spots of period blood on pad

Vaginal bleeding or spotting in the middle of the menstrual cycle is generally not a cause for concern. A little amount of blood, minor spotting on your underwear is not a major thing to worry about. But at times, spotting instead of periods may be due to various other factors.

Light bleeding or spotting between periods is known as metrorrhagia or breakthrough bleeding. Red-colored vaginal bleeding or spotting that occurs between the end of one period cycle and the beginning of the next cycle is called metrorrhagia. However, it is best to get in touch with your gynecologist if you notice spotting instead of periods or with other symptoms like pain, cramping, etc. 

Also Read- How Vaginal Discharge Occurs and How to Prevent It?

Causes of Spotting instead of Periods

Spotting instead of periods is generally red or brown in color. There can be many causes of vaginal spotting without periods. Below are the main causes of spotting with no periods-

  • Pregnancy (Implantation Bleeding)

In early pregnancy, a female may experience mild bleeding, discharge, or spotting instead of her period. This bleeding during pregnancy is known as implantation bleeding and happens generally when the fertilized egg implants itself to the uterine lining. This may cause mild vaginal bleeding, spotting, or brown-red colored vaginal discharge. Some females also experience heavy to light cramping with implantation bleeding.  

Also Read: What Vaginal discharge in pregnancy is normal?

  • Miscarriage

Miscarriage can cause a spotting-between in the expected period cycle. A miscarriage can happen during pregnancy or even during early pregnancy when the female is not even aware that she is pregnant. Taking an abortion pill can also cause bleeding due to miscarriage.  

Also ReadOverview of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss or Multiple Miscarriages

  • Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal Pills

Females using hormonal contraceptives can have spotting instead of periods or red or brownish discharge. This generally happens during the first 3 months of taking hormonal contraceptives.

Commonly used hormonal contraceptives include birth control patch, IUD, vaginal ring, contraceptive pills or contraceptive implants. If this spotting without a period increases, occurs regularly or the flow increases, consult your gynecologist, who may suggest an alternative option.

  • Contraceptive Pills

Emergency contraceptive pills, also known as the morning-after pill works by preventing pregnancy after having unprotected sex. They can cause spotting or light bleeding without periods. Both IUD or the other contraceptive methods ( taken the next morning after unprotected vaginal intercourse ) have a similar effect on the female’s menstrual cycle, causing spotting instead of periods.

Also Read- I-pill side effects on future pregnancy

  • STD ( Sexually Transmitted Disease )

An STD can change the vaginal health and balance in various ways. Having a sexual disease can lead to spotting or bleeding between the period cycle. One of the main symptoms of Chlamydia, a Sexually Transmitted Disease is spotting or light bleeding between periods. This disease also causes spotting or light bleeding after or during sexual intercourse.

  • Injury

female having vaginal pain

The vaginal area, both from the inside and outside areas is very tender and gentle. The female’s body produces a natural lubricant to prepare the vaginal area for sexual intercourse. Lack of arousal, Hormonal imbalance, menopause, chemotherapy, high antibiotics, etch can lead to excessive vaginal dryness.

Damaged tissues or skin inside the vagina can cause spotting. It can happen at the time of penetrative sex or if the vagina is very dry.

  • Menopause

female in her Menopause

Menopause in women generally occurs between 45 to 55 years of age. It generally occurs when the female has not had a menstrual cycle for about one complete year. A woman can experience mild spotting or bleeding at the time of her menopause. At times it may even cause heavy bleeding.

Also Read- Bleeding after Menopause

  • Cancer

Some types of cancers may also cause spotting or light blood discharge. The second most common cancer among females of any age is Cervical Cancer. This cancer generally happens to sexually active females the age 30 to 45. Blood discharge, bleeding or spotting is one of the first symptoms of this disease. Cervical cancer can also cause other symptoms such as pain at the time of intercourse or abnormal vaginal discharge. Certain other cancers such as Uterine Cancer or Womb cancer also can cause vaginal bleeding.



female at gynecologist

Women should keep track of their menstrual cycle. If such bleeding is accompanied by other symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, pain, cramps, itching, vaginal dryness, nausea, etc wait no more and seek professional advice.

Click here to consult the best gynecologist at Pristyn Care for detailed and proper diagnosis and treatment of any underlying condition causing spotting instead of periods. 


What does spotting before perdiods mean?

Spotting before periods usually is not a cause of concern and may often be an early period or implantation bleeding (which means you should take a pregnancy test). However, birth control pills, stress or depression can also cause spotting before periods. 

How much spotting before periods is normal?

Spotting before or after periods is usually much lighter bleeding than the periods. Unlike a normal period, spotting before or after periods usually is so light that a pad or tampon is not even required. Spotting may be red or brown in color and occurs outside the regular period cycle.

Should I visit a gynaecologist for bleeding without periods?

Bleeding without periods is often caused due to hormonal imbalance, pregnancy (implantation bleeding) or stress. If you have recently had unprotected sex or feel you may be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test or visit a gynecologist to find out the cause of bleeding without periods. 

Where can I consult the best gynaecologist for spotting instead of periods?

Click here to consult the best gynecologist at Pristyn Care for detailed and proper diagnosis and treatment of any underlying condition causing spotting instead of periods.