Mid-Cycle Spotting – Should You Be Concerned?

Mid-Cycle Spotting – Should You Be Concerned?

mid-cycle spottingPicture this: you wake up one morning and realize you are bleeding. Your last menstrual period just ended a week ago, and you aren’t due to start again until next month. Why are you seeing blood now?

This unexpected bleeding is considered mid-cycle spotting, or abnormal uterine bleeding. When experienced outside of your normal menstrual period, mid-cycle spotting can often be frightening. It brings up a range of emotions and questions you likely don’t know how to answer. Am I pregnant? Do I have a hormone imbalance? What is wrong with my body?

Mid-cycle spotting is one of the most asked about fertility concerns women approach us with. The concern is valid. As far as most of us learned growing up, you are only supposed to bleed during your period, not randomly throughout your cycle. There is some truth to this, but there are also a few exceptions. I hope to help you understand the different causes of mid-cycle spotting, learning to recognize what is normal and when it may be a sign that something isn’t quite right, which may warrant a trip to consult with your gynecologist.

Causes Of Mid-Cycle Spotting

Abnormalities of the Cervix

Though rare, conditions of the cervix such as HPV or cervical fibroids may cause some slight bleeding mid-cycle. If the mid-cycle bleeding is accompanied by pain in the cervical region, it would be best to have your gynecologist check this out. Very rarely, abnormalities of the cervix may be cancerous.


Some, but not all women with endometriosis report mid-cycle spotting. The cause is not completely understood, but it is speculated that a disruption with hormone signaling may be the culprit. Excess endometrial tissue under the influence of hormones may be given disrupted signals, leading to breakthrough bleeding.

Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding can be the most confusing of all, particularly for women currently trying to conceive. The hope is that the spotting they are experiencing is a sign of pregnancy, and not simply another period.

Up to 1/3 of women who conceive will experience implantation bleeding. This occurs at about 6 to 12 days post-conception. The scant discharge, tinted a light pink to brown, is the result of the trophoblast (tissue that forms around the fertilized egg) implanting itself in the uterine lining. The implantation may damage some of the blood vessels in the uterus, which may cause slight bleeding. Because the bleeding can come as late as 12 days post-ovulation, many women mistake this bleeding for menstruation. Implantation bleeding is typically light and lasts anywhere from a one time occurrence, to very light bleeding over the course of two days, at most. It doesn’t become heavier like menstruation bleeding does.

If you think you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test. You can begin to test for early pregnancy with an at-home early pregnancy test at 7-10 days past ovulation.

Herbs That Have an Action on the Hormone System

When first introducing herbs that have an action on the hormonal system, some women may experience mid-cycle spotting. Many herbs we use to support reproductive health, have an action on the hormonal system, which is why they are so effective at aiding the body in correcting hormonal imbalances. The change to hormone signaling due to the introduction of herbs, may cause temporary mid-cycle spotting. This should only occur for the first couple cycles of use; as the body adjusts to the action of the herbs being taken. Though it may be worrisome, it is best to continue the herb/s. Herbs/herbal formulas are most effective when taken consistently for many months. This gives the body time to adjust to the action of the herb/s and for their benefits to be realized.

Hormone Balance Disruption

There is a delicate orchestra of hormones within each woman’s body that works to keep the menstrual cycle regulated. This is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis. Any type of disruption in this system may trigger mid-cycle spotting.

There are many reproductive health issues associated with HPO axis disruption, including, but not limited to, endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid disorders, LPD, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

If you have never had a hormone profile test performed and you are experiencing recurring mid-cycle spotting, it would be a good idea to schedule a full panel of hormone testing with your doctor. This will help you to know if an imbalance in hormone levels may be the cause of the mid-cycle spotting. If you determine that a hormone imbalance is the cause, you can learn natural ways to support hormonal balance here.

Ovarian Cyst Rupture

If you experience a sharp pain on either side of your lower abdomen, followed by slight bleeding around the time ovulation should occur in your cycle, it may be a ruptured ovarian cyst. Ovarian cysts are a sign of disrupted ovulation, which may cause difficulties in achieving pregnancy.

Note: See a doctor immediately if you have excruciating pain, nausea, vomiting and/or bleeding from the vagina during any point in your cycle.

Ovulation or Failure to Ovulate

This can be a tricky one. Why? Mid-cycle spotting can be a sign that you have ovulated, but it can also be a sign that you didn’t. Charting your basal body temperature (BBT) can help you to know if you are ovulating or not. The rise and consistent increase in BBT is a sure sign you have ovulated and progesterone levels are increasing.

    Some women experience mid-cycle spotting around the time just after ovulation has occurred. This is thought to happen due to the drop in oestrogen mid-cycle, prior to ovulation. Because progesterone levels have yet to rise, a small amount of the endometrium may be shed.

    Failure to Ovulate
    Mid-cycle bleeding in the presence of anovulatory cycles is due to estrogen withdrawal. In women with anovulatory cycles, the follicles begin to grow, though estrogen levels remain low, which means LH doesn’t surge and ovulation fails. When ovulation fails, no corpus luteum is formed and progesterone is not secreted. As a result, a lighter or shorter period may be experienced.

Progesterone Cream Use

    Applying Natural Progesterone Cream at the Wrong Time in the Cycle
    If you use progesterone at the wrong time in your cycle, it may cause spotting to occur and may even cause the timing of your period to change. The best way to make sure you are using the cream at the right time is to calculate your progesterone start date by counting two weeks backwards from when your period is due. This is the most common time in the cycle for women to ovulate.

    Too Much Progesterone Cream
    Applying too high a dose of progesterone cream may cause spotting to occur. This spotting may last only a day or two, or it may occur every day of application, up to menstruation, disrupting the timing of your expected period. The best way to avoid this from happening is to follow the directions on the product label. Better yet, you can consult with a healthcare practitioner who supports the use of progesterone cream in order to have your progesterone levels tested. The progesterone test results will help them to determine an exact dose for your needs.

    The Body is Adjusting to an Increase in Progesterone Levels
    Introducing progesterone may exacerbate estrogen dominant symptoms, such as spotting for a short time, as the body adjusts. When first introducing progesterone back into the body after an extended period of progesterone deficiency, the estrogen receptor sites ‘wake up’ (are stimulated), enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time. In this case, the spotting is a sign that the body is responding well to the progesterone, even though at the beginning it can exacerbate estrogen dominance symptoms. Your body should regulate over the following cycle. This is very common in women with PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and especially low progesterone levels. For a complete guide to progesterone cream use, click here…

Sexual Intercourse

The cervix becomes more sensitive around the time of ovulation, in preparation for pregnancy. Sexual intercourse may cause some slight damage to the cervix, producing light bleeding as a result. The presence of bright red blood tinged mucus after sexual intercourse is a common sign of this.

Other Less Common Causes of Mid-cycle Spotting:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Hormonal Contraceptive Use
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Luteal Phase Defect (LPD)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Uterine Fibroids

3 Steps to Resolving Mid-Cycle Spotting

1. Keep track of when it is happening
Determine what day in the cycle this is occurring, how long it lasts, note the color, amount and any other symptoms that coincide.

2. See your doctor
If you suspect a problem within your reproductive system, it is best to get some testing done to determine the cause.

3. Address the Cause
Once you determine the possible cause, talk to your doctor about medical options, while at the same time researching complementary alternative natural therapies to support your body, at home. We have information on natural, complementary and alternative therapies for most all of the causes discussed in this article.

1. Romm, Aviva. Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. Churchill Livingstone Press, 2010.
2. http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-Implantation-Bleeding
3. http://www.bellybelly.com.au/conception/ovulation-signs-symptoms-ovulation-days-ovulation-pain#.Usbs5WRDux0

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  1. I am 38 and last few months I have had 1-2 days ovulation spotting around day 14/15 of my cycle – this month has been extremely stressful and I’m still spotting day 20 (on and off every other day-ish) varying from light pinky to more browny in colour. My cycle is usually every 28 days so I’ve worked myself up into a bit of a panic

    • Dear Jane,

      And the extreme stress and panic may be why the spotting has continued (as a result of how these two things can disrupt hormonal balance). Spotting it truly mysterious.

      I am sorry you are worried! Try to focus on reducing that worry and the stress – take a warm bath, go for a brisk walk every day, talk it out, avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol as much as you can, meditate or try Yoga. These may all help! Eating really well can be helpful as well. And as this article shares if spotting continues or you aren’t able to manage the worry, do go talk to your doctor.

  2. .hi…i have pcos and i m ttc for last 6 months..my cycle was 36 days….3 months before suddenly periods stopped n all the preg tests were negative too…but after 2 months 10 days i had like brown discharge for 8 days ..n mild red blood from 2 days hardly fill up to panty liner n still m bleeding very lightly…m confused …what is happening to me…help me!

    • Dear Sam,

      To be honest, PCOS may be happening! PCOS is a complex endocrine system disorder in which the coordination of the production of and delivery of hormones to where they need to go within the body isn’t happening properly. This can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, ovulation and a host of other fertility health issues and symptoms sadly.

      Consider learning important information in this article titled How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs.

      It is important to support your body in re-learning balance by promoting healthy hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improved digestion all of which you will learn how to do in the article above.

      I hope this is a helpful place to start learning how you can help the body achieve balance!

  3. Hi this is very unusual for me, at first i thought it was from a bowel movement.. but i realised later on that night it was spotting.. my period ended two weeks ago although ive been under a lot of stress an anxiety :/ should i ask my doctor for further tests.

    • Dear Kay,

      It may not be a concern if this has only happened once. Could spotting be ovulation spotting? Typically ovulation happens two weeks after menstruation ends (this time frame does vary). If you are concerned and do no think spotting could be from ovulation, then do consult your doctor.

  4. I have a question. Im 12 and my second period ended 11 days ago but when I wiped i saw a tiny bit of blood as well as a few small brown spots on my panties. Should I be worried? I know the first few years can be irregular but what could this be? I really dont want to go to a doctor. I also noticed my discharge was cloudy again after being clear then going back to clear like when I got my last period. Please answer quick.

    • Dear Mae,

      I am not a medical doctor who can know for certain why this happened, but given the timing you have shared, this spotting may have been a result of ovulation. Cervical mucus, the discharge seen mid-cycle, changes at ovulation. Some women feel a bit of pain (cramps) when ovulation happens and some women spot as a result of ovulation (often this goes away quickly). It may help to at least talk to your mom, a trusted friend, or research mid-cycle spotting a bit more to learn possible causes.

  5. Hi. I am concerned about mid cycle bleeding. Ever since I had my copper Paraguard IUD removed (about 7 months ago) I have been experiencing mid-cycle spotting usually for 3-4 days around 7-10 days past ovulation. I don’t remember my cycle being like this before my IUD. I only had the IUD in for about a year and a half. My normal period before the IUD usually had some spotting for 1-2 days before I menstruated but now I regularly get this mid-cycle bleed. I am 36 and trying to conceive my first baby and am quite concerned about this situation. In the past 6 months that I have tried to get pregnant I did conceive twice but both resulted in early miscarriages. 🙁 Any ideas?

    • Dear Melissa,

      I am sorry to hear of your losses and how concerned you are about your cycle!

      Mid-cycle spotting can be tricky to determine the cause of. It could be related to IUD removal, hormonal imbalance, thyroid health issues or more in-depth fertility health issues. The 5 Steps To Decreasing the Chance of Recurrent Miscarriages may be worth considering as you move forward and support the body in relearning balance post IUD removal and pregnancy loss.

      I hope this is a helpful place to start!

  6. My boyfriend, who had a vasectomy 10+ years ago, and I have had unprotected sex the past 6 nights (sorry, TMI). My period isn’t due for 2 weeks and today I’m spotting. I plan on calling the gyne tomorrow just to check in. Should I be concerned??

    • Dear Angela,

      Some women to spot when they have intercourse and others do at the time of ovulation which typically happens two weeks before menstruation begins. If either might be the cause, they are not cause for concern. I am sorry you are worried!

  7. Hello, the first day of my last period was July 19, I was expecting my period around those days, and I have never been irregular. I got my period Aug 11th, it stop that day, then had it for 10 more days (1st time this happens to me) the period was light, I would notice tiny clots after wiped on the paper and sometimes mucous discharge mixed with it yet I would not fill a pad per day (brown). It stop, 2 days passed nothing when wiped, and I had sex (not rough) no cramps yet now it looks like I have a medium flow bleeding. I have an appointment on Sep 2, yet I am very confused. I took 2 pregnancy tests and both negative, my legs feel kind of weak, light headaches & no birth control (condom) TIA. I am still bleeding like if it was a period, ever since. But my appt cannot get here any sooner.

    • Dear April,

      I am sorry this must be so concerning! It is good that you made an appointment to see your doctor this week. It is hard to say what is going on and your doctor should be able to help you determine this.

      A variety of factors can impact the menstrual cycle – hormone imbalance, poor nutrition, dietary changes, levels of hydration, age, stress and changes in stress levels (even minor changes), weight loss or gain, changes in exercise routines and even travel can all impact menstrual cycle timing and type of bleeding.

      I hope your appointment goes well and take care of yourself!

  8. I’m 23 and have been ttc with my husband for 18 months, My last period was the 17th july until the 22nd I ovulated on the 1st of august then started bleeding with cramps on the 5th of august I went to hospital and they did x-rays and a vaginal exam the dr said it was intermenstrual bleeding and that the blood was old and there was no fresh bleed, my period was due yesterday but didn’t arrive could I be pregnant?

    • Dear Shannon,

      I can not know. It will be best to take a pregnancy test before proceeding with any program to support the return of health menstruation.

  9. I have been spotting for over a week, I did miss two combined pills and then took them both the same day. I feel no pain or anything. Should I be concerned?

    • Dear Beth,

      It may be best to call your doctor’s nurse or pharmacist who knows the side effects of missing the birth control being used. I have heard that spotting from missing a dose of birth control can happen.

  10. I have been spotting mid cycle for the past months( a year maybe) my cycles are regular. Had my pap/ultrasound done and everything seems to be normal. This time I have spotting and period like pain 9
    very mild- discomfort kind of pain). I’ve also experienced mild nausea over 2 days. Should I be concerned?

    • Dear Louk,

      Does what you experience happen at ovulation and subside after? If so, ovulation could be the cause (many women spot, feel pressure or temporary period-like cramps when ovulating) and may not be cause for concern.

  11. had spotting for last period is it connected to my stress level and diabetes?

  12. Hi I am a 24 year old female and I have experienced spotting for the first time, it was only very light and bright red on and off the last 2 days ( only visible when I’d wipe after a pee ) and I am just over two weeks through my cycle and yes me and my partner have been trying to conceive for the past four years with know sign of success I don’t know what to think as I assume it’s too soon to get implantation bleeding

    • Dear Jade,

      Could this be ovulation spotting? Some women do spot at ovulation and sometimes not from cycle to cycle. It could also be from intercourse, changes in exercise routine, etc.

      Implantation spotting may happen around 6-10 days post ovulation. If you actively tried to conceive this cycle, be sure to test for pregnancy before moving forward with any natural therapies, herbs and supplements you might be using.

      All my best!

  13. I have experienced brown discharge for the first time in a long while, while half way through my cycle. I’ve had discharge/ light bleeding from Saturday until today (Tuesday), with bad constipation since Friday/ bloating and general tiredness that I get before my period. I am also supposedly ‘fertile’ according to My Cycles app. My period occurs on an average of 35 days, but has never been really regular. Any advice, please? Thank you.

    • Dear Alex,

      Spotting can be an indicator of ovulation for some women. Brown blood is typically “old” blood coming out, a good thing, “bright red” blood fresh blood. Have you recently began a natural fertility program including herbs and nutritional supplements or natural therapies, made any major dietary or lifestyle changes, lost or gained weight, miscarried or learned of a fertility health issue? I ask as all of these things can cause a shift if the menstrual cycle, including symptoms. If this spotting continues, it may be best to discuss what you are experiencing with your healthcare provider. She is best able to help you determine the underlying cause.

      Take care!

  14. Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed article. I am 32 years and ttc. I have mid-cycle spotting off and on (brown with mucus) for last couple of years. I have 30 day cycle mostly (1st day of period being Day 0). And this happens around 12th-16th day. They did US T/V, pap smear and a blood test. There was no abnormality.

    But this time around, the it was bright red and a little more compared to other times. Can you kindly advice?


    • Dear Anna,

      To me this sounds like ovulation spotting (note I am not a medical doctor). Brown spotting means the blood is “old” or didn’t come out right away. Bright red blood is fresh and exiting the body quickly. I am not certain this is cause for concern, but if you are worried, do talk to your doctor about what you experience mid-cycle.

  15. I have PCOS & decided to try NPC. Prior, my periods occurred every 50-72 days, no mid-cycle bleeds. Month 1: I used 80mg/day cycle days 8-26. This caused heavy mid-cycle bleeds cd15-21. Period came cd 29. Besides mid-cycle bleeds, I felt better than I had in years & lost some weight. Month 2: I lowered dose to prevent mid-cycle bleeds to 40 mg/day on cd19-26. Estrogen dominant symptoms through the roof! Mid-cycle bleeds & next period same days as Month 1. Month 3: increased dose again to 80mg/day cd19-26. Same mid-cycle bleeds & period start/stop dates as month 1 & 2. I’m glad my period is 29 day cycle 3x in a row now, but the mid-cycle bleeds cd 15-21 preclude TTC efforts. Help please.

    • Dear Steph,

      Mid-cycle bleeding and estrogen dominance symptoms can be a result of a) natural progesterone cream being used at too large a dose for your needs, or b) that is it being used on the wrong cycle days.

      Consider either working with a healthcare provider (medical or natural) to determine your need for progesterone supplementation (through saliva or blood tests), or follow the guidance we offer from Dr. John Lee in our Progesterone Fertility Guide.

      I hope this is helpful!

  16. I just recently became sexually active, and also just recently switched my birth control from Junel to Tri Legest because I had break through bleeding in the second week of the pill and would not get my period during the placebo week. I started Tri Legest about two weeks ago and the same thing has happened that I am bleeding during the second week of the pill. I had sex with my boyfriend about three days ago, and we have been having sex a few times a week for the last few weeks. Is there any way that I am pregnant? I never miss my pill and we also used a condom.

    • Dear VictoriaA,

      Conception is able to occur during a woman’s fertile window, which are the three days prior to ovulation, day of ovulation and day after ovulation. This is more likely to happen if you have unprotected intercourse. It is unlikely conception has happened while using both contraceptives, but if you are concerned about pregnancy you would want to either wait to see if menstruation begins, or is missed at which time you can test for pregnancy, or talk to your doctor.

  17. Hey im only 18 yrs of age and i was on depo provera for a year i had no periods just only the cramps .so last year of 2015 i have gotten off the shot in september before i was due to get my next shot . the week before i miss my shot i spotted for 1 day . so this year feb 2016 my period returned feb 28 .before i have gotten on shot my period was a 28 day cycle it came on like it never was off , so my periods been normal 28 days .so then the month of april my cycle came on april 30 and it went off may 6 . and me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex on thursday may 12 fertile window i was dry so im thinking the sex was rough but i dont know if its a period or im prego .expected period may28

    • Dear AsiaC,

      Typically ovulation happens a week to 9 days after menstruation ends with a 3-5 day period. This is so different for every woman! Women usually do experience wetness or changes in cervical mucus, but the degree to which this happens differs from woman to woman as well. If you think you may be pregnant, it would be best to test for pregnancy if your period does not begin on or around May 28th. Testing is the true way to know for sure.

  18. Hello,

    The start of my last period was April 12, 2016 and ended April 18th 2016. My periods are very normal. My likely highest fertility dates were 4/20/16 – 4/25/2016 with ovulation day of 4/25/2016. I had protected sexual intercourse on 4/23/2016, but some must of came out because it was barely any cum in the condom (sorry TMI). On 4/27/2016 I started bleeding light on and off with no pad needed for 9 days. It was pinkish and brown. On 5/6/10 of bleeding I needed to use a pad because it became heavier. As of today 5/9/2016 I no longer need a pad, but its back to light bleeding. I am scheduled for my next period 5/10/2016. I’m so confused as to what is going on.

    • Hi Nita,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. There is no real way for me to know what may be going on, or why you are spotting. Have you ever experienced anything like this before? Ideas that come to mind: possible pregnancy, rough sexual intercourse? You may want to give it a few days and see if your period comes or not. If it doesn’t come, take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, it could be related to sex. If this continues over the next couple menstrual cycles, it would be best to see a doctor.

  19. i started having mid cycles i think over a year now and is not consistent and sometimes it skips some months and i seriously don’t even know the cause virtually not sex it sometimes happens few day but not consistent flow may be only in the mornings or only in the evenings. this usually happen weeks after my menstruation. And thanks for the website it is awesome

    • Hi Victoria,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like getting in to see an ObGyn would be best. This can help you to determine what may be going on. Also, one of the most common causes of mid-cycle spotting is luteal phase defect, which may be easily corrected through specific nutritional changes. Glad you like the site!

  20. I had brown spotting with some tissue during ovulation with pain on the left side. It was my first time spotting, I’m 38 yrs and I’ve always been regular and of course this came with cramping and blotting (both lasted about 3 days but the spotting is still on a week later). I’ve never been on birth control neither am I sexually active.

    • Dear Carol,

      Some women do spot when ovulation occurs. It can be accompanied by some pain, but both ovulation pain and spotting are typically short lived. If concerned about what you are experiencing, do consider reaching out to your healthcare provider. The tips is this guide may be worth considering as well.

      All my best!

  21. AF was from the sixth to the 11th. Abnormal because i am always 7 days and very heavy. Yesterday and today light pink when i wipe . I have never spotted, except for pink when i wiped the day before this cycle started, and these past two days. I should Ovulate near the end of next week. So This is very Puzzling. My CBFM has me at high fertility the past few days which is also a lot sooner then usual and i am normally high fertility for a week or two before I peak. Any help would be welcomed. Thank you for reading.

  22. Hi,
    Thank you for such a useful website. I am a bit puzzled by mid-cycle spotting. I’m 28, mother of a 15 months old. I’ve had a copper IUD for over a year (longer period than before, w/ spotting bef. and after: total 12 days + blood tinged CM around O). Never had regular periods. From age 15 to 25 I would regularly miss periods or have periods 4x/year. To be able to menstruate I was given Duphaston. I conceived my daughter on Cycle 2 of Clomid/Duphaston. After her birth, my cycles were regular for 5months (av. 32 days) then 52,42,45 days until I found out about Vitex in Dec. Since then cycles have been 34 & 39d.But now I am experiencing “heavy” spotting 4 days ar. Ov. Is it my IUD or Vitex?

    • Hi Olivia,

      There is no way for me to know which it could be – the vitex or the IUD. The best way to find out which one it is would be to eliminate one. Of coarse vitex being the first option. You could discontinue it and make note of what changes, if any, you experience. If your symptoms continue, it may the IUD. Irregular cycles, heavy cycles, spotting, absent periods are all common side effects of an IUD, so with one, it is really hard to know for sure if it is that or something else.

      All the best!

    • Thank you very much for your reply Dalene. I will stop Vitex after my next period and see if I spot that cycle. If I still do, I will probably go see my doctor. Thanks again for the advice.

  23. I just recently had a brown discharge during mid cycle, I’m due to get my period this week, I’m also on the pill. Should I be concerned? Should I get a pregnancy test?

  24. i am confused. whenever i have unprotected sex, i start spotting during my fertile period. i dont understand what the cause could be. last month it went on till i got to my next periods. could this be hormonal imbalance?

    • Dear Theodrine,

      Some women spot when ovulation occurs and others might spot as a result of intercourse, but usually spotting as a result of these causes is short lived. Spotting that lasts from ovulation until menstruation may be a result of hormonal imbalance. It may be best to talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing and to learn if there is an underlying issue causing spotting.

  25. Hi,
    I have had mid cycle spotting for two cycles, stopped for 3 cycles, now I have it again. Its around the same days of the month 9, 10, and 11 of the my cycle. I only see the blood when I wipe ONE time and I don’t see it again. It’s usually with mucus, but I have gone to the doctor and they can’t seem to find anything wrong and tell me its hormones or ovulation maybe?! I’m 28 and I have just noticed in the past six months.

    • Dear Kimberly,

      Some women spot when ovulation occurs due to the follicle bursting to release an egg (the thin tissue of a follicle actually breaks). This is often not cause for concern as long as it goes away. Have you tracked ovulation to determine if ovulation happens for you between cycle days 9, 10 or 11. Knowing this may help ease your mind.

    • I have tracked my ovulation, I usually ovulate around day 12 and can get the bleeding 2-3 days beforehand.

    • Hi again Kimberly!

      The tips in this guide could be considered. If you feel there might be something more leading to the spotting you experience and you have been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, it may also be worth considering asking for a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist who can do more in-depth testing.

      All my best!

  26. Thank you very much for the informative articles. I’ve some problems that I hope you can spare some time to answer. I’m 26 this year, and have not been sexually active for 3 years and I’m not on birth control. My period was late for 2 weeks in January, but I attributed that to stress. My cycle is usually around 31 days, so I should be having my period on the 27th this month. For the past 3 days however, I’ve been having brown vaginal discharge with very mild discomfort at the abdominal area. It’s not a lot. I’m quite worried as this is not the first time it has happened although it doesn’t happen every cycle. Apart from that I don’t have any other symptoms. May I know if you’ve any advice?

    • Hi Amy,

      Have you been through any sort of life changes in the past month? Sitting more? Travel? A move? Experiencing higher levels of stress due to work or school? Any of those things can disrupt the menstrual cycle. If this continues, then you should probably get in to have a gynecological exam. If your cycles continue to be irregular, per your next menstrual cycle, there are natural options to help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve the quality of the menstrual blood. Consider contacting us back if you continue to have menstrual cycle issues.

      All the best!

  27. Thank you so much for a very clear and informative article. I’ve been using a Vitex supplement for 2 months to correct a low progesteron level, and I’ve experienced spottings. After reading your article, I understand it’s probably just my body adjusting to the increase of progesterone (which by the way is already relieving me from some of my PMS symptoms). I’ll be attentive to see if everything goes back to normal in the next cycles, but for now I feel comforted.

    Thanks again !

  28. hello I am looking for some advice as to if i should be concerned. I recently changed the time i take my microlite pill from 12am to 9am this was the 4th jan since then ive had bleeding of some sort brownish at times it may stop for few hours but comes back red again its not heavy as such but rather frustrating as i had sex with my bf It was gone and immediately returned during sex, and now have it back again .any advice???thanks

    • Hello!

      Intercourse itself can cause spotting, but I see that one of the side effects (after a brief internet search) of Microlite is “Spotting or bleeding between periods…” I also see that this is suspected to settle within 3 months of use, but to contact your healthcare provider if bleeding lasts a long time or begins after you’ve already been on this medication for several months.

      I hope this helps!

  29. Hi there, I’m confused right now. I’m a pcos patient and had metformin and clomiphine for 3 months and had my normal period then I went to the doctor and she told me to the the LH testing but its all the same I have 2 lines but the other is not too dark but its visible and and on my 15th day I had sex with my hubby early in the morning as advised but I bleed pink to brown and its slowly going back to watery discharge, what does this mean?

    • Dear BabyWish,

      Some women experience spotting as a result of intercourse and some do as a result of ovulation. Either of these could be what is happening, but it might be best to reach out to your doctor to discuss what you experienced.

      All my best!


    • Dear Lisa,

      Implantation typically occurs 6-10 days after ovulation if conception happens. It may be to soon for implantation, but if you actively tried to conceive, the only way to know whether this bleeding/spotting is a result of implantation is to wait until a pregnancy test could be done.

  31. I’m 22 and have been taking tri-nessa for 6 months. One month (October) I played around with the pills to get my period to start earlier, which worked. But then these last two cycles have had mid-cycle bleeding around the time I would ovulate. Do I need to be concerned?

    • Dear Karly,

      Some women do spot when ovulation occurs, which isn’t viewed as reason for concern. It may be best to ask your doctor if using the medication as you have may have led to this. I can not be certain.

      Take care!

  32. I’ve been taking vitex for two weeks and then I experienced mid-cycle spotting/bleeding for two weeks now. Should I stop taking vitex since I have a monthly regular period?

    • Dear Ressie,

      Some women spot when they first start supporting hormone balance with herbs. This is often a perfectly normal effect from the hormonal system ‘resetting’ itself. Vitex could be continued. While there may be no need for alarm, if you are concerned, we don’t want you to worry so it would be best to stop Vitex.

  33. Hello I am 21 years old and married. I have irregular periods; and my last one was in the 12th of May 2015. On July I went to the doctor to see if I was pregnant and it came out negative and they also did a transvaginal ultrasound to see if I had any cyst and it came out good… My question is… Is it normal that I spot light pink to light brown when i wipe? This has been happening for 5 days now. I started on Sep. the 1st. Should I go to the doctor?
    The first day I started spotting my back hurt so much that I could’t bend down to pick up things and later that day I noticed I had light pink spotting when I wiped. Today only my lower back hurts and I have mild cramping…

    • Dear Areli,

      If you are concerned, please do reach out to your doctor. He is best able to help you understand what may be happening for you.

      It can be hard, without help, to identify what has led to spotting actually because it can be caused by many different events/factors. It may be caused by:
      Disturbance in hormone balance
      Failure to ovulate, or Ovulation (some women spot when ovulation happens due to the oestrogen changes mid-cycle)
      Abnormalities of the cervix
      Ovarian cysts
      Hormonal contraceptive use
      Excessive exercise
      Poor nutrition

      While some of the events above are not cause for concern, it would be helpful to know if any are contributing factors. So, hopefully you can reach out to your doctor at some point to talk about this. Consider also learning natural therapies for supporting a healthy menstrual cycle here…

  34. Any suggestions for herbs or supplements that can help with spotting? I am 30 years old and experience spotting anywhere from 5-10 days before my actual period which comes every month, lasts about 2 days with a normal period flow and then may spot 3-5 days after. Depending on where I am at with my cycle I also sometimes bleed during intercourse.

    • Dear Amy,

      Spotting can be a tricky fertility health issue to figure out the cause of because many different factors can contribute. This is why this article’s author suggests working with your healthcare provider to determine a cause. Some of the causes may be:
      – Disturbance in hormone balance
      – Failure to ovulate, or that ovulation has occurred – some women experience spotting during ovulation due to the oestrogen changes mid-cycle
      – Ovarian cysts
      – Endometriosis
      – Abnormalities of the cervix
      – Excessive exercise
      – Poor nutrition

      I hope you are able to receive help in determining a cause and when you know, our team may be better able to guide you.

  35. Hi,
    My periods have been regular all my life (24-30 days but most times-27 days with normal mid cycle ovulation), I’ve had one child (3.5 years ago) and I do have a history of endometriosis. Iam almost 33 years old. This month I experienced spotting for 4 days 1 week after my last period ended (I did have unprotected sex the last day of my period and protected sex after that). Now I am on day 33 and still no period. I have also been under stress this month. Did the spotting offset my cycle? Pregnancy maybe but unlikely since I cannot have been ovulating at the end of my period. (I have not taken a test yet). Any advices beside- take a pregnancy test?

    • Dear Anna,

      Rather than spotting offsetting a cycle, the stress may have. Hormone imbalance, poor nutrition, dietary changes, levels of hydration, age, stress and changes in stress levels (even minor changes), weight loss or gain, changes in exercise routines and even travel can all impact menstrual cycle timing. Learn more about Stress and Your Fertility for stress-management tips and more.

      And yes taking a pregnancy test before beginning a natural fertility program is suggested.

  36. HI,
    Thank you for your article, I am 42 this year and I have noticed my cycles are fluctuation between 27 days my norm and 23 days and twice this year I have had spotting light flow for a week in the middle of my cycle.

    This article has eased my mind and I am going to look into some some herbal supplements.
    I am pretty sure I am peri-menopausal as my mum and aunt both went through menopause in the late 40s.
    Hopefully my BF pops the question sooner rather than later and we can try for a baby before the baby factory closes shop.

    If you have any suggestions for herbs that would help support my cycles it would be appreciated.

  37. Since January of this year I have been experiencing mid month light spotting & on some occasions have had a full blown period two weeks after finishing my last one! In Feb & March I had three periods with just a two week break between each?
    Generally the spotting is a pinky brown colour & occasionally this is a period like bleed for couple of days then it stops.
    Typically my cycle was between 33 & 43 days in length but this year that all seems to have changed. I’ve never had any spotting before this year – I’m in my early 30’s & never been on birth control
    I have one child & would like to add to the family but am concerned that I’m perimenipausal or that there is something seriously amiss

  38. I started birth control this month and never stopped bleeding. I’m already on cycle day 12, and I bleed enough to have to wear a pad every day (but not to use it entirely, I change it for sanitary purposes not out of need), but it’s more than just spotting. However, the discharge is completely brown, kinda rusty colored and sometimes it looks a bit flaky, but liquid. Is this normal? It is accompanied by acne and an increase in appetite? The birth control is Dienogest 2mg and Etinilstradiol 0,03 mg

    I forgot to mention, I began birth control to keep at bay a progressive dysmenorrhea, accompanied by a uterine myoma (fibroid), not for birth control.

    • Dear Anna,

      It may be worth reaching out to your healthcare provider or pharmacists to ask this question given I am not qualified to answer question about prescription medications.

      What I can share is that dark, brown blood that looks old is in fact old blood left over from the previous menstrual cycle. This may be caused by a sluggish menstrual flow, lack of uterine tone or low uterine circulation. Excessive bleeding during and length of menstruation are both symptoms of uterine fibroids.

      We can not suggest using herbs that have an action on hormones along with medications that do the same, but it may help to learn more about naturally supporting a healthy uterine environment. Also consider working one on one with our fertility herbalist if interested in a natural fertility program to address the fertility health issues you are dealing with. We offer this through a Fertility Consultation.

  39. Hi. I am breastfeeding an almost 14 month old boy, and have just had my first post partum period. I am now experiencing mild, mid-cycle bleeding. Can breastfeeding cause mid-cycle bleeding and anovulatory cycles?

    • Dear Michelle,

      The hormone changes that occur to produce breastmilk often result in the absence of menstruation, irregular menstrual cycles when they return and irregular ovulation or anovulation. The menstrual cycle may not show regularity until breastfeeding is stopped. This is different for each women.

      If considering preparing for conception while breastfeeding, refer to the article Learn Important Tips for Trying to Conceive While Breastfeeding. If concerned about the mid-cycle bleeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.

      All my best!

  40. Thank you for this article. It gave me peace while up late reading about what may be causing my mild mid-cycle bleeding. I will take your advice and keep track of it as you suggested. Thank you.