What is Spotting ?

Spotting is also known as premenstrual bleeding. Spotting means light bleeding coming out from your vagina a few days before your regular periods. It normally stays for a couple of days. The colour of the blood may vary from brown to pink or red. However, there is no need to worry as it happens sometimes. It is the most common problem among women between the age of 30 and 49.

A woman can experience different types of spotting throughout their menstrual cycle.

  • A very clear or white discharge is a common symptom that occurs on all the days before your period. It is also helpful for the lubrication of your body tissues. If you notice some changes in your vaginal discharge then it might happen due to some infection or irritation.
  • The vaginal discharge before your periods can also be yellowish or sometime greenish in colour. If you notice a few blood spots along with the yellowish discharge then it is known as spotting. The actual reason in this case can be some serious infection or irritation.
  • Brown or dark spotting between your menstrual cycles can vary according to its nature. If you experience bleeding or spotting just in between your periods then it is known as breakthrough bleeding and it is usually light. But it can sometimes be thick and heavy.

 Reasons Of Spotting Before Periods

There can be a number of reasons for spotting before periods.

  • Ovulation: Spotting can be seen when the egg is released during the ovulation period. It usually occurs around 8 to 10 days before menstruation.
  • Low Progesterone Level: If you are having a deficiency of progesterone level in your body, then you can also notice spotting before periods.
  • Spotting before Pregnancy: Just before your period, you may notice a few drops of blood and then you miss your periods. This usually happens when a women is getting pregnant after ovulation and means implantation bleeding. It would be seen just once before your menstruation if it is due to pregnancy.

Click here to know about early pregnancy symptoms

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Thyroid disorder or hormonal imbalance also causes premenstrual bleeding. This generally happens when the body produces excess of estrogen and not enough of progesterone. If you are taking medicines like aspirin then you may spot bleeding before your periods.
  • Birth Control Measures: Some of the birth control measures used these days use hormones that impact the uterine lining and thus causes spotting. In this case the spotting is known as breakthrough bleeding. If you are starting or ending a specific birth control method then might notice spotting.
  • Serious illness: If you are spotting before periods, then it could probably indicate that you are suffering from some illness or some major health issues. Some reasons include ovarian cysts, uterine cancer, polyps and fibroids.
  • Genital Diseases: If you experience premenstrual spotting due to genital diseases like pelvic infections or fibroids then it would be a good idea to consult a doctor.
  • Endometrial Biopsy: It may lead to spotting before periods for some months and then return to normal condition as time passes.
  • Weight problem: It can also lead to spotting sometimes; hence it is very important to maintain a healthy balance. You can also reduce the possibility of uterine cancer by controlling your weight. Obesity is a highly strong factor that can lead to uterine cancer as it is very common among women post-menopause. If you face spotting after menopause, then you should consult your doctor immediately.


The doctor will need various information to ascertain the cause behind spotting before periods. Some information they need are:

  • How did the bleeding look like?
  • When did the spotting occur?
  • How long did your period last after spotting?
  • Is the bleeding heavy or light?
  • Did you experience any kind of pain or cramps while spotting?

The doctor might also need to do general medical examination of the whole body. They might also have to do an abdominal examination or a pelvic examination to know the reason behind spotting. Your gynaecologist can also do a bimanual examination where they need to insert two fingers into your vagina to feel the size of the uterus, fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the tenderness of the uterus.

If the reason behind your spotting is still not known after the general examination, then your doctor will recommend some additional tests. These tests can be one or more of the following:

  • Complete blood count test
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Hormonal investigation tests


Medical Care

Women having a normal and regular period cycle can become extremely conscious if spotting happens before periods. If you have never experienced spotting then it can really cause concern. It’s not a case of worry as spotting before periods is very common.

However, if you are not sure, then you can consult your doctor. Do not hesitate to tell them your problem. You should not neglect if you are experiencing spotting before your periods. The reason behind spotting should be known. Never take a drug on your own if you notice some spotting before your periods.

There is no one simple solution to cure premenstrual spotting. After doing various examinations and tests, the doctor will advise you medication depending upon the reason behind spotting. The doctor will at the same time also tell you the advantages and disadvantages of your treatment.

They can advise you hormonal medications as well as non-hormonal medication. However they can also use surgical methods like hysteroscopy, hysterectomy, endometrial ablation if the problem is grave.

There is no home remedy to cure spotting before periods. So please don’t try to find one. However drinking enough water and exercising regularly helps in treating brown blood menstruation.


In short, spotting before periods can be due to a lot of different reasons. The cause can be serious or normal and therefore requires extra hygienic precautions. It is extremely important to consult a gynaecologist to know the reason behind spotting and its treatment. In order to avoid spotting one should take only prescribed birth control pills, limit their aspirin intake, maintain a healthy weight, manage their stress level and also keep a note on their menstrual cycle.