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.

Endometriosis

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.

    Ovulation
    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.

References:
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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[-] 161 Comments
  1. I have PCOS and have two children already. My husband and I have recently started trying for baby no.3. During my ovulation period after having intercourse I am bleeding, its starting as brown old blood but has become red and very mucusie. This has happened the last few months and isn’t normal for me. What might be going on?

    • Dear Sarah,

      Brown blood indicates blood that is leftover from a previous pt. in the cycle, whether menstruation or ovulation. For some reason, perhaps lack of circulation or uterine tone, is not able to come out when it should, rather later. This could be what is happening. Be sure to stay active, try not to be sedentary for extended periods of time, stay hydrated, consider learning more about Self Fertility Massage or Castor Oil Therapy and supporting health circulation to the reproductive organs.

  2. Hello !!
    I had my cycle from June 09 – 13, it lasted 5 days. and i had unprotected sex just after my periods ended (June 15 ) On June 25 , I started dark spotting for 3 days this has never happened before i thought it was an implantation bleedings and i’m pregnant but just 2 weeks after in July 14 i had my regular periods for 5 days and that was a big sign for me that i’m not pregnant and i forget about it and i didn’t give it any importance until today July 29 i started seeing some dark brown spots and i’m really confusing about that !! as i said i had never experienced that !! is it normal to have mid-cycle bleeding each month ??
    i would appreciate any feedback. thnx !!

    • Dear Loubna,

      A woman’s fertile window is mid-cycle, around two weeks after the first day of a period. So, trying to conceive two days after a 5-day period ends, isn’t likely to result in pregnancy. If this spotting is mid-cycle for you, it could be ovulation. Old blood indicates bleeding that happened at some pt., that is now coming out. Some women do bleed as a result of ovulation. It is often just a bit and should go away. It could also be a result of intercourse if cervical mucus us low. It can be hard to know for sure. If the spotting persists or becomes more worrisome, do at least call your doctor’s nurse to talk through what’s being experienced.

  3. My husband and I are trying to conceive. 2 weeks ago I changed my lifestyle to get ready for conception and this included drastically reducing caffeine and alcohol, eating mostly fruits, veg, whole grains and organic chicken, drinking a green superfood smoothie and red raspberry leaf tea daily as well as doing more yoga and using Pre-seed lube. On the day that I was likely ovulating (day 12) and after sex, I started bleeding lightly watery bright red. This continued for 3 days and for the last 3 days I have been spotting light brown. I never have mid-cycle bleeding so this is very rare for me. What do you think could be the cause of this? Also, FYI – I likely have endometriosis. Thx!

    • Dear Loretta,

      It could be a result of any number of things; ovulation happening, intercourse, endometriosis or perhaps hormonal shifts as a result of your recent changes. That the spotting is now brown is likely to mean that the bleeding has stopped and the blood coming out is now a bit old. If spotting continues, is worrisome or gets worse, it would be best to check in with your healthcare provider.

      P.s. Great job on the changes you made!!!

  4. Hello!
    I had my cycle from June 23 – 29, it lasted 7 days. Not sure if it has to do with me having colonics done. On July 6th, I started light spotting, this has never happened before. One week later and I’m still spotting, yesterday was dark brown/red. This morning its a bright red…does that mean I might of started by cycle early? How can I determine spotting vs. cycle? I track my cycle using the app Flow, and today I logged my spotting days, and pushed my cycle up to July 17th, vs. July 22nd. I would appreciate any feedback.

    Thank you

    • Dear Eunice,

      This is always a very tough question to answer. Is July 6th or around then when you ovulated? If bleeding is light and on and off daily during this weeks’ time then perhaps it is spotting from something… ovulation, the body resetting after colonics, etc. I have heard of others spotting post colonics. If you are concerned however, do at least call into your doctor’s nurse or the colonics practitioner to let them know what’s happening and seek their thoughts.

    • I usually ovulate around the 8th, but according the app I ovulated on the 2nd of July. The last colonic I had was June 23rd. I will reach out to the colonic practitioner. I also, scheduled an appointment for an OB/GYN for the first time. Thank you.

    • That’s great Eunice! I hope you find out it’s just the body resetting!

  5. hello, im 25 years old, my periods are usually 28-32 day cycles and last to 7 days. my last period was june 16th-22nd 2017. my ovulation started july 1st-6th 1 day after my ovulation july 8th i started getting spotting, and its july 10th and im still having spotting with dark red/brownish discharge/clumpy. im suppose to start my period july 27th. please help. thanks

    • Dear Lena,

      I’m sorry this is worrisome!

      Some women spot at ovulation and dark red/brown blood means it is old blood (the spotting happened previous and is just now coming out). I can not know for certain this is the cause, yet it seems as though it is given what you shared. If spotting continues or gets heavier, consider reaching out to your doctor or his/her nurse to talk through what you are experiencing.

  6. Hello Ms Elizabeth,
    I have mild PCOS and irregular periods. My last cycle was annovulatory (39 days). I started Vitex, milk thistle and red raspberry tea this cycle. On CD13 until now (CD17) I have been having brown/red discharge. I wouldn’t count it as a period as it is very light. Is this normal? Also my left ovary has a constant throbbing sensation which I normally get the week leading up to ovulation. I am worried it may be a burst cyst or could it be the vitex rejigging my hormones?
    Thanks in advance

    • Dear Alana,

      It sounds to me like this is the body showing you it’s responding to the herbs actions (I am not a medical doctor though). With irregular periods, could it be that this is ovulation approaching sooner than before, in previous cycles before you started the herbs? If you are worried, do reach out to your doctor though.

  7. Hi Elizabeth, I have PCOS and recently in my last cycle and current, I have experienced mid-cycle spotting. My last cycle was 95 days and I had spotting for on days 15-16, then again on 31-39. This time round, I am experiencing spotting for days 15-21 (today being Day 21.) I exercise fairly regularly but have upped the intensity recently. I also eat a relatively clean diet. No pain at all during the above spotting, and all my periods when they do eventually come, are normal. Do I need to see a doctor? Thank you!

    • Hello Kate!

      It seems the link may be the increased intensity of exercise with PCOS. Do you know if you ovulate? What else are you doing to support your body in re-learning hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improved digestion? All of this is important with PCOS. Could it be that your present work to support all of these things has caused this cycle change for you?

      It is entirely up to you if you see a doctor or not. If you are worried, do go in!

  8. hai! i have been spotting for 9 days now, i don’t know why.. what this means? it is something to worry about? my period will be next supposed to be but i have spotting. I take BCP last 6 months but i sopped it, is it because i stop taking pills? what else would be the reason behind my spotting except taking birth control pills?
    I hope u can help me.
    Thanks!

    • Hello Iyah!

      Is the spotting happening when you are supposed to have your regular period? It could be because you stopped the birth control. This seems the culprit given what you have shared. The other common causes are shared in this very guide. I am not sure this is something to worry about, yet if you are worried, consider at the very least calling your doctor’s nurse to discuss what’s happening.

  9. also a have this “slippery-sticky-stretchy-watery discharge” “sometimes”.. do i need to worry about it?

    Thank you so much

  10. Hi!

    I have a light bleeding for 3 days now, and i am afraid. My last menstruation was last week of May and i had sex just this last few days and after that the bleeding starts.. I noticed a white creamy in the blood. Sometimes i had this “brownish discharge” which makes me worried the most. My expected menstruation will be on last week of this month. I also taking pills last 6 months as my OB prescribed because i have this irregular menstruation but i stopped taking pills after. I am worried.. i also had an ultrasound last 3 months and my OB said that i have an ovarian cysts. Is it dangerous? can u help me?

    • Dear Rhea,

      Intercourse can cause friction and light bleeding, as can ovulation if you are near ovulation. I can not know what the “white creamy” is although if it did not have an odor, just happened then, is not irritating externally, it may be that it is just cervical mucus. Brown blood or discharge can be older blood coming out in cervical mucus. Lack or uterine tone and low circulation (among other things) can cause the uterus not to empty completely during menstruation and if you did bleed from intercourse or spot from ovulation, it could be that this blood was just coming out a bit later. Could this also be from the pills you stopped taking. If the pills were birth control pill and you stopped them during the hormonal pills, the slight drop in hormones may be a cause as well. Lastly, of a cyst ruptured this could cause bleeding too.

      Ovarian cysts if large can cause damage to the ovary, any size cyst can cause anovulation as well. Many have ovarian cysts that remedy themselves each month with few to no symptoms and others do not. Consider learning more from our guide How to Help Ovarian Cysts Naturally and Safely with Herbs and Supplements…

      I hope this is helpful!

  11. Hi Dr,

    Since November i have been experiencing mid cycle spotting and i also upped my gym use since then too. The months when i don’t exercise (which have been January and March) i have not spotted so exercise seems to be an onset of the bleeding. I went to the doctors in December and had a smear test, blood test and an internal and external ultrasound and everything was completely normal. There is no way i am pregnant either. This month, i had not been to the gym and started up again 3 days ago and i have bled everytime afterwards. Today, it was a much heavier bleed and i thought it could actually be my period. Im not sure if it could be ovulation as my periods due in 9 days.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Sophie!

      First, I do have to clarify that I am not a doctor and that we do not have a doctor on staff. We are a passionate group of natural fertility specialists with many differing areas of expertise.

      It does seem as though perhaps exercise is a factor. It could be ovulation if you ovulate late or have a short luteal phase. Are you tracking ovulation? Do you know how long from ovulation until the start of your next period (luteal phase) typically is?

      It does take some detective work sometimes to figure out what could be going on… good for you for beginning that work.

  12. My wife used morning after pill on feb 22 & 25 . after that her periods are in time but the duration was litlle. Periods for march only 3 days and april with clots again for 3 days and after two days lillte more bleeding, now we r trying to conceive, wil it happen ? on intercourse after 14days of periods, we hav little blood also present. periods are 30-31 days long…can u help ?

    • Dear Binson,

      Mestruation can fluctuate after using the morning after pill, yet a three-five day period is not odd. Some women spot at ovulation and also as a result of sexual intercourse as well. If the spotting stopped mid-cycle then either may have been the cause.

      I wish I could know if conception will happen for you, yet I can’t. I’m not certain there is cause for concern that it won’t given what I know, so try to stay positive.

  13. I am 26 and I had mid-cycle spotting for 1-2 days starting exactly on the 14th day of my cycle. My cycle is exactly 33 days long. A calendar I tracked said It would happen on day 20 of my cycle (hence, being in the middle). Is it possible that my ovulation was just early? I also got a few drops of what I think was brown discharge 9 days after mid-cycle spotting, which was like 3 days ago. I am also getting a lot of on and off lower abdomen cramps. This my husband and I’s second month trying to conceive. I did not have any type of spotting last month at all, BUT I had breast tenderness and slight nausea last month. This month, no breast tenderness and no nausea. Could I still be pregnant?

    • Dear Anna,

      The spotting could be ovulation spotting and the “brown discharge” leftover blood coming out after the fact. I can’t know for certain, but it seems possible. Because you have actively tried to conceive, it would be best to test for pregnancy before moving forward with a natural therapy program.

      My best!

  14. I am 28, I started my period 29th of March to end April 2nd but I noticed the first three (3) days my blood was not flowing out well as its normally thus, it’s very little, more of dark blood and the other remaining two days the blood stop. Only for me to started spotting on the 6th of April when my ovulation as started till now 12th April when my ovulation as finished. This spotting only occurs the morning. The blood amount is very little and the blood color is bright. I feel a slight pain in my lower tummy as well. kindly advice me

    • Dear Bankole,

      I’m sorry this is concerning. It’s hard for me to know what is going on for you. Has this happened during only this past period? Have you had changes in diet or stress levels, or changed exercise routines… travelled? Do you lead a sedentary life? Each of these could be at play here for you. The bright spotting may have been due to ovulation or an ovarian cyst. Have you had these in the past?

      It would be best to reach out to your healthcare provider to have help in determining what is a cause, so that you can work from there on a program best suited for your needs.

  15. Hi,
    I am 23 years old. I have one question , my periods is normally starting 4th or 5th in every month . it might change by one or two days . but this time it got delay and got by 11th , and it was very heavy bleeding and painful , I had sex before 10 days , is that the reason for the delay and heavy bleeding ?

    • Dear Jez,

      I’m sorry this worries you! Periods can change for a number of reasons… dietary changes, levels of hydration, 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. Was this the first time you’ve had intercourse? Did you perhaps eat unhealthy the week or longer before your period? Would you say you’ve been experiencing higher levels of stress lately? Think about these things as they may have contributed. If this type of period continues or worries you, do reach out to a doctor for support and help in knowing if there is anything of concern.

      Take care!

  16. I am in the ovulation stage of my cycle, but have some cramping and discoloured discharge. it was reddy this morning and now is thinner and yellower. I had sex yesterday morning, but not today as cramps were painful. I have been with my boyfriend for two and a half years and have had no new recent sexual partners. I am just concerned as I dont have painful periods, let alone mid-cycle cramps! All very strange, please help!! xx

    • Hello Isabella!

      Some women to feel ovulation pain. It can be normal. It can range from light twinges to cramps and abdominal discomfort. This typically lasts only a short length of time and stops after ovulation. With that however, if pain persists or discharge continues to be yellow, it might be best to check in with your doctor to ensure that nothing is wrong (an infection or ovarian cyst, etc.).

  17. I am 22 years old, and my cycle lasts 28-30 days with a 6 days of period. It started to be heavier when I was 4 years ago, when it lasted 4-5 days and it was lighter. I also started to experience mid cycle spot 4 years ago and by time It didn’t hurt and it was 1-2 days before ovulation (it would last for a day or 2) and I was told it was normal and a sign of fertility.
    Until lately, my period started being more heavier with some clots and my spotting lasts 5 days and it got heavier almost like the first or lasts days of period and I have some mild cramps. I’m not in birth control.
    I’m still concerned, if I have any fertility problem or cancer.

    • Dear Kelly,

      I’m sorry you are concerned. It would be best to talk to your doctor about a fertility problem or cancer. Only he/she can help you know if these are issues. While it’s hard not to think of the worst scenario, try hard not to!

      Hormonal imbalance, changes is stress levels, exercise routines, your daily diet, etc. can all impact the menstrual cycle. I think a great place to start learning about the menstrual cycle and what is considered “normal” although we are each very different, is our Natural Guide for Menstrual Health. Then consider our tips and take 12 Weeks to Improving Your Period.

      I hope this is helpful!

  18. i have one jadelle rod is missing on my left arm. I have been bleeding after 10 – 12 days of my cycle. February i ovulated but march i bled on day 14. Will i be able to conceive with that jadelle rod on my arm?

    • Dear Koko,

      It would be best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what you are experiencing while having the Jadelle implant. They are best able to help you know if these are “normal” side effects or perhaps mean it needs to come out. Jadelle is a contraceptive intended to help prevent conception, but if you ovulated perhaps it’s not working and conception could happen. No birth control is 100% guaranteed.

      My best!

  19. I am 28, these past 3 cycles, I have been experiencing mid cycle spotting, 6th or 7th day after I finished my period, and the next day there isn’t blood anymore. The blood amount is very little and the blood colour is bright. I never have sexual intercourse. I feel slight pain at my lower left abs as well. I am not sure what is happening. Do you have any advise for me?

    • Dear Fyfa,

      Can you share with me how long your period last and how long our cycle is from period day 1 until the next period day 1? I’m not certain spotting on cycle day 6 or 7 would be mid-cycle unless your entire cycle is short. The tips here could certainly be considered, but this may perhaps be just the end of menstruation.

      It’d be great to hear back from you.

  20. I am 36 had tubal ligation when I was 23. I typically have a 26-27 day cycle. I frequently have ovulation spotting. My last period was Jan. 25-30th. I then had a much lighter flow, but more than ovulation spotting between Feb 9th-12th. I thought maybe it was just stress causing issues. However, I still have not started again as of March 5th. I am not sure which cycle I should be taking into consideration. I feel icky, sore breasts, etc but that could be because I am freaking out a little (a lot). This is exactly how my two pregnancies started, prior to the tubal ligation. Could there be any other reason to have bleeding 15 days after previous start causing a delay in the next period?

    • Dear Anova,

      I am sorry you are freaking out! There may be many reasons as you have read here. If you think there is any chance you could be pregnant, do test before beginning natural therapies to support a menstrual cycle regularity. Tubal ligation is not 100% guaranteed as I am sure you know. Two common complications of tubal ligation are ectopic pregnancy and incomplete closing of a fallopian tube (which means pregnancy has a chance of happening).

  21. I am 45 years old and have been on birth control for the past 2 years. No past issues. Last month, I had a week of bleeding 2 weeks in to my cycle. Not heavy, but light bleeding — similar to a light period. After 10 days (today), it stopped, but according to my regular cycle, I SHOULD be starting my period NOW and should be taking the placebo birth control during the next 7 days. Should I continue to take my birth control as scheduled, or should I take active birth control (not sure if the beginning of my cycle is changed or if I am going to have two cycles this month)? Thank you.

    • Dear Irene,

      I am sorry, this would be a better question asked or your pharmacist or doctor. I am not either, or familiar with proper use of birth control with an irregular cycle or out of character bleeding.

  22. I’m 22 YO previously diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia (ferritin is normal now). My period the past 2 months has been regular but I have been getting midcycle bleeding (pinkish and brown) 2 days before my ovulation. I’m quite worried why this is happening to me. I’m not on birth control. There is no possibility of pregnancy. I also noticed that my period has been “lighter” than usual. Should I be alarmed? I am experiencing some low back pain but I’m unsure if this is related to it since I have been new with doing squats recently.

    • Dear Cassandra,

      I can not know if there is reason for alarm. Some women spot at ovulation and there is nothing wrong per say. Perhaps the shift in workout routine or its intensity is causing slight hormonal shifts. Extreme exercise can cause hormonal disruption. We share more on this topic in our guide Is Exercise Good Or Bad For Fertility?.

      If concern continues, do reach out to your doctor.

  23. Hello,
    i’m an 18 year old with a high-stress family/friends environment and a history of sporadic Bulimia & Anorexia Nervosa. I am not on birth control and am not sexually active.
    I’ve always been pretty regular with my cycle until Sept2016 when mid cycle I had a day of light bleeding – at the time I put it down to excess exercise the day prior but then it happened every month since. I have no other symptoms or pain other than that – especially in the latter months – I have been eating less/loosing weight and my situation has become considerably more stressful
    Is this normal for someone my age
    Thanks

    • Dear Grace,

      If spotting is just one day, mid-cycle, short-lived and not accompanied by any other signs/symptoms, it may be ovulation. Many women experience ovulation spotting as a result of the follicle, which is thin tissue, rupturing. It is often not cause for concern, but if you are worried, do reach out to your doctor.

  24. I have been off Birth Control for 6 months to try and get pregnant. I have been bleeding on and off since.

    I started testing for ovulation last month.
    I tested positive for ovulation Dec. 31- I bleed from Jan.2-Jan 18
    I tested postive for ovulation Jan. 27 & Jan. 28

    Ive been bleeding again since Jan. 29.

    Please let me know what you think is happening.

    • Dear Nicole,

      It seems ovulation is happening late, or perhaps not at all and that the luteal phase is very short. Menstruation in Jan. was also long at 12 days. What tool are you using to detect ovulation?

      I think to start that our guide How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control will be the most helpful. I do hope so!

    • Care Check Combo Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Kit, 52 Ovulation Tests and 26 Pregnancy Tests

      I ordered the pack above. Care Check

      Can you get a false positive on ovulation tests?

    • Dear Nicole,

      Thank you for sharing that. These are OPK test strips which detect the LH surge that happens 24-48 hours before ovulation. OPK test may help you determine when you are about to ovulate, but they do not guarantee ovulation occurs each cycle or at the same time each cycle. Something to keep in mind as you continue on.

      It is not my experience that OPKs offer false positives. What I find more, is that the test are interpreted improperly. I’m not saying you are by any means, but the test line needs to be exactly the same color as the control line or darker to be positive. I have also learned the best time to test is in the afternoon, around 1-2 pm, and to be sure to not have consumed a lot of water too close before testing. These are finicky tests.

      I hope you found that guide I shared helpful!

  25. Hi!
    Is it possible to have ovulation bleeding when you’re on the pill?

    • Dear Carla,

      Not to my knowledge, but do talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They are better able to help you know this based on the pill you are on and what you see.

  26. I am 46 and am on the combined pill and take active pills constantly due to heavy periods and cramping during and between periods. Twice now I have had breakthrough bleeding, last one was 2mths ago and also had extreme pain (similar to labour pains for a few hrs) until I passed this tissue looking stuff (googled and think it was decidual casts shedding, definitely was not pregnant) this time I have been spotting for 11 days with cramps. I don’t understand how I could have had the decidual casts shed when on the pill when its meant to stop the lining thinking or why I am getting bleeding. No clotting or shedding this time just cramps. I read above about herbs, what kind of herb cause bleeding

    • Dear Tracey,

      It really would be best for your doctor to know this is happening, help you pinpoint exactly why and perhaps evaluate if the pill you are on is best for your needs.

      What I know is that the formation of the decidua is influenced by estrogen and it is progesterone that causes it to thicken and grow in pregnancy, and sometimes ectopic pregnancy. If in fact this is what you saw, could the combined pill be at play? I don’t know and this is why a discussion with your doctor will be most helpful.

      I hope you are able to reach out to him/her for support.

  27. I am 30, had my period two weeks ago and I am having some mid-periiod bleeding (15 days after start of menstruation). Should I see a doctor?

    • Dear Sara,

      If this bleeding was spotting only and only lasted a short period of time, then it may just be ovulation spotting and not cause for concern. If it has lasted several days, you have a known fertility-health issue, or is causing you to worry, then do at least call your doctor’s nurse to ask of you should be seen.

  28. I’ve been off of the pill for 3 months now. Prior to those 3 months I’ve been on the pill for around 10 years. My first two cycles were super heavy but started and stopped as if I was still on the pill basically. My last cycle ended on time but I started spotting 4 days later. Yesterday I was spotting heavily on and off and I’ve been bleeding again today. Enough that I’m wearing a tampon. Is this just my body having another period?? At first I thought I was having ovulation pains but now I’m wondering if they are just cramps. The pain has been intense but not terrible. At what point should I contact my OB? Thanks!

    • Dear Nicole,

      Where are you in your cycle? Some women spot at a result of ovulation, but typically it subsides a day or so after. It may be that this is the body working very hard to relearn hormonal balance on its own, but if you are worried, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor -OR- consider the tips offered in our guide How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control.

      I hope that guide shares tips you find helpful!

  29. My last period date was 16 Oct 2016 and stay for one day only with heavy flow. According to 28 cycle usually 14 Nov is the date of next period. But I had some spotting on 12 Nov and little bit bleeding on 13 Nov 2016. Then I took beta hcg test for blood and it came negative. Then Doctor suggest me to take Duphaston, Ecosprin & Folneed. After taking this I had little bleeding from 28 Nov to 30 Nov 2016. Doctor asked me to take usg and another blood test fater 10 days later. Please give me your opinion. I am eagerly waiting for a baby.spotting after taking duphaston slight bleeding. Could I be pregnant? how can I calculate my ovaluation?

    • Dear Shanta,

      This would be a better conversation to have with your doctor. For women with 28-day menstrual cycles, ovulation typically happens around cycle days 12-14 (although this can vary).

      All my best!

  30. i had unprotected sex with my boyfriend 2 days before ovulation. i started bleeding with huge clots. miscarriage maybe? please help.