Periods are one of the biggest concerns of a woman’s life. Together with many health concerns of daily life routine, menstruation is an important issue for health. A normal healthy menstrual formula isn’t a mathematical formula. For Example: normal days of menstruation can vary from 28 days to 35 which is completely healthy. Similarly, some women observe thicker vaginal discharge and other may observe. Color may range to various grades of transparent with mild alterations. Getting pregnant at different stages of period is also concern for many woman who are trying to get pregnant.
What does spotting mean?
Any bleeding outside the normal range of menstruation is considered as spotting. As we have mentioned earlier that normal days of menstrual cycle vary from 28 to 35 days. So, you must know the normal days of your bleeding exactly, which can vary from 7 days to shorter or slightly longer. Which can be a day or two of spotting after 3 to 5 days of bleeding is normal.
What is Spotting Between Period:
Any bleeding occurring after menses ends or before the usual time of next period. The amount of bleeding may vary in amount. It can be just a mild spot that you might not be able to pick on colored undergarments, or a significant amount. This topic is discussed at the end of article.
What is Normal Spotting?
A bleeding that occurs by the end of a lady’s bleeding days. Few women might observe a slight spotting before periods which might be normal if it’s not too much and usual. Slight spotting can occur during different periods of menstrual cycle:
- A mild spotting occurring in the middle of cycle.
- A mild spotting occurring that occurs 10 to 14 days before the start of next cycle is normal.
- Spotting may also occur during ovulation.
- A mild spotting can also occur around ovulation.
What does bleeding between periods mean?
Maintaining a difference between normal vaginal bleeding and spotting isn’t a rocket science. For maintaining difference in between one just needs to uphold the normal definitions and standards we have shared. Spotting isn’t as gushing and quantified as normal bleeding. It is frequently lesser sometimes only marks over toilet paper. So a woman needs to be careful regarding this.
Pink Discharge After Period A Concern?
Normal vaginal bleeding varies from transparent to white. However, variations in the color of vaginal discharge other than this might indicate normal bleeding or abnormal and mandates a gynecological check-up.
Physiological and Non-harmful Pink Discharge:
A discharge of light pink color after menses is a slight bleeding which may be caused by ovulation, implantation, or contraception. Many discharges can be normal.
- A slight pinkish discharge occurring in the middle of cycle in a generally healthy women can be physiological. This can be ovulation bleeding. This bleeding occurs when a mature eggs emerges from its follicle which is related to bleeding from minor vessels. Such bleeding isn’t a medical concern.
- Women who are taking birth control pills are predisposed to pink discharge. Bleeding from oral contraceptive pills occurs due to changes in hormonal levels and is harmless. However, if a woman observes associated symptoms together along with such spotting in between periods, in these cases doctor must be consulted and he might discontinue the drug.
- Normal bleeding may occur due to implantation of the embryo (cells produced by fusion of male and female reproductive cell and fusion). This bleeding is painless, early pregnancy symptoms show up just after discharge.
Problematic Vaginal Pink Spotting:
Abnormal bleeding can occur once or regularly. Abnormal bleeding can occur after sexual intercourse otherwise it can occur spontaneously.
A pink discharge after an undiagnosed pregnancy needs an important concern. Because a bleeding after pregnancy has commenced indicated cessation of the normal course of pregnancy. This may indicate a problem caused by other problems like thyroid issues, coagulation failures and drugs that alter the coagulation function.
Abnormal Pink Vaginal Discharge after Periods:
There are many other pathological conditions associated with pink vaginal discharge which may indicate:
- Adenomyosis: A diseased situation in which the tissues of uterus (particularly endometrial lining) implants in to the muscular layer of uterus (myometrium).
- Endometriosis: It is another diseased condition with mucous lining of uterus (endometrium) implants outside the uterine cavity like over bladder, ovaries, rectum and other parts which will present as vaginal bleeding.
- Myomas: This is another form of pathology in which a periodical bleeding is observed (that is a bleeding with regular successive intervals) including pink and mid-cycle discharge.
- Conditions that are precancerous: This might sounds alarming and would have given you a goose bum. But there’s nothing to worry about it reason being that cancer has genetic predispositions and usually develop in later stages of life. Due to its harmful nature it should be considered as a ‘might be’ underlying disease which should be screened. Screening a disease doesn’t mean that you have got one. It is wisely said prevention is better than cure.
- Hormonal Disturbances: There are various endocrine problems that may induce abnormal spotting. Most common of which is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or commonly known as Polycystic Disease. This disease presents with variety of presentations among which is irregular menses and abnormal spotting.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: These are also a high yield concern and a major problem with un-protected sexual intercourse and unhygienic body habits. This may not only cause a pink discharge after periods but other symptoms also like irritation of skin, mucous linking, itching, burning, unpleasant smell and other substances in vaginal discharge.
To conclude painful or non-painful vaginal bleeding or spotting that occurs at abnormal time and takes a usual course must warrant a referral from your doctor.
Brown spotting between and after periods is discussed in detailed article here.
We are listing a quick summary of causes of brown vaginal discharge:
- It might indicate a normal physiological bleeding if it is scarce in amount and not a usual patter in a woman that lacks any co-morbid and prior disease.
- Brown discharge might occur due to ovulation problems. In cases where ovulation hasn’t occurred more and more estrogen will cause thickening of endometrium (hyperplasia) and leads to irregular pink bleeding.
- Puberty may warrant brown vaginal discharge due to hormonal storm. This may be a normal finding in many girls during first few months of puberty.
- Stress can also cause abnormal discharges induced by stress hormones such as cortisol that interfere with ovulation. Thus, the underlying problem is hormonal in this case.
- Birth control pills can cause hormonal problem and thus cause brown vaginal or other colored vaginal discharge.
- Fibroids may also cause abnormal vaginal bleed. These are responsive to female hormones and thus increase in size as women ages and decreases in size after menopause
- Polyps is a non-cancerous growth like fibroid which is also benign. Polyps can occur at different positions of uterine cavity where they may pose different problems.
- Endometriosis: They are uterine tissues lining the uterine cavity causing problematic bleeding, with server cramps, pink brown discharge and even heavy bleeding.
- Pregnancy can cause abnormal bleeding from.
- Menopause can sometime cause abnormal vaginal bleed.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Condition is that in which the fallopian tube of female become inflamed. Inflamed epithelium can cause bleeding.
Red Spotting Between Before and After Periods:
Caused of red spotting are similar to pink spotting as there is a slight color observation. There isn’t any medical difference between them.
Spotting With Respect to Different Timings:
- Spotting in between cycles may indicate a shortening of cycle. In a women of mid and late forties it might indicate a peri-menopausal condition.
- Spotting after a period may indicate a diseased situation or indicate the weakening of uterus. It happens in some ladies when their uterus is weaker and doesn’t contract significantly enough to shed the blood and shed tissue of uterine cavity.
- Spotting before beginning of periods might indicate ovulation and implantation. It may also indicate pathological causes that need doctor’s intervention.
- Spotting during pregnancy if significant is alarming. However, mild spotting may indicate implantation of the embryo in to the wall of uterus.
- Spotting can occur due to STDs as mentioned earlier.
- Spotting can occur due to birth control pills.
When to See a Doctor:
A doctor must be consulted when you observe any such symptoms which we have mentioned above. Go to the doctor if you feel:
- Abnormal and unusual spotting.
- Prominent Spotting outside normal days.
- Fatigue and dizziness.
- Systemic problems.
What Would Happen If One Doesn’t Visit a Doctor:
As we have mentioned in detail that few bleeding can be pathological due to an underlying disease. So this mandates a visit to doctor missing which may cause the disease to get chronic. This may lead to worsening of the disease, exacerbation of symptoms, and procession of the disease course. The earlier you go the better the prognosis. Nipping the evil in bud is easier rather rearing it for causing problems.