What’s the Difference Between Spotting and Periods?

Do you often experience light bleeding during your period?

Don’t worry, it’s the old blood that’s taking its time to move out of your body, nothing abnormal.

In other words, spotting isn’t something to be concerned about, and it’s quite normal for you to experience light bleeding during the beginning and ending of your period.

However, if you experience irregular spotting on days when you’re not expecting any blood down there, you’d be curious to learn why it’s happening what’s happening.

How would you know whether the spotting is caused by your period or not?

Keep reading to find out!

Signs of Bleeding Caused by Your Period

If it’s the period blood exiting your body, your spotting would be:

1. Predictable

Period bleeding occurs in regular cycles and is predictable. You’ll also notice a pattern in the monthly bleeding.

2. Comes on a Regular Schedule

Period bleeding will come around the same dates every month. The menstruation cycle is usually around 28 days, and the bleeding occurs for the same 5-7 days each month. You might experience spotting on the first or the last day of your period.

3. Limited to a Few Days Each Month

Bleeding caused by your period will last for around a week each month. You may rarely experience a long period which could be caused by the hormonal changes in your body or a change in your diet, sleeping schedule, etc.

4. You’ll Experience Other Symptoms Associated with Hormonal Changes

With menstruation bleeding, you’ll often experience other symptoms that accompany your period, such as abdominal cramps, pain in your lower back, mood swings, or a general feeling of sadness.

5. The Blood Color Won’t be Strange

The blood color in menstruation bleeding is usually dark red. It may go to being brown as well during spotting when the old blood is exiting your body. In both the cases, there’s nothing strange that you need to worry about.

What Causes Spotting Outside of Period?

Spotting is quite normal in most cases and may be caused by various factors. These are usually linked in some way or the other with your menstruation cycle.

However, there may be other factors that cause the bleeding, including:

1. Ovulation

Ovulation will usually occur around 14 days into your menstrual cycle and could cause light spotting in some cases. This will result in very light bleeding and won’t be a significant issue in most cases. If you experience spotting because of ovulation, you’ll likely experience it around the same time each month, and you’ll be able to predict it.

2. Unusual Uterine Growth

This unusual tissue growth in the uterus is known as uterine fibroids and can cause mild bleeding. It may also result in irregular periods or fertility problems. If you experience consistent spotting for several days outside of your period, it may or may not be caused by uterine fibroids.

This will usually heal after a few months, but it’s better to see a doctor just in case, especially if the bleeding is accompanied by pain or discomfort.

3. The Side Effects of Contraceptives

Did you just start hormonal contraceptives and spotting suddenly followed?

Hormonal contraceptives are a major cause of spotting since the body may take more time to adjust to the hormones. The hormonal shifts in your system cause spotting as your body adjusts to these contraceptives, it will soon go away.

Chill out and have a fun day!

4. Cancer

In very rare cases, cancer may cause vaginal bleeding. If the bleeding is caused by cancer, you’ll experience it consistently over several months.

However, cancer will also have different other symptoms from which it can be diagnosed. Such as, menstrual bleeding that is heavier than what you usually experience, increased vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, and unexplained back pain.

Women above 50 are more likely to be at risk of cervical cancer and bleeding past menopause is unusual. So, if you are past menopause age and still experience bleeding that comes with persistent pelvic or back pain, you might want to visit a doctor for checkup.

5. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding may also cause light spotting. The fluctuation of hormones in your body might be the reason. So, if you’re a mother who breastfeeds, spotting is most likely nothing to worry about!

However, you can always consult your doctor for clarity.

Should You See a Doctor?

Since spotting is natural in most cases, there’s no need for concern if you experience light bleeding outside your period each month. However, sometimes the bleeding may interfere with your daily life and be accompanied with pain in your pelvic region or back.

You should see a doctor if:

  • The spotting lasts for more than a few days
  • You feel mild to severe pain with spotting that’s not occurring around your period days
  • You experience other signs of pregnancy, because spotting is also a symptom of early pregnancy in some cases

All in all, spotting during your period is nothing unusual that you need to worry about. So, relax and let your body do its thing.

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