It is not unusual for women to have a discharge of blood or bleeding after their period is over. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is disturbing. The most important question is "what is the cause of this spotting or bleeding after period?". Could it mean early pregnancy, ovulation or menopause a more serious health condition?
Why am I spotting after my period ended
Brown spotting or bleeding after period is a phenomenon that affects women at a point in their menstrual cycle years.
Irregular bleeding or spotting between periods can be alarming and you may be wondering if you should be worried or not.
The primary characteristics of this discharge is that it is dark brown or dark red in color. Which indicates that blood is not fresh. It could also be watery or mucus-like brown discharge.
Let's take a look at the causes of these occurrences.
Major Causes of Light bleeding after Periods
There are so many reasons why bleeding after period could occur.
Uterine incapacity is caused when the uterus is unable to expell all it's blood at the time of mensuration. A certain amount of blood is retained back as "old blood". This retained blood is what you see coming out of your vagina days after period has ended.
Uterine incapacity is one of the major causes of post period cramps and bleeding.
Pinkish spots a few days after your period ends may be a sign that you are ovulating earlier than usual.
Normally ovulation is expected around half way through your menstrual cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle this would be around day 14. But if you ovulate any day less than day 9 of your cycle, then you ovulated too early.
Cramping and spotting are major signs of ovulation. Ovulating early makes it harder to get pregnant because the egg that is released is not yet fully matured.
Menopause is another reasoning why you may be experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding.
The few years before a woman attains menopause is known as the perimenopause meaning around menopause. In this years, your periods become irregular because hormonal fluctuations affects your ovulation and your menstrual cycle.
As a result of this unpredictable hormonal changes, you may experience irregular bleeding or spotting including a lighter of heavier menstruation.
Hormonal imbalance is a malfunction of one or more hormones in the body.
Abnormal uterine bleeding occurs when their are changes in the level of hormones. For example too much estrogen or too little progesterone can cause you to bleed or spot abnormally.
A woman's menstrual cycle is dependent on the rise and fall of hormones at certain times.
Also Changes in hormone level can cause your period to be heavier than normal or to be early or late.
Regular dark brown spotting or thick blood indicates their is an imbalance of hormones.
Cervical Polyps is another condition that may cause dark brown spots. Cervical polyps are growths that appear on the cervix(neck of the womb) where it leads down to the vagina.
Cervical polyps may be caused by inflammation of the cervix or by an hormonal imbalance and it is popular during pregnancy due to the increased level of the estrogen hormone.
They can cause irregular menstrual bleeding
Other symptoms of cervical polyps are:
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Brown discharge which can be smelly if there is an infection
Birth Control Pills
Another cause of light bleeding or spotting after menstruation has ended is the regular use of birth control pills.
Medicines such as contraceptive birth control pills may cause abnormal irregular bleeding.
A lot of women complain about bleeding while on the pill. this is known as breakthrough bleeding.
This breakthrough bleeding happens when your body is trying to adjust to the hormones present in the pill.
Uterine Fibroid is a medical condition in which muscular tumours grow on the walls of the vagina. Uterine fibroid is one of the common causes of irregular or abnormal uterine bleeding that may happen between periods.
Other symptoms of uterine fibroids are:
- Heavy Menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Frequent urination
- Pain while emptying the bladder
Excessive exercise and stress is also linked to light bleeding when not menstruating. Excessive exercising can also contribute to lack of mensuration known as amenorrhea.
When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This cortisol disrupts the normal pattern of the estrogen and progesterone and how they work.
Emotional stress contributes also to late and absence of monthly blood flow.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
Sexually transmitted disease and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another reason women see brown or pink spots in their panties.
Infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, trichomoniasis cause abnormal vaginal discharge, vagina itchiness and odor.
Inter Uterine Device (IUD)
Women often experience heavy bleeding or periods with IUD(copper). Interuterine device is a T shape device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
The Hormonal IUD reduces menstrual bleeding and cramping while copper IUD may increase it.
Spotting after period ended could I be pregnant
Implantation spotting or bleeding occurs when the fertilised egg attaches its self to the walls of the uterus. This usually happens at about 6-7 days before ovulation and about a few days before your next period. The color is usually light red to light pink which indicates fresh blood from implantation cramping.
For a natural pregnancy to happen you must have had un protected sex around ovulation. Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest sign of pregnancy.
Other early Pregnancy signs you should look are Nausea, vomiting, Fatigue and tiredness,breast tenderness, craving and a missed period.
Can I get Pregnant if I had sex after my period?
It is very unlikely to get pregnant if you had sex just a few days after your period. Because a matured egg is not yet released at this time.
If you notice you are spotting a week after your period has ended it could mean you are ovulating or a more serious medical condition e.g uterine incapacity, cervical polyps.
Pink Spotting Right After Period
There are various reasons why you could have light pink spots after your menses. One of the reason is uterine incapacity, which is when the uterus fails to expel all its blood during menstruation.
At times the uterus is weak and does not contract strongly enough to shed all its blood. This left over blood is then expelled for a couple of days after menstruation is over.
Light Pink discharge is a blood that has been mixed with vaginal secretion. Other causes of pink discharge after period are: PCOS, Hormonal contraceptive, PID, Cervical Cancer.
Pinkish discharge can happen at anytime due to rough sexual intercourse. Bleeding after sex is not uncommon but should be avoided.
Spotting 4 days after period
If you notice a pinkish mucus 4 days after period. It is very unlikely you are pregnant. As there has been no ovulation yet. It is normal to have light spots 3-5 days after your period is over. You should be worried if the discharge is smelly or itchy or causes vagina opening irritation.
See a gynaecologist if this is a normal occurrence, the gynaecologist may conduct a pelvic examination or a pap smear test to collect cells from your cervix.
Light Pink Spotting a week after period
Light spotting a week before period may mean you are pregnant. But if spotting a week after period it is very unlikely you are pregnant yet. This could be ovulation happening or an abnormal vagina discharge.
Many women mistake spotting a week before period with spotting a week after period.
While spotting a week before period means you may be pregnant. Spotting a week after period may mean you are ovulating.
Bleeding Bright Red after Period has ended
If light bleeding after period happens, it is considered normal. But if you have any discharge that is smelling or itching or excessive then you should contact your doctor.
Treatment of Bleeding After Period
Treatment for spotting after menses would be determined by the cause.
It is normal to have a discharge once or twice after your period. But if it becomes a regular occurrence then you should see a doctor who would check for and serious medical condition.
If you are on a birth control pill, you doctor may recommend another pill to you to stop the break through bleeding.