Pregnancy / Period

Menstrual Cycles Spotting – Know Everything [THE GUIDE]

What is spotting before period?

Spotting before the period is a phenomenon where the female vagina starts bleeding.

There could be three different types of spotting, namely Whitish fluid spotting, Yellowish fluid spotting and blood spotting.

These three types of spotting are clearly due to three different reasons and they should not be confused with each other.

Whitish fluid spotting

This is a normal type of pre-period spotting, which almost every female experience at some point in time in her life.

This process helps in keeping the vaginal lining moist. This is also called clear discharge before period.

Yellowish fluid spotting

This type of yellow discharge before period could mean that the female is experiencing some sort of vaginal irritation.

This could also mean some sort of vaginal infection problem.

Though the exact causes could not be clinically verified, case to case studies has led to gynecologist/specialists to conclude that the following reasons could be responsible for bleeding a week before period.

  • Yeast infection: This is mainly due to Candida fungus. She often experiences an intense feeling of itches, swelling symptoms or even intense irritation feeling.
  • Menopause caused Vaginal Atrophy: The tissues start thinning. Lubrication is lessened. This could be due to estrogen deficiency during this period.
  • Urethra infection: This is the tube, which eliminates urine/fluids out of the female body.
    Inflammation of the Pelvic region. This is said to be mainly caused by pre-period bacterial infection. Sometimes this could result in pain.
  • Possible Pregnancy: She needs to carry out a pregnancy test.
  • Intense stress: This often leads to temporary blockage in the path of periods. If the periods don’t happen for over 2 3 months, she will need to undergo related treatment from a gynecologist.

Blood spotting

If the pre-period vaginal bleeding is containing stains of blood, it could be a complex situation and needs immediate attention.

Again, this depends on the intensity of the bleeding.

If the blood bleeding is very thin in intensity, it could be due to excess body heat during that time. She can try to cool his body temperature by consuming heat reducing smoothies and food.

If the intensity is moderate or high, then she will need to consult her gynecologist for sure.

The Yellowish fluid spotting and blood spotting could also be due to other reasons.

Some such possible reasons have been discussed in the next section.

What are the possible causes of Pre Period spotting?

First time period. She is maturing from childhood into adolescence.

Normally females get their first period between the ages of 8 11.

Sometimes, it could take till she is 13 years.

During this time:

There are many hormonal changes which keep happening inside her body.

These are the typical changes that could cause imbalances in her physical conditions.

This could also cause many psychological changes/stresses etc.

It is possible that the pre-period bleeding is happening due to any of the reasons.

She can wait until the actual menstrual cycle starts.

If the girl has any slight knowledge about it, the question of why am I spotting before my period is natural to occur.

In case the period does not happen for about 10 15 days after the expected time, it would be better to consult a gynecologist/specialist.

Use of Intra Urinal Device/Copper T/physical Contraceptive.

This phenomenon of pre-period bleeding normally occurs during the initial 6 – 7 months after inserting the device; it is natural for the bleeding to happen.

  • If the bleeding is not accompanied by irritation/pain, she can consider it as normal. However, she could try out a simple experiment. Try to take out the device for a while and observe any changes. If the bleeding stops or reduces, she could just forget about it and go ahead with her regular life.
  • If the bleeding is accompanied by irritation/pain/ physical discomfort, it would be wise to consult the gynecologist/specialist.

Usage of Contraceptive Pills:

This could be one of the causes.

She may have started the use of pills, changed the pill type/pill brand, or stopped using the pill.

In all the cases also the chances of pre-period bleeding still exist.

Physical/mental stress:

This is said to be one of the most hidden causes of pre-period bleeding.

Physical stress happens due to excess workload, lack of sleep, post-surgery recovery, post-illness recovery, post-childbirth recovery and many more.

The growth of fibroids in the inner uterus region:

They could vary in size from very thin ones to very thick ones.


This will be marked by more than just the yellowish or blood bleeding.

Some of the most common symptoms could be

  • Frequent Pelvic pain
  • Frequent urination urges
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent signs of constipation

Frequent Back pain/muscle pain etc.

It is always better to go for a checkup from the specialist if any such signs continue.

  • It is estimated that pre-period bleeding could start anywhere between 5 10 days before the actual periods. If any of the above specified 5 symptoms (ae) persist up to 3 4days consistently, it is better to go for the testing.

There are many types of treatments available related to curing of fibroid problem.

Some of the most commonly used medications/treatments include

  • LNG IUS Device: This miniature plastic device, which is placed in the inner female womb region starts releasing a hormone called progestogen. This hormone stops the growth of the fibroids.
  • Tran Examic Tablets Consumption: They can be helpful in preventing the fibroid growth. The consumption should be strictly according to the prescriptions given by the gynecologist/specialist.
  • Inflammation prevention medication: It mainly consists of a Mefenamic acid compound. It helps in preventing the inner uterine fibroid growth. It also acts as an effective pain reliever.
  • The surgical method of fibroid removal: This is the least preferred method. If the above-specified methods are not effective or the intensity of fibroid growth is heavy, then the specialists recommend this method.

Hypothyroid symptoms:

This could be another reason for the excessive pre-period bleeding.

If she is feeling frequent fatigue, throat irritations, consistent sweating and other thyroid related symptoms, it is better to take her to the family physician/expert and get a complete diagnosis.

Diabetic condition:

When the glucose levels in the blood vary during the pre-period, the chances of bleeding increases.

If she is a known diabetic patient, then it is better to consult the physician and take prescriptions for treatment.

If the diabetic condition is yet to be detected, it would wise to get her diagnosed with diabetes.

Endometriosis condition:

This is a peculiar condition, where the tissue which is located on the external surface of the uterus will tend to break up.

This causes the bleeding to happen.

Blood thinner compound/medication usage:

They are primarily used when blood clots appear. If the usage has been in excess or if she is having other medical complications due to their usage, this can also lead to pre-period bleeding.

Since the thinners are mostly administered by experts/doctors in the form of injections, the patient will be unable to do anything by herself.

Therefore it is a better idea to take the expert consultations for curing this condition.

Earlier miscarriage condition:

If there had been an earlier pregnancy which had led to miscarriage condition, the chances of pre-period bleeding increase.

It is better to avoid self-medication techniques for this type of problem and take the help of an expert to find a cure.

Pregnancy condition:

During this period, the chances of periods are next to zero.


The possibilities of bleeding still exist.

It is always better to take a precautionary pregnancy test.

If it is proved positive, then it could be due to excess pressure on the uterus walls.

This can be cured with the help of expert prescribed medications.

What are the possible Colors of spotting?

We have seen three types of pre-period bleeding and tried to analyze the possible causes.

There are other types also, which could be observed during this time. Some of them are

Thick white discharge before period

Unless this type of discharge has any bad odor associated with it, it can be considered as normal.

Wetness will be usually experienced, but pain, irritation/itching will not be there if it is normal.

If any of these symptoms persist, then she will need medical help.

Bloody discharge before period

We have already discussed this sort of condition earlier (11 points).

There is one more possibility, namely cancer.

Some of the commonly occurring types could be

Digestive system cancer tumor:

According to experts, this symptom is restricted to the digestive organs.

But experience has shown that it could even be related to pre-period bleeding.

  • If she is having frequent constipation, which is refusing to go away after consuming regular medications.
  • If she is experiencing regular fatigue, nausea and vomiting sensations/vomiting, which are not getting subdued in spite of medications.
  • If the bleeding is happening in the frequency of hours, rather than days.

Vulva/vagina structural changes/swelling etc.

This has to be immediately examined by a gynecologist/expert.

Swelling in the abdominal region.

She will be able to physically feel the swelling upon self-examination.

If any such signs are felt, then also it is recommended that she is taken for examination.

Cancer in the Uterus region:

Bleeding accompanied by a lower backache.

Experts opine that this symptom could be a strong indication of cancer in the uterus region.

The problem in most of such cases is that they are seldom reported.

Therefore the doctor/expert is not able to take timely action.

One such case was reported in 2011. The patient was basically from the country side and naturally did not have much knowledge about the medical hazards of such conditions.

She was prescribed some pain relievers to take out her backache.

Even after 15 20 days, she did not get any sort of relief from her lower back pain.

Moreover, her periods also got postponed.

Pregnancy test proved to be negative; hence the doctor merely changed her prescription for curing her back pain.

Nothing worked.

It was only when the bleeding became severe, that she was transferred to an advanced hospital in the capital.

There she was diagnosed with Uterus cancer.

By that time, unfortunately, the options of treatment had run out.

The doctor had to remove her uterus in order to save her from getting into further critical conditions.

Pink spotting before period

This is a type of bloody discharge, where the quantity of blood bleeding is far lesser.

However, the chances of a serious health condition cannot be ruled out.

It is not the goal of this article to scare the patients out of their wits; rather it is only a precautionary warning.

If she stops bleeding after a brief period before her actual period starts off, she can feel safe.

On the other hand:

If the bleeding persists even further, it could be a serious cause of concerns.

Let us look at some of the most probable conditions, which have to lead to this sort of bleeding.

Hormone disorder.

There are many reasons for this to happen. Some of the Hormone imbalance problems occur when

  • She is on a birth control pill
  • She is having a hormone deficiency.
  • She is suffering from lack of nutrition, minerals and other forms of energizing vitamins. They can be treated easily when she consults her gynecologist expert.

Attachment of the fertilized egg to either the fallopian tube/abdominal cavity region/ cervix region.


These are rare conditions, experience shows that such conditions are also possible.

Creamy discharge before period

This is quite a normal condition before the periods time.

The possible chances are that she is consuming pregnancy prevention medications, her ovulation cycles have problems or even it could be natural causes.

In these cases also, the possibility of creamy discharge is there.

Most of the cases consist of white creamy discharge before the period or milky discharge before period.

Watery discharge before period

This is considered to be a normal condition.

Hence, there is no need to panic under such situations.

Brownish discharge before period

When the color is brown, it could be assumed that the blood coming from the uterus could be due to the previous period’s cycle.

In such circumstances, she needs to wait for at least 2 3 days.

If the low/moderate level of bleeding stops naturally, she will have nothing to fear.

It is only when the bleeding continues into the 4thday/the intensity of bleeding is too high, and then she will need medical attention.

Light spotting before period

This is also considered to be quite normal in nature.

Most of the females experience this sort of bleeding about 5 7 days before their actual periods start.

Though the exact reasons for this sort of bleeding are medically not established, it is presumed that they could be due to hormone changes that go with every period.

If one observes closely, the sort of physical and mental experiences of the female is not the same during all eh period cycles.

This could be attributed to the varying physical conditions of each individual.

Other cases
In some cases, no discharge before period is observed.

However, the normal period gets postponed.

This could be attributed to changed/varied physical activities, changes in previous menstrual cycles, pregnancy, previous miscarriage incidents, increasing stress levels etc.

If the period cycle is pushed beyond 3 4 months compared to the normal cycles, it is highly recommended that she consults her gynecologist/physician.

Stress is supposed to play a major role in altering the menstrual cycle.

This could be either physical or psychological in nature.

Physical stresses could occur due to many reasons including

If she is an athlete/sports person.

It is common for such individuals to experience delayed periods quite often.

But such delays, when they happen frequently could lead to further complications in future pregnancy.

Some such symptoms could be noticed in females who happen to

  • Go through excess physical stress due to exercising: This could result in imbalanced hormones and result in delayed periods.
  • Ovary failure: This could happen due to critical issues concerned with ovaries producing hormones. Medical science is yet to find a reliable solution to this problem. It occurs in females, who are normally approaching their 40s.
  • Fibroids in the uterus region: As we have seen earlier in this article, it is one of the most commonly occurring problems. It can be cured with medications as described earlier.

Psychological stress is yet another cause which results in delayed periods.

Change of place, personal problems, uncertainty about future and other related issues could also cause this.

Side effects of medications:

This could be another major cause of delayed menstrual cycles.

In some cases:

The patients take medications without proper prescriptions. Such phenomenon could be quite commonly observed in cases o a headache, common cold/cough etc.

Recovery from surgery/illness:

In such cases also, the hormone balance in the female anatomy will fluctuate.

Sometimes this could be normal and menstruation will automatically resume, once she is physically well.

In some other complex cases, the delay could be extended up to more than 6 7 months.

It is recommended that she consult her gynecologist in such cases of abnormal delays.

Cervical mucus before period

A female is naturally protected by Cervical mucus.

It gets produced within her sexual/reproductive organs and gets discharged sometimes.

It is a liquid which is responsible for the protection of uterus from any external attacks and infections.

The density of this fluid is said to be quite thin during normal cycles and grow thicker during her pregnancy.

On the other hand

It also shows the fertility level of a female ovary.

Hence, there will be no need to fear/panic when such fluids are observed during the pre period cycles.

Female periods normally occur in three phases, namely

  • Follicular: This is the initial period in the menstrual cycle, when the female ovary is about to release the egg. It lasts roughly about 5 days.
  • Ovulatory: This is the phase when the female ovary releases the egg. The released egg passes through the fallopian tube travel to the end.
  • Luteal: In this phase, the egg awaits a sperm cell to fertilize it. The duration typically lasts for 24 hours. If the process of fertilization fails to happen, the endometrial substance compound, within the uterus is exhausted. This naturally leads to the next phase called the menstrual phase. If there happens to be any variations in any phases, this could lead to abnormalities in the menstrual cycle.

1 Comment

  1. It should also important to note that if you suspect that you are pregnant because of implantation bleeding, never fully trust a home pregnancy test. Your body may not have produced enough “pregnant” hormone yet for the test to detect. You either wait a few more days or just check with your doctor

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Carol Turner
Carol Turner, M.D. is an obstetrician who treats a broad range of women’s health issues. She specializes in pregnancy, general obstetrics, cervical cancer prevention, abnormal vaginal bleeding, minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery. Dr. Turner’s philosophy of care is the patient. She has spent most of her live educating young women on the importance of routine pre-cancer testing. Carol received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.