By Lemetria Whitehurst RN
Periods. Let’s admit we have a love/hate relationship with them. For some it is a good reassurance that everything is according to plan. For others an unnecessary visitor every month. With perimenopause your period can become more irregular. It is actually one of the most telling sign and symptoms. Spotting but no period is something that many women experience, but it can be a bit of a mystery as to why it happens. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more about spotting, what it means for your health, and how you should approach it.
Related: Am I In Perimenopause? Take Our Quiz!
What Is Spotting?
During perimenopause, any bleeding from the vagina that is not related to a woman’s monthly cycle is referred to as spotting, or abnormal uterine bleeding. Small amounts of blood (we’re talking a few drops here) are frequently present when spotting occurs. You can find it in your underwear or on the toilet paper after using the restroom. However, there’s no need for a pad or tampon because the bleeding is typically not heavy enough. The duration of spotting varies widely depending on its cause, but many women don’t have to deal with it for long periods of time.
How To Tell If You’re Spotting Or On Your Period
It is so important to be aware of the differences between spotting and periods so that you can better understand your body and take appropriate action if necessary.
Spotting is a light bleeding that occurs outside of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, while a period is the regular shedding of the uterine lining. Spotting typically occurs due to factors such as hormonal fluctuations, while periods are more commonly caused by ovulation and menstruation.
Spotting also involves smaller amounts of blood, whereas periods involve heavier bleeding for several days. Spotting is typically pink, reddish, or brown and doesn’t last for longer than 1 or 2 days. Period bleeding typically lasts 4-7 days. Spotting does not usually have additional symptoms, but sometimes people may experience cramps and spotting, but no period. Periods are often accompanied by painful symptoms.
What Causes Spotting During Perimenopause?
Medical experts believe spotting during perimenopause is caused by fluctuating hormones related to the decreasing production of estrogen in the body. Spotting can happen at any time during the cycle as a result of these hormone fluctuations but is especially common near ovulation when the body is preparing to release eggs.
Though typically harmless, women should always consult their physician if they experience any spotting during this period of life.
Treatment for Spotting During Perimenopause
Thankfully, there are several treatment options to help women take control of the situation. For example, hormonal replacement therapy/menopause hormone therapy have proven beneficial for many. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise and healthy eating can help reduce symptoms, as well as stress levels which are known to be linked with spotting during perimenopause. Lastly, if none of these methods provide relief, a doctor may suggest alternative treatments for abnormal uterine bleeding such as pelvic ultrasound or hysteroscopy exams.
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In A Nutshell
It’s helpful to remember that spotting during perimenopause is no cause for alarm. If you experience any bleeding or spotting outside of your normal period, be sure to track the frequency and severity so you can discuss it with your doctor.
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Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.
Harlow, S. D., & Paramsothy, P. (2011). Menstruation and the menopausal transition. Obstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America, 38(3), 595–607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ogc.2011.05.010
Vitale, S. G., Watrowski, R., Barra, F., D’Alterio, M. N., Carugno, J., Sathyapalan, T., Kahramanoglu, I., Reyes-Muñoz, E., Lin, L. T., Urman, B., Ferrero, S., & Angioni, S. (2022). Abnormal Uterine Bleeding in Perimenopausal Women: The Role of Hysteroscopy and Its Impact on Quality of Life and Sexuality. Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5), 1176. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12051176
Menopausal Hormone Therapy Information