Sometimes, women may experience spotting a week before their period. This may be caused by a variety of different conditions. While spotting a week before your period could be due to ovulation or the implantation of an egg, it could also be due to stress, chronic diseases or birth control medication. To figure out the cause of your spotting, read on.
Could It Be Implantation Bleeding?
The first thing you have to figure out is when implantation bleeding will normally take place. Normally, a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts for about 28 days. During this time, a woman will have a period that lasts for about four to seven days. Women who have extremely short, unusually long or exceptionally irregular periods may have different menstrual cycles.
While spotting may occur around the time of your regular period, it is not the same as having your menstrual cycle. Unlike your period, spotting will just leave light spots of blood on your underwear. If you have heavy bleeding, it could indicate a health problem, so you should talk to your doctor. You should also seek medical help if the bleeding is accompanied by intense cramps and pains in the lower portion of your abdomen.
What Is Vaginal Discharge Normally Like?
Depending on which point you are at in your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge may vary. Often, women will notice a clear discharge for the week or two prior to their period. During ovulation, vaginal discharge changes to make it easier for the sperm to reach the uterus. Normally, the texture of the discharge will range from fluid-like to sticky throughout the month.
If you have an infection or some type of irritation, your vaginal discharge may become green or yellow in color. Often, there will be a foul odor as well if you have an infection. If the discharge has a pinkish or blood-colored hue, it could indicate that you have an infection or some type of irritation.
Reasons Why You May Have Spotting a Week Before Period
There are multiple reasons why you may have spotting a week before your period. Some of the possible causes include:
1. Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids can cause spotting to occur during times in the menstrual cycle where it would normally never happen. An estimated 70 percent of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their life, so this condition is especially common. You will most likely have other symptoms as well if you have this condition. You may experience painful periods, pelvic pain or pain during sexual intercourse.
2. An IUD
Normally, an IUD is supposed to prevent you from having a period. Your body takes time to adjust to the IUD, so you may still notice spotting for three to six months after the IUD is implanted.
3. Implantation Bleeding
If you are not supposed to have your period for a week or longer, spotting could be caused by implantation. During implantation, a fertilized egg implants itself on the wall of the uterus. When this happens, some of the uterine wall breaks off and causes spotting to occur. It is too early to take a pregnancy test yet, but you can always take one after the first day of your missed period to find out if it is implantation bleeding.
4. Slow Thyroid Function
Sometimes, people with a slow thyroid will have spotting. A slow thyroid will change your metabolism and body temperature. In addition, people with slowed thyroid function may develop symptoms like neck pain, extreme weight gain and fatigue.
5. Birth Control Changes
Everything that you do to your hormones can cause a physical change in your body. If you suddenly stop taking birth control pills or switch to a different form of birth control, it can cause spotting to occur. The changing levels of estrogen in your body cause the lining of your uterus to change. Normally, this will clear up within one to three months. If you miss a birth control pill, it can also cause spotting to occur.
6. Delayed Ovulation
If you ovulate later than you normally do, it can cause odd things to happen in your body. When ovulation is delayed, it can cause a small amount of blood to be released or pain in your abdomen. There could also be a cyst in or on your uterus that is causing the spotting to happen.
7. Extra Stress
Stress causes a physical reaction in your body, so it is unsurprising that it can also cause spotting a week before your period. Your body releases extra cortisol hormones when it is under stress, and this hormone causes changes in your estrogen and progesterone levels. As a result, your period can become irregular and you may develop spotting before your period.
Should You Be Worried About Spotting Before Period?
For the most part, spotting is a normal occurrence and nothing to worry about. Light spotting should never really be a cause of worry. If you have heavy bleeding between your periods that cause you to switch menstrual pads every hour, you should schedule a check-up with your doctor. Other reasons why you should go to your doctor include:
– Bleeding after menopause
– Light spotting during a minimum of three menstrual cycles
– Vaginal bleeding that is more frequent than every three weeks
– Excessive bleeding that lasts for more than three days
– Heavy bleeding right after sex
– Vaginal bleeding that varies from your normal menstrual pattern
Pay attention to your menstrual cycle because you will need to tell your doctor about any symptoms, time lines and spotting. Once the doctor is able to diagnose the problem, they will be able to treat it. You should always go to the doctor if you feel like anything is off or wrong with your body. While spotting may be caused by implantation bleeding or minor lifestyle changes, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. If your spotting occurs every month, make an appointment with your doctor to find out the cause.