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Spotting: causes and tips for protection

15 Jan, 2023

Spotting: causes and tips for protection

Spotting can occur in women during the entire menstrual cycle. In many cases, they are caused by changes in the hormone balance. In some cases, however, spotting can also be caused by illnesses. If in doubt, it is always advisable to consult your gynaecologist about spotting to be on the safe side.

The most important facts about spotting at a glance

  • Spotting can occur during the entire menstrual cycle.
  • Spotting is often triggered by hormonal fluctuations.
  • During pregnancy, spotting can occur for both harmless and serious reasons.
  • Occasionally, spotting in women is also caused by benign growths or cancers.
  • Depending on the intensity, frequency, timing and other symptoms, women with spotting should consult their gynaecologist.
  • Our period pants are ideal for keeping you safe at all times, even when you're not menstruating.
period pants

How do you recognise spotting?

Spotting is usually much weaker than normal menstrual bleeding. Often the vaginal discharge is brownish in colour. Spotting can last a few hours or several days. They occur outside of normal menstrual bleeding and are generally possible during the complete menstrual cycle. If you notice vaginal discharge outside of your period, it is very likely that you are spotting.

Common causes of spotting

Spotting can have many different causes. Besides harmless triggers, there are also serious illnesses.

The following are some of the possible causes of spotting:

  • Hormone fluctuations 
  • Inflammatory diseases 
  • Implantation bleeding
  • Miscarriages 
  • Ectopic pregnancies 
  • Benign growths 
  • Cancers

Spotting due to hormonal fluctuations

In most cases, hormonal changes are responsible for spotting. For example, a drop in oestrogen levels and a simultaneous rise in progesterone levels can cause bleeding immediately after ovulation. period underwear

Apart from this, if the egg is successfully fertilised, there may be a short period of bleeding when it implants in the lining of the uterus. This is called implantation bleeding. In addition, women who have just started taking the contraceptive pill or have had an IUD inserted can often have spotting.

Another possible cause of spotting in many women is hormonal fluctuations during puberty. In young women, the unscheduled bleeding stops when the menstrual cycle has settled down, and in older women it stops at the latest with the onset of the menopause.

Spotting due to inflammatory diseases

Especially in women under 40 who are sexually active, inflammation of the ovaries as well as the fallopian tubes can occur. In addition to pain during sex, spotting is one of the characteristic symptoms of inflammation in affected women.

Apart from the tubes and ovaries, the vagina and uterus can also become inflamed. Both are noticeable through foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain in the lower abdomen and spotting. 

Spotting in pregnant women

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience spotting. Fortunately, in most cases this is caused by completely harmless hormonal fluctuations, so you don't have to worry about it at first. However, it is possible that the bleeding is caused by something more serious.

These can include a miscarriage, premature placental abruption or a so-called ectopic pregnancy, where the egg has lodged in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus. If you have spotting during your pregnancy, we recommend that you contact your gynaecologist to be on the safe side. This is especially true if your bleeding is unusually heavy and you also have symptoms such as fever or abdominal cramps.

Cancer as a cause of spotting

Unfortunately, spotting in women can sometimes be a symptom of cancer. Cancers that can cause spotting include uterine cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer and ovarian cancer.

Apart from these, benign growths on the uterine muscles and polyps on the uterus and cervix can also lead to spotting in women.

When your spotting is a case for the doctor

There is probably hardly a woman who has not experienced spotting at one time or another. Fortunately, the causes are usually harmless. If you have one episode of light bleeding outside of menstruation, there is usually no reason to worry.

However, if the bleeding occurs regularly during your cycle or at very short intervals, a visit to your gynaecologist is definitely recommended.

You should always be examined in the following situations, among others:

  • Recurrent spotting at short intervals
  • Spotting that occurs regularly during the cycle 
  • Noticeably heavy bleeding between menstrual cycles 
  • Spotting after the menopause 
  • Bleeding during pregnancy 
  • If you have additional symptoms like severe pain, weakness or fever

Your gynaecologist will examine you to find out what is causing your spotting. Depending on the diagnosis, she will decide what treatment to give you. For example, you may need to take hormone supplements or antibiotics, have surgery or undergo chemotherapy. 

period panties

Using period underwear instead of disposable tampons

If you suffer from spotting, it can be a real nuisance in your daily life. Using period underwear can give you peace of mind and ensure that you don't have to worry about a mishap at work when you're out and about.

You can wear your period underwear just like your regular underwear and wash it in the washing machine after use.

In our shop you will find a selection of different models to choose from. It's best to just try them out. We're sure you'll love our sustainable period underwear not only for protection against spotting, but also during your normal period.

Our conclusion on spotting

As you can see, spotting can be caused by a number of things. If you have spotting more often, if it is unusually heavy, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal pain, you should see your gynaecologist. This way, you can be sure that any illnesses can be detected and treated promptly.