Spotting A Week Before Period: Should You Be Worried?

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Spotting a week before period can be experienced due to a number of reasons. It may be caused not only by ovulation or egg implantation, but also by other physiological changes in your body and even some psychological conditions. Chronic diseases, taking birth control pills, stress overload – everything matters. Find out more about this condition and determine if what you are going through is a normal occurrence or something you should be worried about.

Spotting Before Your Menstrual Period

The first question is when actually implantation bleeding can occur. The entire menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, and regular bleeding may last for up to 4 or 7 days in most women. For those who have an irregular period, their menstrual cycle may be shorter or longer than 28 days. Thus, menstrual bleeding may also last longer and occur at different times each month.

Spotting refers to vaginal bleeding that occurs before or after your period. When this happens, you may notice a tinge of blood on your underwear. There are also some women who experience heavy bleeding, which may even resemble their normal menstrual period. A heavy flow must be rather alarming for you, as it can signify some reproductive health problems. In such a case the best decision is to consult a doctor. This is particularly true not only if you are pregnant, but also if the bleeding is accompanied by intense pain and cramps in the lower abdomen.

Characteristics of Vaginal Discharge

Throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, the type of discharge may vary. For instance, you may notice a somewhat clear discharge a week or two before your period. This white vaginal substance is useful in lubricating your tissues. It may also be free from any odors, and the texture may range from sticky to fluid-like.

However, for women who suffer from vaginal irritation or infection, the discharge may turn greenish or yellowish. In most cases it is accompanied by an unpleasant odor. Blood-tinged discharge may be also the sign of an irritation or infection.

Spotting in between menstrual periods vary from one type to another. When slight bleeding occurs during this 28-cycle, the discharge may be light and pale in color. On the other hand, menopausal discharge can be quite erratic and unpredictable.

Implantation Bleeding – What It Is All about

If your spotting has nothing to do with the menstrual cycle, then it may be caused by implantation bleeding. This condition occurs about a week before the menstrual period, and looks like mild or light spotting. It is caused by the attachment of the fertilized egg to the endometrium or uterus wall.

Once the trophoblast enters the uterus and tries to embed into it, it can hook some blood vessels and cause them to crack. In such a case leaks may occur and mild spotting appears. Eventually, cavities in the trophoblast are taken away from the embryo, which may result in implantation bleeding.

Is Heavy Implantation Bleeding Possible?

Although most women usually experience mild spotting during implantation, there are those who suffer from heavy bleeding associated with this condition. They may only have to deal with this unpleasant phenomenon for a few days. Then the bleeding stops on its own. Some women may even encounter a slight on-and-off spotting, which should not last more than a week.

There is no definite guideline when it comes to the duration of implantation bleeding. In some cases, this light spotting may last for several hours or for a couple of days. Sometimes it appears just once in a form of 2-3 blood drops. In other cases it can last for 3 days and be more intensive.

Keep in mind that even if light or heavy implantation bleeding may be considered as normal, you should still be aware of signs that would require prompt medical attention. These symptoms include the lightheadedness, extreme pains, pathological spotting, and prolonged bleeding for more than 5 days. If any of these signs are evident consult your doctor for further evaluation.

How Implantation Bleeding Differs from Menstrual Period

The vaginal discharge during your menstrual period starts as pinkish or brownish, and then it turns into deep red as the days go by. The blood flow also becomes heavier, particularly during the second and the third day of your period. Symptoms such as minor abdominal cramps and nausea may also occur.

In terms of appearance, implantation bleeding is quite different from your period. For instance, the discharge associated with egg embedment is usually light. It may even suffice to wear panty liners, except for those who experience heavy bleeding for a brief period. Spotting may also be inconsistent, and the quality of blood remains fairly the same until it disappears.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

It is a well-known fact that women are most fertile during ovulation, and the chances of conceiving are quite high on the day when an ovum is released from the ovaries. Those who have normal menstrual cycles usually expect their period 14 days after ovulating. Hence, implantation bleeding may occur about 10 to 14 days after conception. The usual timing coincides with the expected date of the menstrual period to begin. To put it simply, you will know that the type of discharge you are having is linked with implantation bleeding when it occurs earlier than your period.

Further Details About Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is only one of the numerous pregnancy symptoms that most women experience. It is characterized by a light discharge with pink or brownish blood drops in it. Bleeding may occur about 6 to 12 days after fertilization or ovulation, and at least 1 to 2 days after the fertilized egg enters the uterus.

Primarily, this type of bleeding may be free from any symptoms, although there are women who suffer from bloating and cramps, and who notice an increase in their basal body temperature. It may also be typical for some women to complain about having tender and swollen breasts, fatigue, or frequent urination. These symptoms are also some of the common early signs of pregnancy.

Since implantation bleeding is a normal condition that pregnant women may experience, it poses no threat or risk to one’s chances of having a healthy term. Nevertheless, if bleeding becomes prolonged and gets heavier, you should consult your doctor immediately, especially if the pregnancy is already confirmed. You may also seek medical attention if you suffer from severe pains and any discomfort associated with the bleeding. This way, you can obtain the right solution to any medical concerns that you may be experiencing.

Recommended reading:

Pink Spotting Before Period: Top 4 Causes of Light Vaginal Bleeding

Implantation Bleeding or Period? 5 Leading Signs of Implantation Spotting

What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?

Implantation Spotting or Light Bleeding – Signs and Symptoms

Implantation Spotting: 6 Major Answers to the Most Stirring Questions

Can Implantation Bleeding Be Bright Red?

What Is Implantation Bleeding and When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

 


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My name is Margaret Scott, I am a certified specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I graduated from the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Oregon. I did my internship at the University of Southern California. I worked at the Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena and Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California. Now I am a member of several medical associations, the author of scientific articles and a well-known lecturer in CHRs.