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Spotting before your period is not harmful. It could be an early sign of a baby or a health condition.

Spotting is light vaginal bleeding that occurs outside of your regular period.

Spotting usually involves small amounts of blood. You may notice it in your underwear or toilet paper after using the restroom. It usually only requires a panty liner if you need protection.

Bleeding any time other than when you have your period is considered abnormal vaginal bleeding, or intermenstrual bleeding.

Spotting has many causes. It can be a sign of a serious problem but not often. You might be spotting between periods and when to see a doctor.

There are several reasons you may see something.

1. Pregnancy

Spotting during pregnancy is common. About 15 to 25 percent of pregnant people will experience spotting during their first trimester.

The bleeding is often light and may be:

  • pink
  • red
  • It was brown.

Spotting typically isn’t a cause for concern, but you should tell a doctor if you have it. Contact a doctor right away if you experience There was a lot of bleeding. or There is pain in the Pelvis., as those could be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

2. Birth control

Spotting between periods can be caused by hormonal birth control.

  • There are pills.
  • There are patches.
  • There are injections.
  • The rings are made of metal.
  • There are implants.

Spotting can happen on its own or if you are in it.

  • Start a method that uses hormones.
  • skip doses or take birth control There are pills. not according to the package instructions
  • change the birth control type or dose
  • Birth control can be used for a long time.

“Birth control can be used to treat bleeding. If your symptoms don’t improve, you should talk to a doctor. They may prescribe a different contraceptive method.”

3. Ovulation

According to an older 2012 study on menstruating women, about 4.8 percent experienced spotting related to ovulation.

Ovulation spotting is light bleeding that occurs around the time in your menstrual cycle when an ovary releases an egg. This typically occurs 14 days before menstruation.

It can take 1 to 2 days for a spotting to go away.

Other signs and symptoms of ovulation may include:

  • an increase in cervical mucus
  • The mucus is similar to egg whites.
  • A change in the position of the uterus.
  • a decrease in basal body temperature before ovulation, followed by a sharp increase after ovulation
  • Increased sex drive.
  • A dull ache on one side of the The abdomen is large..
  • Breast pain.
  • It was bloated.
  • An intensified sense of smell, taste, or vision.

Paying close attention to these symptoms may also help you identify your window to conceive if you are trying to get pregnant.

4. Perimenopause

As you transition to menopause, there may be months when you don’t ovulate. This transitional time is called perimenopause.

You may experience spotting during perimenopause, when periods become more irregular. You may have periods or menstrual bleeding that is lighter than usual.

5. Cancer

Certain cancers can cause.

  • Bleeding that is abnormal
  • spotting
  • Other forms of vaginal discharge are not the same as vaginal discharge.

These cancers may include more than one.

Spotting is not often a sign of cancer, but you should talk with a doctor if you experience it, especially if you’ve already been through menopause.

6. Implantation bleeding

Implantation spotting may occur when a fertilized egg attaches to the inner uterine lining. About 15 to 25 percent of pregnant people experience bleeding in early pregnancy.

If implantation spotting does occur, it will often happen a few days before your next period begins. Implantation bleeding is usually light pink to dark It was brown.. It can be shorter and lighter in flow than a typical period.

You may experience it as well.

  • There are headaches.
  • nausea
  • Changes in mood.
  • Light ache.
  • Breast pain.
  • Lower back pain.
  • fatigue

“Bleeding isn’t a problem for a fetus. If you experience There was a lot of bleeding. while pregnant, you should seek medical attention.”

7. Trauma

Sometimes trauma to the vagina can cause irregular spotting.

Examples of trauma can include things like murder.

  • Sexual assault.
  • rough sex.
  • An object, such as a feminine hygiene product.
  • A procedure like a vaginal exam.

If you’ve experienced Sexual assault. or were forced into any sexual activity, you should seek care from a trained healthcare professional. Organizations like the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offer support for survivors of rape or Sexual assault.. You can call RAINN’s 24/7 national Sexual assault. hotline at 800-656-4673 for anonymous, confidential help.

8. Uterine or cervical polyps

Polyps are small tissue growths that can occur in multiple places, including the cervix and uterus. Most polyps are benign, or noncancerous.

Cervical polyps can cause:

A doctor can easily see cervical polyps during a routine pelvic exam. You generally don’t need treatment unless they’re causing bothersome symptoms. If a doctor recommends removing them, it is generally easy and not painful.

You can typically see uterine polyps on imaging tests like ultrasounds. They’re most often benign, but only a small percentage become cancerous.

Uterine polyps can cause:

  • There is irregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Heavy periods.
  • vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • infertility

Some people may only see light from their polyps, while others may not.

9. Sexually transmitted infection

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause spotting between periods or after sex.

Other symptoms of the disease can include:

  • burning or painful urination.
  • white, yellow, or green vaginal discharge
  • The vagina or anus is itchy.
  • There is pain in the Pelvis.

If you suspect you have an STD, contact a doctor. Many infections can be treated with minimal side effects.

10. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Abnormal bleeding between periods is a symptom of PID. If you have a fallopian tube, you can develop PID if you have a vagina.

Other PID symptoms can include:

If the infection passes to the blood, it can be life threatening. If you experience symptoms of an illness, you should see a doctor.

Therapies, such as antibiotics, can treat most bacterial infections that cause PID.

11. Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths on the uterus. In some cases, they can affect fertility, making it harder to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy.

They can cause more than spotting between periods.

“Some people with uteruses don’t have any symptoms.”

Fibroids are typically benign and may shrink on their own.

12. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when endometrium-like tissue grows outside the uterus in areas like the:

  • The ovaries.
  • The abdomen is large.
  • The bowel.

Bleeding or spotting can occur between periods.

About 1 in every 10 people of reproductive age with a uterus is believed to have endometriosis. However, many cases go undiagnosed.

Other signs and symptoms of endometriosis can be seen.

  • There is pain in the Pelvis. and cramping
  • painful or Heavy periods.
  • It was It was painful intercourse..
  • infertility
  • painful urination or The bowel. movements
  • diarrhea, It is a problem of the colon., It was bloated., or nausea
  • fatigue

13. Polycystic ovary syndrome

Irregular bleeding between periods can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition occurs when a person’s The ovaries. or adrenal glands produce high amounts of androgens or “male” hormones.

It is harder to get pregnant when the period is not regular. It happens during the childbearing years.

Other symptoms of PCOS can include:

The medications that treat PCOS include:

  • Hormonal birth control. Birth control may be available in a pill, patch, vaginal ring, or hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) to help balance your hormone production.
  • Insulin medication. Metformin is a prescription drug commonly used to improve insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also help regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Fertility medication. Prescription fertility drugs, such as clomiphene (Clomid), cause the pituitary gland to produce more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

14. Stress

Stress can cause all kinds of changes in your body, including menstrual cycle fluctuations. Some people may experience vaginal spotting from high levels of physical or emotional stress.

15. Medications

Certain medications can cause bleeding. These include:

  • Blood thinners.
  • The medications for the thyroid.
  • Drugs that are hormonal.

If you experience vaginal bleeding, a doctor may recommend alternatives.

16. Thyroid problems

Having an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause spotting after your period ends.

Hypothyroidism means that your body does not have enough of the hormones that regulate menstruation. These processes can take a while to complete.

Other signs of hypothyroid can be included.

Doctors may treat this condition with hormone There are pills., such as levothyroxine, if necessary.

Spotting is different from the bleeding you experience during your period.

spotting is usually done.

  • is lighter in flow.
  • is pink, reddish, or It was brown.
  • “It doesn’t last more than a day.”

Bleeding during your menstrual period.

  • It is usually heavy enough to need a pad or a tampon.
  • It lasts 4 to 7 days.
  • produces a total blood loss of about 30 to 72 milliliters (mL)
  • occurs every 21 to 35 days.

If you’re of reproductive age and think you might be pregnant, you can take an at-home test. Pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone rises rapidly when you’re pregnant.

If your test is positive, you should see an OB- GYN.

You should also see a doctor if your test is negative, but your period is more than a week late. A doctor can run tests to determine if an underlying condition is responsible for your missed period.

If you have unexplained spotting between periods, you should see a doctor. It may be nothing to worry about, but it could be a sign of something serious.

If you don’t already have a doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area.

You can record your spotting and other symptoms so you can give the doctor the information.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor.

  • There is a high degree of There is a high degree of fever..
  • dizziness
  • It was easy to bruise.
  • There is abdominal pain.
  • There was a lot of bleeding.
  • There is pain in the Pelvis.

If you have already been through menopause and have experienced spotting, you should see a doctor.

To determine what’s causing your symptoms, a doctor may:

  • The exam is for the uterus.
  • You should order blood tests.
  • If you want to have an exam, recommend it.

What is causing your spotting will affect your treatment.

If your spotting is caused by a hormonal imbalance, doctors may recommend hormone medications. If a bacterial infection is to blame, a doctor may recommend antibiotics to clear up the infection.

You can connect with a doctor. This can help you figure out the best approach to spotting.

There are a variety of factors that can cause spotting. Prompt medical treatment is required for some.

It is common for vaginal bleeding to happen outside of your period, but it could be a sign of a medical condition. If you have already gone through menopause, you should see a doctor.