Is spotting between periods Normal?

spotting between periods

Most women will experience bleeding during their menstrual cycle at some time. This type of bleeding is commonly known as intermenstrual bleeding or spotting. Bleeding or spotting in between cycles can be concerning, but is generally non-life-threatening. When this occurs, you might notice one or two small spots of blood on your underwear or toilet paper, or you might notice that you’re bleeding profusely as if your period has just begun. Although spotting can be normal, it can also be a sign of a larger issue or condition. 

The specialists of 1Fibroid include a team of Gynecologists and Interventional Radiologists who specialize in the treatment of fibroids, adenomyosis, and pelvic congestion syndrome. If you are experiencing spotting or a combination of other related symptoms, the 1Fibroid team is ready to help.

Types of Bleeding Between Periods

Several distinct types of bleeding can occur when you are not having a period.

  • Spotting: Spotting is most likely the cause of a red or brown stain on the toilet paper or a drop or two of blood in your underwear. Your doctor will only refer to bleeding as “spotting” if it doesn’t coincide with your period and doesn’t necessitate the use of a pad or tampon.

  • Light bleeding: Just before or after your period, you may have this type of bleeding. Technically speaking, it’s not spotting because it’s part of your menstruation.

  • Breakthrough bleeding: It is possible to experience breakthrough bleeding while using oral contraceptives. Low estrogen levels are frequently the root cause of this type of bleeding in between periods.

  • Abnormal bleeding: It is odd for severe bleeding to require the use of a tampon or pad to occur outside of your cycle and not be brought on by hormonal birth control tablets. It is also known as irregular vaginal or uterine bleeding.

Is spotting between periods normal?

The majority of women experience spotting at some point in their lives, which can occur for a variety of reasons. For instance, Spotting is extremely typical in the first few months of using a hormonal form of birth control, such as a pill, injection, patch, vaginal ring, implant, or IUD. 

Excessive Menstrual Bleeding and Uterine Fibroids

Heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the most common symptoms associated with uterine fibroid tumors. It is the most prevalent symptom for two of the four types of uterine fibroid tumors: intramural and submucosal. 

Over time, excessive menstrual bleeding can lead to fatigue and anemia, which is a result of a low red blood cell count. If left untreated, excessive menstrual bleeding can eventually lead to the need for blood transfusions.

Other symptoms related to uterine fibroids include:

  • Pelvic Pain and Pressure. As fibroids grow, they can put additional pressure on the surrounding organs, which can be extremely painful. The growth of the fibroids can cause consistent lower abdominal pain, as well as swelling which is sometimes mistaken for weight gain or pregnancy. If you are experiencing pelvic pain or pressure or any other type of uterine fibroid symptoms, a full gynecological exam should be done immediately to determine the cause.

  • Urinary Incontinence or Frequent Urination. One of the organs commonly affected during the growth of fibroid tumors is the bladder. As added pressure is applied to this organ, the risk of urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) occurs, as well as frequent urination.

  • Anemia. Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood produces a lower-than-normal amount of healthy red blood cells. If you have anemia, your body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. The lack of oxygen can make you feel tired or weak.

  • Other symptoms include:
    • pain in the back of the legs
    • pain during sexual intercourse
    • constipation
    • enlarged abdomen

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