Spotting Between Periods

The definition of ‘spotting’ is slightly different depending on who you ask; it typically means very light vaginal bleeding or bleeding not associated with a menstrual period. Spotting can appear just the same as regular menstrual flow — it can be red or brown and may come during the days before or after, or sometimes completely at random.

Spotting before periods may be normal; some women experience spotting as hormone levels begin to drop in preparation for a period. This usually occurs one to three days before a period. However, spotting prior to this, or spotting after periods, is more likely to be a sign of a problem. It’s important to be aware and track what is “normal” for you because this will make it easier to notice an issue.

What Causes Spotting Between Periods?

Although your spotting may be normal for you, it’s still a good idea to discuss it with your doctor in case there is a more serious medical explanation. The reality is that there are quite a number of potential causes for spotting between periods. These include:

  • Birth control
  • Ovulation 
  • Implantation  
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal or cervical injury
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (POS)
  • Certain medications
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Thyroid issues
  • Cancer
  • Uterine fibroids

Many of the above health conditions have effective treatments available that can reduce or eliminate spotting before periods or bleeding between periods. Keep an eye out for other related symptoms –– such as pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, and heavy bleeding –– and bring these to the attention of your doctor. 

Appropriate treatment can reduce painful, uncomfortable, or inconvenient symptoms. In rare cases, such treatment may even save your life. 

Why Do Fibroids Cause Spotting Between Periods?

First, we need to address that spotting between periods does not mean that you have uterine fibroids or a serious medical condition. As mentioned above, spotting before periods or between them can happen for many different reasons such as: hormone changes, taking birth control, pregnancy, ovulation, stress, etc. However, one of the most common symptoms of fibroids is bleeding between periods.

Other common fibroid symptoms include:

  • Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
  • Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation and/or bloating
  • Pain in your pelvis or lower back
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Stomach swelling

The exact reason why fibroids cause spotting is still unknown. One theory is there are too many hormones within the body which may cause this “abnormal bleeding”. Like all conditions, every person may experience fibroid symptoms differently. Some women may not see any change in their menstruation, while others may suffer from periods lasting weeks or even months.

Spotting Vs. Period

You may be wondering about the difference between spotting and periods. Spotting can involve:

  • Any bleeding that is lighter than your normal period
  • Light bleeding between periods
  • Light bleeding before periods

In general, spotting does not usually last more than a day or two and may not require the use of feminine sanitary products. 

On the other hand, menstrual bleeding typically:

  • Lasts between four and seven days
  • Occurs every 21 to 35 days 
  • Requires a pad or tampon to control flow and avoid staining clothing

If you are unsure whether you are spotting or on your period, it may be helpful to take notes on when your bleeding occurs. You can then share this information with your doctor, who can determine what is going on.

When To See A Doctor For Spotting Between Periods

When it comes to uterine fibroids, doctors typically recommend that women seek treatment when symptoms are interfering with quality of life. Abnormal periods can cause women to miss extensive amounts of work, have to cancel plans with friends or family, avoid wearing light colored clothing, evade intimacy which can strain relationships, or have to double-up on pads or wear Depends® to prevent bleeding through their outfit. Suffering from abnormal or heavy periods and spotting between periods can become an exhausting, daily struggle. Thankfully, there are many different kinds of treatment to choose from if you want to avoid undergoing an invasive procedure.

Treatment For Spotting Between Periods

If your bleeding between periods or spotting before periods is due to uterine fibroids, a non-surgical treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) may be an effective option to eliminate your symptoms. Our fibroid specialists, also known as interventional radiologists, treat fibroids by using the body’s natural pathways to cut off blood supply to the benign tumors. Once the blood supply is blocked, the fibroids naturally shrink and are reabsorbed by the body. Unlike surgical procedures, UFE is outpatient, takes 30 to 45 minutes, preserves the uterus, does not interfere with hormones or fertility, and allows you to recover in the comfort of your home immediately following the procedure.

Contact USA Fibroid Centers Today!

We believe that fibroid treatment should be convenient and accessible to all. We have over 30 facilities across the nation from coast-to-coast. In addition, our treatments are covered by most insurances and some Medicaid plans.

If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment or learning more about non-surgical treatments, visit our website or call us at 855.615.2555.

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Related Articles

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The Menstrual Cycle 101

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Tips for Managing Fibroid Symptoms Before Treatment

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