Spotting 101


Did you ever have light bleeding before your period began? Did it happen after your period ended?

Spotting or light bleeding before and sometimes after a period is quite common among women. Almost everyone goes through it once. It’s different from the actual period.

What is spotting?

Any vaginal bleeding outside of menstruation is known as spotting. Most of the time, it’s harmless. But the amount of blood and frequency can be signs of illness.

You may face cramps, abdominal pain, mood swings, fatigue, change in body temperature, lethargy, heavy flow, and more. Spotting can also cause yeast infections, constipation, and irregular periods.

When does spotting Happen?

One of the common times when spotting happens is during ovulation. The egg breaks through a follicle and because of that you can bleed a small amount. Ovulation spotting comes with small cramping. It usually occurs mid-cycle.

It’s common to have spotting a week after ovulation as well. If your egg has been fertilized by sperm, it will implant in the uterus. This causes light bleeding known as implantation bleeding. The duration is 1-2 days, and it happens mid-cycle too.


You can start spotting because of uterine fibroids as well. Polyps and fibroids can grow in the uterus and cause irregular periods. Fibroids may grow in the endometrium as well. These growths are not cancerous, but they cause a lot of pain and cramps. If you are spotting for a few months, have pelvic pain, unstable cycle, and fertility issues, it might be caused by this.

If you have started on new contraceptives, especially hormonal ones, expect irregular light bleeding. The body needs time to adjust, and you can spot for several months. However, if the spotting doesn’t happen but starts a few months after, consult a physician.

Some other reasons include minor injury to the vagina, breastfeeding after birth, pelvic inflammation, and STIs. While it’s rare, spotting can also indicate cancer (uterine, cervical, vaginal, ovarian). If the bleeding keeps getting worse and there’s additional pain, talk to a doctor. For women with menopause, this is a huge cancer indicator.

If you are pregnant and experience spotting, immediately go to a hospital. During pregnancy light bleeding is a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Even though light bleeding before the period is normal, if it keeps getting heavier, and starts causing pain and nausea, that’s a matter of concern. Contact a gynaecologist if the symptoms don’t go away.

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