What causes bleeding before periods ?

It's common to notice a little bleeding before your periods, usually the week before your period. There are many causes for this bleeding, and most of the time, it's nothing to be alarmed about.

Even though it's a common occurrence, it's a good idea to find out what's causing the bleeding before making sure that nothing abnormal is behind it.


Is it normal to have bleeding before periods ?

Many women experience vaginal dischargeof blood before their periods, during the luteal phase. This period of the cycle is in fact the most favorable for light blood loss. The main reason? The drop in hormones. So this type of bleeding before the periods can occur during a healthymenstrual cycle. For some people, this will be systematic, while for others, bleeding will be occasional.

Why does blood loss occur outside periods ?

There are several reasons for the appearance of spotting before periods. The main reason is a drop in hormone levels. But there may be other reasons as well. 

Decrease in hormones during the luteal phase

Bleeding during the luteal phase is most often linked to a drop in hormones. But what is the luteal phase?

The luteal phase corresponds to the start of ovulation and ends with the arrival of periods (or the implantation of an embryo if fertilization has taken place through sexual intercourse). 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 secretes progesterone. During this period, estrogen falls and progesterone rises.

Progesterone is the hormone responsible for supporting the uterine wall. A few days later, however, the progesterone reserve is depleted. That's when the hormones start to drop, leading to the onset of periods and a new cycle.

In some women, even a slight drop in progesterone results in light bleeding. 

Bleeding during the luteal phase may 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 contraceptive method

If you have recently started a new hormonal contraceptive, you may have noticed pink discharge. This bleeding is due to the hormonal changes brought about by your new contraceptive. If this bleeding is normal three months after starting a new contraceptive, s'it persists beyond 3 months, consult your doctor: your contraception may not be suitable for you.

Sexually transmitted infection or uterine disorders

While in most cases bleeding before periods does not reveal any serious causes, in some (rarer) cases it can be a sign of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), uterine disorders or fibroids. 

  • Chlamydia can cause bleeding before periods. But this is not the only symptom this STI causes. Symptoms are multiple and include: abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, fever, but also pain during intercourse or urination. To make sure you don't have any STI problems, get tested. In fact, it's very important to get tested regularly.
  • Women with PCOS may also experience bleeding before periods due to increased androgen levels in the body.
  • Finally, fibroids can also cause bleeding before periods. 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 prior to periods has no alarming cause, but if it sis accompanied by pain or other symptoms, consult your doctor.

How can you prevent blood loss before periods ?

To prevent potential blood loss before periods, you can wear menstrual panties. Made from breathable organic cotton, they are non-irritating for your intimate area, making them ideal for preventing bleeding or light discharge.


Bleeding FAQ before periods

Is it normal to lose blood outside of periods ?

Hormonal changes are the main cause of blood loss outside periods. In most cases, bleeding is not at all alarming, or even normal.

How can you tell the difference between bleeding and the onset of periods ?

Bleeding prior to periods is light and of a different color. They are usually pinkish or brownish. They also occur in the days leading up to lthe expected arrival of your periods.

Is bleeding before periods synonymous with illness?

Bleeding before or after periods can be a sign of uterine disorders or sexually transmitted infections, if accompanied by other symptoms and pain. If in doubt, consult your healthcare professional.


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