All women will experience spotting in between their periods at some point in their life. Although it is not considered to be ‘normal’ as far as your menstrual circles are concerned, it is a relatively common and normal problem for many and there are a lot of factors that can cause it.
A lot of women often confuse spotting with implantation bleeding – the light patches of ‘spotting’-like blood that can occur when a fertilised egg implants into the lining of the womb. Does spotting mean pregnancy though? We decided to take a closer look…
Starting with implantation bleeding and if you’re experience spotting about a week before your actual period is due, there is a chance you could be bleeding because you are in the very early stages of pregnancy.
When your egg is first fertilized, hormones are released around the body which encourage a number of things to happen and just one of these is that the wall or lining of your uterus will thicken in order to prepare for the adventure ahead. The egg itself will then travel along the fallopian tubes and into the uterus where it will bury itself into that lining, often causing the light spotting in between periods that can prove to be the sure fire sign you’re pregnant. The light blood vessels on the surface are disrupted.
Bearing this in mind, implantation bleeding is often much lighter than your average pregnancy although it can come with a lot of the same symptoms and side effects that a period can bring with it – feeling irritable and emotional, having period-pain like cramps, tender or sore breasts, and more. Over a third of all women ‘know’ their implantation bleeding is exactly that whereas the rest often confuse it just for an early period.
At this very early stage of pregnancy, if the spotting does mean that you are pregnant, it is unlikely that you will feel many other symptoms but some women report to being oversensitive when it comes to their body and actually ‘knowing’ they are pregnant before that test gives them the good news. If you do experience any symptoms at this early stage, it is likely to be along the lines of headaches and nausea, sleeplessness, frequent urination and maybe even an advanced sense of smell.
Does Spotting Mean Pregnancy?
In many cases, a bit of light spotting in between periods will not mean that you are pregnant. In fact, it can be a common sign that you are too stressed, under the weather, or even sick / suffering with another medical condition.
In some cases, it can even be down to misuse of your contraceptive pill, or that your form of contraceptive isn’t working well for you. If you have only recently started on a new form of birth control and you are experiencing spotting, it could also be a sign that your body is getting used to the changes in hormones.
Spotting can also be a sign that your period is coming, often called breakthrough bleeding, and it could even be due to a change in the hormones around the time of ovulation or menstruation. In reality, there are many factors that can cause spotting and it doesn’t always necessarily mean you are pregnant.
There are other more serious reasons as to why you might be spotting in between periods and these can include conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, cervical polyps, cervical or uterine cancer, irrigation and inflammation on the cervix, illness, sexually transmitted infections, miscarriage and more.
When Should You Seek Medical Advice?
If you are spotting in between your period almost every month, or it seems to be developing into recurrent thing, it is well worth having a chat with your doctor. It could be that you are stressed, suffering with another condition, or just need to make a change to your birth control.
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding in between periods, it is wise to seek urgent medical advice, especially if this is accompanied by pain, fever, shakes or muscle aches and pains.
It is always better to be safe than sorry and when it comes to your reproductive system, you should always get it checked out if something seems different.