It’s normal to get worried if you’re spotting just before period begins. However, you shouldn’t.
Most women experience the common white discharge. This occurs naturally as your body cleans your vagina while also preventing infection.
Brown discharge when you wipe or on your panties simply indicates your normal discharge is mixed with deoxygenated blood. This could happen for many reason, and in most cases, not a serious health concern.
Common reason why you could spot are pregnancy, stress, ovulation or a rough vaginal sexual intercourse before your period.
Nevertheless, spotting could mean vaginal infections, uterine fibroid, effects of birth control pills and rarely cancer.
This guide will explain the possible causes of spotting before next period and when you should worry.
What causes bleeding before period?
1. Implantation (Pregnancy)
Implantation is a common reason why women bleed before period.
What is implantation?
This is the process where the zygote (which is the product when the sperm fertilizes the egg) burrows into the endometrium covering your womb. This can cause the endometrium to bleed slightly.
This bleeding is called implantation bleeding or spotting. Though not seen by all women during early pregnancy, it is a common cause of spotting before period.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation occurs after the fertilized egg is transported back to the endometrium. This occurs usually about 10 days after ovulation or about 5 days before your next period.
If you notice your period a week early and shorter than usual, it could be due to implantation.
What should i do if i have this kind of bleeding?
It means you’re likely pregnant. Though, there are many other causes of bleeding before period, implantation is one of the commonest causes.
What is implantation bleeding color?
Implantation bleeding is usually pinkish or brown discharge before your period. The blood from implantation mixes with your discharge forming a brown discharge.
How long does implantation bleeding last?
Implantation bleeding is usually lighter than your period and may be confused as period during pregnancy. It does not last more than 2 – 3 days. Also, you may feel implantation cramping which is less severe than your period cramps.
Should i get a pregnancy test to confirm if i’m pregnant?
Not yet. Pregnancy test done on the time of bleeding will not be accurate. This is because your HCG levels is very low at during implantation. After implantation occurs, HCG level continue to rise and can be detected after a few days or a week. If you already missed your period with a negative pregnancy test, then you should wait a while and try again.
Stress may cause you to bleed before your menstruation.
How does stress cause early period?
Cortisol, a steroid hormone and produced by the adrenal gland, directly have an effect on your period hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are directly involved with maturation of your endometrium. This endometrium is shred during period.
During a physical or psychological stress, cortisol levels increases. Increased level of cortisol results to decreased level of both progesterone and estrogen resulting in early spotting or period.
Other conditions that may affect your cortisol level are
- Acute illnesses
- Sleep deprivation
What can i do to prevent this?
Reduce your stress level. Do you have a very stressful work days? Are your studies affecting how many hours of sleep you get? Creating time for yourself with some regular exercise will improve your health.
3. Delayed ovulation
Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of menstrual cycle — 2 weeks from next period. However, certain conditions may delay ovulation till a further date.
Delayed ovulation can occur due to drugs, stress or long time medical problems like diabetes or hypertension.
How does ovulation cause bleeding?
Ovulation is the rupture and release of egg into the uterus for fertilization. This rupture of the most mature ovarian follicle causes women to have minor bleeding. If your ovulation is shifted or delayed, its possible you can have bleeding before your expected period.
How can i know its due to ovulation bleeding?
Bleeding due to ovulation usually occurs during or after ovulation.
If you have monitored your vaginal discharge, you will notice it becomes stretchy and hardly breaks when stretched between fingers.
Other ovulation signs and symptoms are
- Breast pain and swelling
- Ovulation cramps
- Increased sexual desire
- Abdominal bloating
If your spotting before period is due to delayed ovulation, It usually clears in few hours or days.
4. Vaginal infections
Do you feel smell down there at your vagina? Do you have fever and pain in the lower part of your abdomen?
If you have a smelly vaginal discharge that is greenish or yellowish, you have an infection.
Vaginal infections in young women can cause bleeding any time within your menstrual cycle and before your period.
If you’re not sure about your vaginal discharge odor, you should inform your doctor. Some of the common vaginal infections in women are:
5. You have fibroid
Fibroid is an abnormal benign growth in the uterus. It rarely transforms to cancer and can cause irregular spotting in women. It is common in young women and usually gets smaller in size during menopause.
The submucuos type, which is beneath the endometrium, can cause irregular spotting before your period
What are the symptoms of fibroid?
- Distended abdomen
- Menorrhagia or unusually heavy period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Difficulty in passing stool or urine if the fibroid is large
If you have a fibroid, you should inform your doctor.
Read more: Symptoms of fibroids and treatment options
6. You started a pill or changed to a new one
Birth control pills are used to prevent pregnancy. If you’re just started a pill, it can cause spotting.
Did you miss your pill or not taking it regularly? If you missed your pill and you are spotting, you should inform you doctor.
However, it is not unusual to have spotting on the pill. In the first few months after started your pill, you may experience spotting. This resolves as your body adapts to your pills.
Both hormonal or copper intrauterine device (IUDs) can cause bleeding in the first 3 to 9 months after insertion.
Frequently asked questions about spotting before period
These are some commonly asked questions about spotting before period that may concern you. If you have more questions let us know below.
What causes spotting 2, 3, 4, 5 days before period?
If you notice spotting 2 or 3 days before period then its most likely due to implantation and pregnancy. Implantation spotting is usually lighter than your normal period and resolve very shortly.
Other causes of spotting before period are
- Vaginal infections
- Birth control pills
What causes spotting a week before period?
Spotting a week before period is likely due to implantation or pregnancy.
Are you feeling nausea before period? Do you feel other signs of pregnancy like breast pain, nipple itching or abdomen pain?
If you’re spotting before period a week early and thinking it may be pregnancy, you should wait for a week after your next period date and get a test done.
Is spotting before period pregnancy?
Yes and No. In some women, there is a chance that implantation will cause spotting before period. If you have any spotting before your period, then you may be pregnant.
What causes brown spotting before period?
Brown spotting before period could mean you are pregnant, ovulating or during intercourse.
Lean more about brown mucus discharge before period.
What causes spotting before period on birth control?
If you just started taking a pill or not regular with your pills, its possible you may have irregular spotting during the first few months. You don’t have to worry yet as it resolves in few months.
What causes spotting instead of period?
If you are expecting your next period and notice a very light spotting instead of your usual period, then its likely due to implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding means you may be pregnant. Other causes of spotting instead of periods are
- Vaginal infections
- Sexual intercourse
- Delayed ovulation
- Early period
- Emotional or academic problems
- Uterine polyps
If you are worried your spotting may be due to pregnancy, let your doctor know or run a pregnancy test.
Now its your turn. Did you spot before period? Do you feel it may not be pregnancy? Let us know your symptoms if we could help.
- 1 What causes bleeding before period?
- 2 Frequently asked questions about spotting before period