Many women have experienced spotting after a period; it is intermenstrual bleeding. Generally, this bleeding usually consists of small bleeding that does not have the intense red color of menstruation, lasting two or three days, and that is usually caused by benign causes such as hormonal alterations.
What is menstruation?
Menstruation is bleeding that occurs once a month in all women due to the shedding of the endometrium. In each menstrual cycle, the endometrium prepares itself for the possible nesting of a pregnancy. If nesting does not occur in a cycle, the endometrium sheds to give rise to a new cycle, preparing the uterus for a future pregnancy.
Why am I bleeding after my period?
What are the causes of spotting after a period? It can have different origins. Generally, bleeding between periods usually occurs due to ovulation.
Many women find out they are ovulating because of changes in their cervical mucus, and others because they have a little brownish or reddish bleeding that usually lasts two to three days. When you ovulate, the follicle that contains the egg ruptures, which can bleed, and this bleeding is externalized through the fallopian tubes.
What is implantation bleeding?
Post-implantation bleeding usually occurs in the first few weeks of gestation as the uterus is highly perfused and can bleed easily. This does not happen because the process is “violent.” The embryo must be perfectly connected to the endometrial tissue to ensure the exchange of nutrients in the delicate gestation process that will occur in the following months. Thus, the embryo breaks the superficial capillaries of the endometrium to form some new ones that will unite it and serve to feed the new life through the future placenta.
The blood lost in this process is what we identify as implantation bleeding. And for this reason, it is slightly different, and we can differentiate it from menstrual blood. Although it is not always indicative since the endometrial tissue is highly irrigated (always), the losses could occur for other equally natural reasons.
Considered one of the most accessible signs of pregnancy to detect, spotting after a period can occur in approximately three out of ten women. On the other hand, this phenomenon does not always occur in association with implantation itself and, of course, is not in itself associated with any problem with the pregnancy. Why happens? How does implantation bleeding differ from normal menstruation?
When the egg is fertilized, in its union with the sperm, the process of cell division begins that will give rise to the embryo. This embryo begins to form and travels from the fallopian tubes to the uterus, where implantation occurs. This process takes six to ten days after fertilization, and when it occurs, the embryo is just a mass of cells that adheres to the uterine wall.
Arteries, veins, and blood vessels highly irrigate this environment since it is a tissue specially prepared to “feed” the embryo and condition its proper development. For this reason, due to the embryonic implantation itself, some of these vessels can break, causing blood loss and consequent staining.
How to identify spotting after a period?
- Texture: Lighter than period bleeding
- Color: dark red, almost brown
- Duration: from a few hours to a couple of days
- Intensity: Less than period bleeding
- Quantity: mild and intermittent
Spotting after the period is also due to endometrial polyps.
Spotting after the period could be endometrial polyps. These are formations that generally disappear between one rule and another. These can cause bleeding before, during, and after your period. Although various symptoms, such as heavy periods, may indicate its presence, they are diagnosed by ultrasound.
Other causes of breakthrough spotting after period
On the other hand, there are more complex situations, such as corpus luteum insufficiency. The corpus luteum is what remains after ovulation, and it will generate progesterone to maintain the pregnancy.
Other causes may be uterine fibroids that may compress a part of the endometrium, increasing the possibility of bleeding before the period begins. Although intermenstrual bleeding does not have a clear explanation, it cannot be diagnosed with ultrasound or through hormonal analysis.
The presence of spotting after period depends on each woman. Some women often experience it, while other women have never experienced it.
In the case of prolonged and persistent bleeding between one and the other, it is necessary to investigate to rule out diseases and hormonal alterations that can make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant.
Depending on the cause, spotting after period is sometimes not preventable. In any case, and depending on the case, it can always be prevented by following these recommendations:
- Have a healthy lifestyle and a normal weight.
- Prevent hormonal imbalances (in case of taking oral contraceptives), always following medical instructions.
- Perform a moderate physical activity.
What to do about spotting after period
So why am I bleeding after my period? What can be done? Intermenstrual bleeding is usually mild. But as we have seen before, it could signify something more serious.
Spotting after a period differs from persistent bleeding, so if you have heavy or prolonged bleeding, you should make an appointment for a checkup.
What should I do if spotting after my period occurs?
Although there is no reason to take extraordinary measures, it is advisable to consult your gynecologist in case of doubt. He/she will be the one who can confirm if it is bleeding associated with the implantation of the embryo or not. The gynecologist at the USA Fibroid Center will give you the guidelines to proceed in the best possible way, if necessary.
Make an appointment at the USA Fibroid Center if the spotting worries you or if you have symptoms in addition to the bleeding:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Any vaginal bleeding after menopause
Schedule an appointment now!