It is common to observe a little bleeding before your period, usually the week before your period. The causes of this bleeding are multiple and should not - most of the time - alarm you.
Even if it is a frequent phenomenon, it is still advisable to find out the origin of this bleeding before making sure that nothing abnormal is at the origin.
Is it normal to have bleeding before your period?
Many women observe vaginal dischargeMany women experience light blood loss before their period, during the luteal phase. This period of the cycle is in fact the most favorable for light blood loss. The main reason for this is the drop in hormone levels. So this type of pre-menstrual bleeding can occur during a healthymenstrual cycle. For some people, it will be systematic, while for others, the bleeding will be occasional.
Why do I have non-menstrual spotting?
There are several reasons for the appearance of spotting before the period. The main reason is a drop in hormone levels. However, there are other reasons for this.
Decrease in hormones during the luteal phase
Bleeding that occurs during the luteal phase is most often related to a drop in hormones. But what is the luteal phase?
The luteal phase corresponds to the beginning of ovulation and ends with the arrival of menstruation (or the implantation of an embryo if there has been sexual intercourse with fertilization). It is during this period that the body prepares for the potential implantation of an embryo and it is at this time that the uterine lining thickens under the action of hormones.
When ovulation occurs, the follicle released by one of the two ovaries is transformed into the corpus luteum, which will secrete progesterone. During this period, estrogen will decrease and progesterone will increase.
Progesterone is the hormone responsible for supporting the uterine wall. But, a few days later, the progesterone supply is depleted. This is when the hormone drop occurs, which will lead to the beginning of menstruation and a new cycle.
In some women, even a slight drop in progesterone leads to light bleeding.
Bleeding during the luteal phase can also mean that your progesterone level is too low. If you suspect that your progesterone level is too low, talk to your doctor.
Choosing a New Method of Birth Control
If you have recently started a new hormonal contraceptive, you may have noticed some pink discharge. This bleeding is due to the hormonal changes that your new birth control method causes. If this bleeding is normal three months after starting a new contraceptive, if it continues beyond three months, consult your doctor: your contraceptive may not be suitable for you.
Sexually transmitted infection or uterine problems
If in most cases bleeding before your period does not reveal serious causes, in some (rarer) cases, it can be a sign of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), uterine problems, or fibroids.
- Chlamydia can cause bleeding before your period. But this is not the only symptom that this STI causes. Symptoms are multiple and include: abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, fever, and pain during sex or urination. To make sure you don't have any STI problems, get tested. In fact, it is very important to get tested regularly.
- Women with PCOS may also experience bleeding before their period because of the increased level of androgens in the body.
- Finally, fibroids can also cause bleeding before your period. What are fibroids? Fibroids are benign tumors that develop in the mucous membrane. Polyps (another name for fibroids) can cause irregular periods and bleeding between periods.
In most cases, bleeding before your period has no alarming cause, but if it is accompanied by pain and other symptoms, consult your doctor.
How to prevent pre-menstrual bleeding?
To prevent potential blood loss before your period, you can adopt the following menstrual panties. Made of organic cotton, breathable, they are non-irritating for your intimate area: ideal to wear in prevention of bleeding or in case of light losses.
The FAQ of pre-menstrual bleeding
Is it normal to lose blood outside of your period?
Hormonal changes are the main cause of blood loss outside of your period. In most cases, bleeding is not at all alarming, even normal.
How can you tell the difference between bleeding and the start of a period?
Bleeding before a period is light and of a different color. It is usually pinkish or brownish. In addition, it happens the days before your period is supposed to arrive.
Is bleeding before my period a sign of illness?
Bleeding before or after your period can be a sign of uterine problems or sexually transmitted infections, if accompanied by other symptoms and pain. When in doubt, consult your health care provider.
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