Vaginal bleeding occurs every month during a woman’s menstrual period. You may experience different levels of vaginal bleeding depending on the various stages of your life. Spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles refers to vaginal bleeding that occurs after the period. If you are experiencing spotting after your periods or bleeding that is not normal, consult Dr. Sergei A. Sobolevsky to discuss your symptoms and the possible reasons behind them. He will determine the causes behind your irregular spotting and help you find relief.
It takes about 28 days for a woman to get her period and this bleeding usually lasts for 4 to 5 days. Some women can have longer times between periods and a few more or lesser days of bleeding while having completely regular periods. However, some women may notice spotting after their period.
There are various reasons for spotting after periods. Every month the body prepares itself for pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining and releasing an egg from the ovaries. If there is no pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, leading to menstruation. As the uterus sheds its lining on monthly basis, this lining is expelled from the body along with some blood.
How to Stop Spotting After Your Period?
Spotting in-between periods is common. While it is not exactly normal after a period ends, it is not usually a cause for concern. Several things can cause blood spotting after the period. It may be due to changes in your hormone levels, the use of hormonal contraception or contraceptive devices, or an injury or infection. It can be light, heavy, or both, depending on what is causing it.
The question is how to stop your spotting. Aside from keeping your general health in check and taking care of any existing medical conditions, there is not much you can do to prevent spotting on your own after the period ends. If you are spotting continuously, it is best to consult a doctor to ensure it is not a warning sign of some underlying health issue.
Some reasons for bleeding or spotting after your period include:
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Abnormalities in the cervix or uterus
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Start of a miscarriage
Abnormal menstrual cycles are more common in certain age groups, such as young girls getting their first periods and women who are peri-menopausal. If you continue to spot or bleed after periods, call your doctor. The doctor will determine the causes behind the bleeding and recommend effective treatment to put a stop to it.
Is It Normal to Spot Even After the Period Ends?
When women ovulate, they may bleed lightly or spot after their period has ended. It may be due to a temporary decline in estrogen levels that occurs between 10 and 14 days before their period. Spotting after a menstrual cycle, especially if you have already gotten your period, may occur if the uterus did not flush its lining entirely.
Seeing a spot or two of blood between menstrual cycles is not abnormal. However, if you believe your menstrual cycle is changing, it is better to consult a doctor as it may be a sign of something more serious such as fibroids.
If you have fibroids or an endometrial polyp within the uterus, it may cause bleeding between menstrual cycles. A polyp is a small, abnormal growth of tissues that can develop in the cervix or uterus. The doctor will be able to determine if this is the reason you are spotting with the help of an ultrasound. In some cases, sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can affect the cervix and cause spotting after menstruation has finished.
Read more: Visible Hand Veins and Why You Have Them
How to Stop Spotting After Your Period?
Uterine fibroids not only cause heavy menstrual bleeding, but also cause breakthrough bleeding. If you experience spotting after the period is over, along with other symptoms that indicate fibroids, visit your healthcare provider. The doctor can determine if your spotting is a result of uterine fibroids and recommends a personalized treatment plan to stop bleeding between periods.
Learn available treatments our experienced fibroid doctor in Brooklyn offer:
- Advanced fibroid pain treatment
- Frequent urination management caused by fibroids
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)
- Uterine fibroid surgery
Our top vascular surgeons also provide vein treatments, such as:
Spotting a week after a period – what does it mean?
Even if you already had a period, spotting can occur if the uterus has not flushed out all the unused lining during the menstrual cycle. It is not a matter of great concern unless your period starts again shortly after it ended.
Hormonal changes, injury, or some underlying health condition may cause bleeding between periods. In addition, oral medication, sexually transmitted infections, and PCOS can also be the reason behind spotting before or during the period.
What Does Spotting After the Period Indicates?
Normally menstrual bleeding occurs when the endometrium is released monthly. However, spotting can occur at any time between the menstrual cycles.
If you are spotting, it may mean any of the following:
- A growth in your uterus or cervix
- A change in medication
- A miscarriage
- Vaginal dryness
- A hormone imbalance
If you are spotting heavily, the blood is most likely coming from the uterus, while light bleeding could be from your cervix or vagina. Changes within your body or any medication you take can affect your menstrual cycle, including spotting.
Other reasons for spotting include:
Hormonal Oral Contraception
Spotting is a common side effect of hormonal oral contraception, especially during the first few months of starting it. If you are taking combined contraceptives, you may have spotting that goes away after a couple of months. If it continues, you may want to talk to your doctor as it indicates the pill is not suiting you. The doctor may recommend another brand with a different formulation.
Spotting may also occur if you forget to take the pill or do not take it at the same time every day. Without consistency, it may affect the levels of hormones in the body and cause spotting. If you miss taking your contraceptive pill and get your period, it is called withdrawal bleeding.
Spotting is a common symptom of an early stage of pregnancy, and about 1 in 4 women experience it. Usually, it is nothing to worry about, but heavy spotting or bleeding is a concerning matter, and you must consult your doctor if you are pregnant and losing a lot of blood.
Physical Conditions and Infections
Spotting can be caused by infections and physical changes in the reproductive tract or due to hormonal imbalance. Physical conditions that may cause spotting include fibroids, polyps, or endometriosis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Untreated pelvic infections like STIs can lead to PID and spotting. In addition to pain in the lower abdomen and unusual vaginal discharge, PID can cause fever. If you have spotting and other symptoms of PID or physical pelvic condition, it is best to consult your doctor.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections can cause bleeding from the urethra. Pain and a small amount of blood during urination can be signs of a UTI.
Physical Conditions and Infections
Spotting for a long time is not normal after penetrative vaginal contact. In many cases, bleeding after sex may be resulting from cervix or polyp issues. Some women experience spotting after having sexual intercourse for the first time, which is normal. However, continuous bleeding after sex needs medical attention.
Ovulation and Hormonal Issues
Spotting after a period may also occur during the time of ovulation. It is not clear why some women have ovulation bleeding while others don’t. Health experts believe it to be higher levels of hormones in some women.
Cramping and Spotting After Period
Cramps are very common before and during menstruation, but some women experience cramps like an ache, sometimes severe pain, or pressure in their abdomen or pelvis even after their period has ended. It is usually not a cause for concern, but it can indicate an underlying condition if the cramps are persistent or intense.
Some women may have blood remaining in their uterus after their period has ended, and the uterus may contract to remove that blood. This contraction may lead to cramping and light bleeding or brown discharge from the vagina after the period has ended.
Possible causes of cramps and spotting after a period include:
- Early pregnancy
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Early miscarriage
Vaginal brown discharge can occur at certain times of the month, such as before or after a period. Blood can appear in the discharge as the period begins, or old and dried blood can leave the vagina after a period.
It is essential to pay attention to your body and keep an eye on any changes or symptoms you are experiencing, including fluctuations or abnormalities in your menstrual cycle. Spotting or bleeding between periods or after your period has ended is not a concerning matter, unless you observe changes in your cycle every month.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sergei A. Sobolevsky at Downtown Vein & Vascular Center if you feel your bleeding pattern is different every month or if you experience any pain or discomfort during this time. He investigates the causes behind your unusual symptoms and determines if this is just a temporary phase or a sign of some underlying medical condition that needs further evaluation. Dr. Sobolevsky also suggests safe and effective treatment options to control spotting after a period and helps you find relief from this annoying situation.
Sergei Sobolevsky, MD, is a leading specialist in endovascular medicine with experience in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Sobolevsky has decades of experience in the field, with over 25,000 procedures performed, accumulating extensive experience in image-guided minimally invasive medicine, diagnosing and treating a range of conditions.
Dr. Sobolevsky earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his specialty clinical training in vascular and interventional radiology at Harvard University. Later, he earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and named to the Top Doctors New York Metro Area in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Dr. Sobolevsky is licensed in multiple states, has delivered presentations at numerous institutions in the US and abroad, and now acts as a clinical advisor for the biomedical industry. He also held multiple positions in the field during his career, including Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, Senior Vice President in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artann Laboratories in North Brunswick, NJ, and Medical Director at the American Endovascular and Amputation Prevention Center in Brooklyn.More About Dr. Sobolevsky