Monday 8 March 2021

What Causes Spotting Between Periods?

What causes spotting between periods?

It can be confusing and uncomfortable when you notice bleeding and it's not yet time for your period to occur.
Bleeding between periods refers to any bleeding that occurs after the period ends, or before the period begins. 

If the blood flow is light, it is usually called ''spotting". In this article, we will discuss possible causes of spotting between periods.

Common causes of spotting between periods

Birth control

Birth control can cause spotting especially during the first three months or if you are changing to a new one. It is also called breakthrough bleeding. Types of birth control that can cause spotting include pills, IUD, the patch, or implant.

This spotting is caused by the introduction of estrogen in the birth control medication. This typically resolves after a few months. If it persists, consider visiting your healthcare provider.

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can affect women in various ways, one of which is spotting in between periods.

Spotting in between periods can be caused by an imbalance in the estrogen hormone. This is common for perimenopausal women.

Low progesterone can cause the uterine lining to slough off  5 - 7 days before the menstrual period should appear and cause bleeding.

Imbalance in thyroid hormones especially low thyroid hormones can cause spotting in between periods. If this is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight gain, loss, and fatigue, see your health care provider for proper evaluation.


Many women experience some light bleeding or spotting in the first trimester of their pregnancy. One common cause is called implantation bleeding. This happens when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining to get oxygen and nutrition. 

This can cause spotting and usually happens right before your period is about to start. Implantation bleeding is usually lighter than a normal period and lasts for a few hours or days.


Infections affecting the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause spotting. Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia can cause bleeding. If you suspect an infection, seek medical advice as soon as you can.


Conditions like endometriosis can cause spotting between periods. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, cramping, and severe pain.


Some of the very serious causes of bleeding are cervical and endometrial cancers. Cervical cancer usually affects women between the ages of 30 and 45. Pelvic pain, bleeding after sex, and bloating are some of the early symptoms.

Uterine or womb cancers usually affect women who have reached menopause. This means they are not having menstrual periods anymore. Thus, any unusual bleeding or spotting should be noted.

Sexual Intercourse

Sexual intercourse can cause light bleeding or spotting afterward. The bleeding is due to damage of the vaginal lining due to dryness or friction.

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