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Can Stress Cause Spotting?

Can Stress Cause Spotting?

Tell me if this sounds familiar… you’re in the bathroom going about your business, then suddenly you look down and see spots on your undies. So either you’re seeing spots… or you’re spotting!

Spotting is a small amount of bleeding which can occur between periods and is also referred to as “breakthrough bleeding”. Spotting usually only lasts a couple of days and the symptoms are significantly lighter compared to your average menstrual cycle. However, it still can be quite annoying and potentially embarrassing, especially if it’s the first time it’s happened to you. Spotting is also the biggest reason why I like to wear my period panties anytime I’m out and about.

There are so many reasons why you could be spotting: emotional stress, physical stress and mental stress… you could even be spotting because you’re worried about spotting! However, if your dealing with abnormally strong vaginal bleeding between periods, then it’s time to see your obgyn so you can get checked out.

These are some of the more common reasons why you may be spotting:

You’re Ovulating

There are a wide array of hormonal shifts in your body which can cause spotting like when your body is ovulating. If you’re noticing some spotting about midway between your normal menstrual cycle that is steady for a few months, an ovum moving through your fallopian tubes may be to blame. This is totally normal and completely harmless. It’s caused by normal hormonal spikes and is typical in most females… it’s just a cute way of your body giving you an update on your eggs.

Stressing Out

Stress can affect so many aspects of your life causing a multitude of symptoms like depression and anxiety from emotional stress as well as rapid weight gain or loss cause by physical stress. When you’re experiencing any kind of emotional physical or mental stress, it can cause spotting. If you want to get technical… there’s a stress hormone called cortisol and it can mess with your estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones that control what your reproductive system is up to. This could also be the cause of spotting and potentially affect the timing of your menstrual cycle causing it to come early, late or not at all. If this happens, it’s best to make an appointment with you bgyn just to make sure all is well.

Going through illness

No need to Freak out! Illnesses from an STD like chlamydia to certain infections, blood clotting issues and some types of cancer can all cause spotting. Fibroids or PCOS conditions can also be the cause of your spotting. Again, anything out of the ordinary, please see your doctor immediately just to be safe. Your doctor will be able determine exactly what’s happening with you and hopefully come a with a treatment plan that works for you and help you feel more in control of your period.

Being pregnant

When a woman gets pregnant, spotting can be one of the very first signs of it. However, this is a different kind of spotting… it’s called implantation bleeding which normally happens when an egg that’s been fertilized attaches to a woman’s uterus. If this is what you think may be going on with you then I would start by taking a pregnancy test and once again… go see your doctor.

Birth Control

If you just began taking the pill or some other form of birth control like the ring, the patch or an IUD, then it’s very common to experience some spotting while your body adjusts, especially for the first 3 or 4 months. However, if you miss a pill or two it can cause some spotting during your cycle… even if you’ve been on birth control for several years. The way birth control pills work is they deliver a steady supply of hormones into your system and a sudden lapse can trick your uterus into thinking that it’s time to shed its lining.

Rough Sex

At last… the one we’ve all been waiting for! If you got a rowdy the last time you had sex or maybe you were not as lubed up as usual, it’s common to see some spotting. Rough sex can cause minor tears in your vagina or your perineum [between your vagina and rectum]. Not a big deal… these minor tears will heal quickly if you give your vagina a break for a couple days and will also help prevent infection.

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Thanks for reading!

Sophie Monroe