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Spotting Between Periods: 4 Reasons it Happens

Spotting between periods is common. Here are four reasons it happens to most women and what to do about it.



Every once in a while, your period may make an unexpected appearance right in the middle of your menstrual cycle. With one drop here or two drops there, spotting between periods can take you by surprise. Should you be concerned?

Some women notice light spotting for a day or two after ovulation.

Four Explanations for Spotting Between Periods

Ovulation: Some women notice light spotting for a day or two after ovulation. This happens regularly for some people. Ovulation is the time in your cycle when you are most fertile. If you are avoiding pregnancy, make sure not to get ovulation spotting confused with menstrual bleeding!


Contraception: Spotting between periods is a common side effect of hormonal birth control, like birth control pills, hormonal IUDs and patches, shots, and implants. Spotting may occur when you start the contraceptive or shortly after stopping its use. If you experience “breakthrough bleeding” every month, let your doctor know. That may not be the right birth control option for you.


Pregnancy: Many women experience spotting during pregnancy. It usually happens in the first few months. This can be harmless in a healthy pregnancy. If you are experiencing other symptoms of pregnancy, take a test to confirm you are. If you are pregnant, see a doctor right away. A doctor can help you get on the right track for pregnancy and make sure that your spotting isn’t caused by an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.


Menopause: As your body prepares to transition out of your child-bearing years, you may experience hormonal imbalances that cause spotting. This is a sign that you are starting the transition to menopause.


Should You Tell Your Doctor?

Yes! While spotting can happen regularly for some women, it can also be a sign of a larger problem. There are many serious conditions associated with spots. Here are just a few: miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, thyroid issues, cancer, uterine fibroid or polyps, ovarian cysts or cervical or uterine cancer, and many more.

Let your doctor know if you are experiencing bleeding or spotting between periods so that he or she can help you explain the cause or catch a more serious condition as early as possible.

What’s Best to Wear in Case of Spotting?

For light protection on spotty days, try Thin Liners. They’re so light and thin, you’ll forget one’s there, yet you’ll feel confident knowing you’re covered.


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