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Period Tips, Help & Advice / Claire Blackmore

#TabooTuesday: *Everything* You NTK About Spotting

Bleeding between periods is known as spotting and can occur for a number of reasons. Often, spotting is nothing to worry about, but occasionally it can be an indication that something isn’t quite right.

Today, Pink Parcel’s resident GP, Dr Louise Newson from Spire Parkway Hospital, tells us the NTK’s of spotting.

What are the most common causes for bleeding between periods?

“There are many different causes of bleeding between periods. The most common causes are sexually transmitted infections, cervical polyps, starting or changing your contraceptive (this might be a pill, injection or implant). More uncommonly it can be due to cancer of the cervix or womb.”

Does spotting look the same as a regular period?

“No, depending on the cause, the blood is usually darker red and far lighter than a period, sometimes it is only noticed on wiping yourself after going to the toilet. It usually does not last very long either.”

Is ovulation spotting normal?

“Some women notice a very small amount of bleeding half way through their cycle which can be due to ovulation. Other women notice a change in vaginal discharge or a lower abdominal (tummy) pain around this time.”

Why about bleeding after sex? Is that a worry?

“The causes of bleeding after sexual intercourse can be similar to those causes of bleeding in between your periods. It can sometimes be caused by vaginal dryness that occurs during the menopause. However, bleeding after sexual intercourse is not usually due to ovulation or contraception. In around a half of women, no cause can actually be found.”

So, should you see the doctor if you’re spotting?

“If you have experienced any bleeding either between your periods or after sexual intercourse then you should see your doctor. It is really important that your doctor excludes more serious causes of the bleeding.”

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