Why do I get spotting instead of my regular period?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Dr Christopher Ng

"More than 20 years of obstetrics and gynaecology experience"

A lot of women may experience spotting as their "normal" period. for some women, their menses may reduce in amount so that it is just spotting rather than a full period. as long as your menses is regular, there is usually nothing to worry about.

However if your menses is irregular,  then it would be a good idea to get this investigated. some possible causes may be a hormonal change or imbalance or vaginal/cervical infections. your gynaecologist can perform an ultrasound scan to determine if there are any abnormal growths (cervical or endometrial poylps, ovarian cysts) and also measure the endometrial thickness of your uterus. a hormonal blood test can screen for any hormonal abnormalities and a vaginal swab can pick up any possible infections as the cause of your irregular per vaginal spotting. quiet often enough after all these investigations there may be no cause found.

Spotting is usually not a sign of something worrying, especially if it happens around your ovulation, or 1-2 days before or after your period.

The length of time for which you've had spotting for does not sound normal, and you should visit your GP/gynae to have it checked out.

Your doctor may need to perform a pregnancy/STD test or ultrasound scan, depending on your history. Off the top of my head, one possible cause of your spotting from what you've mentioned is switching/stopping your hormone pills.Hormone pills can cause irregular periods and spotting for a period of time (up to months), especially when you first start or stop using them.

Other factors that could cause spotting include:

Ovulation. During ovulation, which happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle, some women notice light spotting.

Pregnancy. About 20 percent of women have spotting during the first 3 months of their pregnancy.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is common in young women.  

Uterine fibroids or cervical polyps. Both are non-cancerous growths.

Infections. An infection can sometimes make you spot. 

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