Spotting Between Periods
It can be a little scary when you notice traces of bleeding between periods, especially if your cycle is pretty regular.
But there’s no need to panic. Bleeding in the middle of your cycle (known as ‘spotting’ between periods) can occur for a number of reasons, and most of them are harmless. But you should still get yourself checked out by your doctor. Just to be on the safe side.
Did you know?
What is spotting?
So what exactly is it? Well, spotting is light bleeding from your vagina which can happen between periods. You might see a few dots of blood on your underwear, but don’t worry – just see your GP to be safe.
What are the reasons for spotting between periods?
So, what causes spotting? Well, it can be a variety of things. Ovulation (when one of your ovaries releases an egg), implantation (when an egg attaches itself to your uterine lining), hormonal fluctuations, using or quitting contraceptives or the use of an IUD (intrauterine device, or ‘coil’) could all be responsible.
Other causes are vaginal infections or chlamydia. It can also be a sign that you’re pregnant, and while spotting doesn’t always mean there is a problem with the pregnancy, it definitely needs to be checked out. Post-sex spotting can also – very occasionally – be a sign of cervical or vaginal cancer , so it’s important to have a smear test to check the health of your cervix.
When you first start your periods it can sometimes take years for them to fall into a regular pattern, so this may mean you experience spotting in the meantime. And when approaching the menopause, your periods can become irregular and unpredictable, leading to harmless spotting. Any post-menopausal spotting, however, is a reason for concern.
How can you deal with spotting between periods?
So those are the causes, but what can you do about spotting? Well, once you’ve worked out why it’s happening, use a liner (such as Bodyform's DailyFresh range) to protect your clothing. Perhaps also keep some handy in case the spotting recurs. Stay comfortable and clean by showering twice a day and wearing fresh underwear afterwards. And then just get on with whatever you’re doing.
The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your doctor for guidance about a specific medical condition.
HOW TO REMOVE BLOOD STAINS (and save your favourite pair of knickers)
First, remove any clotted blood from the surface of your underwear by scraping it off with an old card, disused spoon or another suitable object with a hard edge.
As soon as you can, run the stain under cold water. Then, add some salt to a sink full of cold water and leave your underwear to soak overnight or until the stain is almost gone.
If all else fails, put some laundry detergent on a damp cloth and use it to directly treat the stain. If you don’t have detergent or a stain remover to hand, any type of soap will work!
Make sure the blood stain is removed before throwing your underwear into the washing machine as the hot water may set it in into the fabric. When in doubt, put it on a cold wash!k!