Premenstrual spotting

Premenstrual spotting
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Premenstrual spotting

The term spotting comes from the English verb "to spot", which literally means "to spot"; in the medical-gynecological language it spotting outlines an abnormal, albeit modest, uterine blood loss between two menses. Spotting can usually occur 2-7 days before the arrival of menstruation and is precisely characterized by modest blood loss dark in color.

We interviewed the Dr. , specialist in gynecology, who explains what it is premenstrual spotting, why it occurs and how to deal with it.

Read also: Implantation losses or start of menstruation?

In this article

Spotting: le cause

Among the main causes of premenstrual spotting there is undoubtedly a lack of progesterone, linked to periods of stress or anovulatory cycles

"The spotting is linked to a deficiency of progesterone, which is the hormone that rises in the second phase of the cycle (the luteal phase) and which precipitates abruptly with the arrival of menstruation, when the endometrium flakes off, causing blood to leak "notes the gynecologist Rossana . "If blood loss occurs before the period, it means that the progesterone levels are not enough to keep the endometrium intact, but neither are they low enough to cause actual menstruation."

At the basis of this deficiency there may be a period of stress, which inhibits ovarian activity, or an anovulatory cycle, i.e. without ovulation, which results in lower than usual progesterone production.


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Spotting: useful tips

An ultrasound and a hormonal dosage and, if necessary, a progesterone supplementation are useful

In case spotting occurs frequently, it is advisable do an ultrasound, to evaluate the thickness of the endometrium and evaluate if it is sufficiently nourished by progesterone (it is progesterone in fact that induces the synthesis of a substance, called glycogen, which serves to thicken the endometrium in view of a possible pregnancy) and a hormone dosage around the 22nd day, when progesterone production should be at maximum levels.

If a deficiency is identified, the gynecologist will evaluate the advisability of prescribing a progesterone supplement, useful not only to avoid spotting, but also to counteract various ailments that can be related to the drop in progesterone, such as irritability, swelling, constipation, acne.

"A supplement is even more recommended if you want one pregnancy, since progesterone is the hormone that not only creates the optimal conditions to accommodate the fertilized egg, but also promotes the growth of the product of conception in the first weeks "underlines the Female doctor .

Blood loss one week before your period

Pre-period bleeding usually occurs 2 to 7 days before the start of menstruation. A spotting one week before your period could also be an implantation leak, so if not usedor contraceptive methods and if menstruation does not occur, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test.

Blood loss before your period with the pill

One ten women who take birth control pills have intra-menstrual spotting, especially in the first few months. This is a fairly common side effect that passes as soon as the body settles down to the rhythms imposed by the pill.

Blood loss before the menstrual cycle

Slight discharge may occur in conjunction with ovulation or after intercourse, but it is always important not to underestimate abnormal spotting and to contact your doctor.

It can also be implantation leaks (also known as false menstruation) and in this case they occur after about ten days from conception. 

Spotting in menopausa

Spotting can be a normal condition in premenopause

A deficiency of progesterone and therefore spotting phenomena can occur more frequently in the years preceding menopause, when they occur more often anovulatory cycles and poor progesterone production.

Spotting is always an indicator that something in the body is not working properly: the abnormal uterine blood loss, typical of spotting, is not dangerous in itself, but the main problem is represented by the disorder that lies behind this phenomenon.

Read also: Menstrual cycle, get to know it

Questions and answers

What is the difference between menstruation and menstruation?

  • The menstrual cycle coincides with the time interval between one menstruation and the next.
  • Menstruation consists of the flaking of the mucous membrane that lines the inner wall of the uterus (endometrium), accompanied by a variable loss of blood through the vagina. 

How long does a woman's menstrual cycle last?

The menstrual cycle, i.e. the interval between the onset of two successive menstruation, is generally 28 days. However, some variability is to be considered normal: the duration of menstrual cycles can usually range from 25 to 36 days.

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  • spotting
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  • Menses
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