Spotting is light vaginal bleeding that occurs outside of normal menstrual periods. It differs from a normal menstrual period in several ways. Spots are usually harmless, but can also indicate problems such as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or uterine fibroids (growths in the uterus).
This article will discuss the symptoms of drips and menstrual periods and the causes of drips.
How do you know if it’s a discovery or your period?
Although spotting and menstrual bleeding both present as vaginal bleeding, there are some key differences:
- Spots are light and may not require the use of hygiene protection.
- Menstrual periods may also be accompanied by other symptoms that distinguish the two.
normal period symptoms
Periodic shedding of the lining of the uterus is called menstruation. It may also be called a menstrual period, menstrual cycle or menstruation. During this time, blood flows from the vagina. In people with a uterus and ovaries, it usually occurs monthly from puberty to menopause (marking the end of menstruation, when menstruation stops for 12 consecutive months). Menstruation usually stops during pregnancy.
In addition to vaginal bleeding, many people experience other symptoms during menstruation. These include:
- lower abdominal cramps
- lower back cramps
- difficulty sleeping
- soft breasts
Conditions That Cause Spot Symptoms
Any bleeding or spotting that occurs outside of normal menstrual times is considered abnormal uterine or vaginal bleeding. But that doesn’t always mean there’s something to worry about.
Spots are light bleeding from the vagina. It may show some blood on your underwear. This does not require the use of sanitary protection such as pads, panty liners or tampons.
Spotting or abnormal bleeding can be caused by a variety of causes, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, ovulation, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, cancer, uterine fibroids, and perimenopause.
what causes spots
Findings may be normal and nothing to worry about, or they may indicate a problem that requires the attention of a healthcare professional.
During the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy), bleeding occurs in 15-25 out of every 100 pregnancies. One to two weeks after the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus, some spotting or light bleeding may occur.
During pregnancy, spotting or light bleeding may also occur after sexual intercourse, a Pap test (a swab of the cervix to check for abnormal cells), or a pelvic exam (an examination of the internal and external organs of the pelvis).
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube. This is an unviable pregnancy that must be treated to prevent potentially serious (even fatal) complications.
An ectopic pregnancy can cause pregnancy symptoms, such as missed periods or breast tenderness. It can also cause:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- mild spasm on one side of the pelvis
- mild abdominal pain
- lower back pain
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal imbalance that can lead to menstrual irregularities and fertility problems. People with PCOS may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as spotting, due to a lack of ovulation.
Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal birth control can cause side effects. Among these side effects is spotting, also known as breakthrough bleeding. This most often occurs in the first few months of starting a new form of hormonal birth control. After this time, discovery may stop.
After fertilization, the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. During this time, some blood vessels may rupture, which can lead to spots.
This is called implantation bleeding. The spots may be brown and not heavy. It may not happen in every pregnancy.
fibroids or polyps
Uterine fibroids are growths in the uterus. They do not cause cancer and may not cause symptoms.
If symptoms do occur, they may include:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as spotting
- persistent low back pain
- pelvic pain
- pain during sex
- urinary problems
Uterine polyps are growths on the lining of the uterus that are usually noncancerous (although they can also be precancerous or cancerous). They can also cause spots.
Spotting can occur at any time during the menstrual cycle. ovulation Marks the middle of the cycle, when the ovary releases the egg. During ovulation, some light spots may appear. This is not cause for concern.
People who exclusively breastfeed their children may not have their periods for months or even a year after giving birth. If a person is partially breastfeeding, their periods may return within three weeks of birth.
When breastfeeding time decreases and menstruation begins to return, this may start with light spots.
Damage to the genital area can cause spots. Injuries or trauma to the genital area include:
Straddle injuries can also cause spots. These injuries occur when a person falls on an object, such as a fence, bicycle, or playground equipment, and hits the object with their groin area.
The most common sign of miscarriage (miscarriage within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy) is vaginal bleeding. Bleeding ranges from brown discharge and light spots to massive bleeding and clots. This can come and go.
Perimenopause can occur between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, the ovaries become smaller and produce less estrogen. It is normal to have spots during this time.
About 90% of people with endometrial cancer (endometrial cancer) have some form of abnormal vaginal bleeding. This may include spotting, menstrual changes, and postmenopausal bleeding.
sexually transmitted infection
Not all STIs have symptoms, but STIs Chlamydia May cause bleeding between periods.
Other symptoms that may accompany an STI include:
- unusual genital discharge
- pain during sex
- lower abdominal pain
- lumps and pain on the genitals
- Painful urination
Spots are light bleeding that may appear as blood spots on underwear. Unlike menstrual bleeding, it usually does not require the use of pads or tampons. Spots can have a variety of causes, including ovulation, early pregnancy, infection, or injury to the genital area. If you are concerned about spots, talk to your doctor.
Knowing what is normal for your menstrual flow can allow you to determine when abnormal vaginal bleeding is occurring. Call your healthcare professional for advice whenever you have related symptoms. They often hear such questions and will be able to ensure you are properly diagnosed and treated.
Frequently Asked Questions
How about spotting spots in early pregnancy?
In early pregnancy, vaginal bleeding may occur one to two weeks after fertilization. This may be light bleeding or spotting. Blood spots can be brown, pink, or red.
Does finding out mean you’re pregnant?
Spotting can be a sign of early pregnancy and implantation bleeding. But it can also be a sign of miscarriage, infection, and several other causes.
Can you take a pregnancy test when you find out?
Implantation bleeding may occur concurrently with the expected period. Implantation bleeding is mild compared to heavy bleeding during normal menstrual periods.
If the spots are accompanied by other symptoms that may indicate pregnancy, such as nausea, fatigue, and frequent urination, a pregnancy test may be a good idea.
How much bleeding is considered spotting?
Spotting differs from standard menstrual bleeding in that it is very mild. It’s usually just a few spots on the underwear and usually doesn’t require the use of sanitary protection such as pads, panty liners or tampons.