Spotting between periods
Spotting between periods could be very unpleasant and disturbing. Usually vaginal spotting occurs when a small amount of blood (in most cases brown oxidized) passes through the vagina between periods. Sometimes even this vaginal discharge doesn’t reach the underwear, but is swiped with toilet paper after a bowel movement or urination.
Color of vaginal spotting could be different – pink, brown, light brownish, dark pinkish, pink-tinged mucus, rust brown or bright red.
Vaginal spotting can happen once, or it can last for several hours or even several days.
It can appear during medication or contraception and also can appear without any visible reasons.
Spotting between periods and menstrual cycle
Vaginal spotting could appear before menstrual period, during ovulation or after period.
Common cause of spotting few days before menstrual period is low levels of progesterone – main hormone of luteal phase of menstrual cycle. Progesterone participates in uterine lining development. When progesterone levels drop, the menstrual cycle occurs. Progesterone deficiency could be responsible for spotting before period. This situation can affect female fertility and in some cases causes miscarriage.
Spotting after period could occur following menstrual period. One- two days of spotting after normal (3-5 days) of menstruation is normal.
Spotting in the middle of menstrual cycle (usually 14 days before expected menstrual period) is also normal – it could indicate the ovulation day. Many women know exact day of their ovulation thanks to this type of spotting in the middle of menstrual cycle. During ovulation total levels of estrogens (mainly estradiol) rise which is triggering shedding of uterus lining – it shows up as spotting.
Sometimes during irregular periods women could experience also spotting between periods which can be considered as a symptom of hormonal dysfunctions.
Spotting between periods and vaginal infection
Spotting between periods
Brown vaginal spotting between periods can also be a symptom of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or vaginal yeast infection or sexually transmitted diseases (trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes or genital warts).
All mentioned infections usually trigger vaginal or cervical inflammation and irritation – both can cause unexpected spotting. In most cases these types of spotting combined with vaginal odor or vaginal itching or abdominal pain or burning during urination.
Spotting between periods and Birth control pills
Brown spotting is a common side effect of birth control pills especially during first 3-6 months – after this period of time female body is getting used to the constant level of hormones. It is well known that birth control pills changing whole hormonal cycles reducing or eliminating hormonal picks to insure anovulatory cycles – cycles without ovulation. No ovulation – no pregnancy. Hormonal changes triggered by birth control pills are responsible for changes in uterus lining which time by times sheds unexpectedly and appears as spotting between periods.
The longer you use non-stop birth control pills, less irregular spotting will appear.
It is important to know
Missed birth control pills are the common cause of unexpected irregular vaginal spotting.
Spotting and pregnancy
Vaginal spotting can be the early sign of pregnancy or miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (especially if accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping). Unexpected spotting or bleeding can also signal a molar pregnancy – relatively rare condition in which abnormalities in the fertilized egg at conception make it impossible for the embryo to develop or survive.
Women could also experience light spotting for a day or two at about the time when the fertilized egg burrows into the wall of the uterus – this is a process that starts just six to seven days after fertilization. Spotting that occurs about a week before the cycle is due, and lasts for less than one day, could be implantation spotting (so called “implantation bleeding”) which happens when a fertilized egg burrows into the uterine lining.
Spotting between periods – other causes
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