Do you see blood spots in your panties prior to your menstrual period? Is the blood spot bright red, dull red or brown? Spotting refers to light vaginal bleeding that occurs before or after your menstrual period. Spotting oftentimes does not mean there is a serious medical issue, but all prolonged cases of spotting should be reported to your doctor.
Spotting before period could be attributed to several reasons and causes.
There are other factors to be taken into consideration when evaluating ‘spotting before period’ issues such as the following:
1. Is the bleeding accompanied by a foul odor?
2. How and when it started (considering the luteal phase of menstruation) and for how long did spotting persist
During menstrual cycles, certain changes take place within the uterus, the neck of the uterus is guided by a lining of tissue- cervix which produces a mucus plug which blocks the entrance to the uterine wall. After menstruation, the female reproductive system starts preparing for pregnancy, this causes series of changes such as shedding away of the eggs (which was released from the follicle after day 13-14) ‘expecting’ fertilization, the epithelium of the uterus and its blood vessels also gets shed, this causes the cervix to open slightly thus causing blood spotting, as the body system needs to get rid of dead blood cells the unfertilized egg. Spotting, 2-3days before menses begin is considered normal if it is not too heavy, (as heavy bleeding may be a sign of ovarian or cervical cancer).
The following are possible causes of spotting before period:
1. Drop in progesterone hormone
Vaginal spotting may be caused by premature drop in the amount of progesterone in the body. This may lead to minor Infertility as occasioned by hormonal factors such as inadequate or dips in progesterone before menstruation. Dips in progesterone causes a short luteal phase (your luteal phase is counted from the day after ovulation until the first day of your period). Short luteal phase less than 9 days may lead to spotting before period as normal luteal phase should be between 12-16 days in length. If fertilization didn’t take place, the uterine lining degenerates, thus leading to spotting, however, regular blood spotting more than 3-6 days before menstruation could be a sign of other issues with the female reproductive system. Fertile Aid and HCG injections may be used to correct dips in progesterone level.
2. Implantation of fertilized egg(s)
Implantation bleeding is abnormal in many instances, it could be light or heavy, however, the bleeding may occur for few hours or few days, prolonged bleeding accompanied by extreme pain, lightheadedness should be reported to your doctor for proper medical evaluation.
3. First menstrual cycles
First menstrual cycles in girls may always trigger early spotting, however it shouldn’t be a thing of concern, your body is just getting used to the hormones.
4. Birth control devices
Birth control devices such as intrauterine device (IUD) may cause slight vaginal spotting (this is also called break through bleeding) due to the irritation of the uterine wall while your menstrual cycle is on the way.
5. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Candida thrush
Both may also cause spotting before period which may be accompanied by a fishy smell. This may get worse especially after sex, BV is not sexually transmittable but it may produce vaginal bleeding or spotting.
6. Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer which affects the entrance to the uterus is another cause of spotting before period.
Yea, pregnancy, you might be pregnant and still experience occasional spotting before period especially if fertilization and implantation of fertilized ovum took place few weeks (about 4-7weeks). When menstruation ceases completely, spotting should stop completely.
Endometrial biopsy may cause spotting before period about few months into the biopsy.