. This information can help your doctor determine if your spotting is cause for alarm.

When to See a Doctor

The heaviness of your spotting may be more important than the fact that you are experiencing spotting at all. Light spotting is not usually cause for concern, but heavy bleeding that soaks through several menstrual pads in an hour or bleeding that lasts for several hours should be addressed by a medical professional.

Talk to your doctor about any vaginal bleeding that lasts for more than 3 days, light spotting that occurs for 3 menstrual cycles, vaginal bleeding that occurs more than every 3 weeks, bleeding that is very different than your usual menstrual cycle, vaginal bleeding that begins after sex or vaginal bleeding that occurs after menopause.

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