Each woman will experience perimenopause differently with regards to frequency and intensity of symptoms, so “normal” is often a relative word. While menstrual irregularities are expected as she comes to the end of her fertile years, spotting between periods calls for an evaluation to ensure it results from natural hormonal fluctuations, not other, more serious underlying causes.
Read on to discover more about spotting between periods during perimenopause and whether or not you should be concerned.
Perimenopause is the stage in a woman's life leading up to menopause, and it can last for about 10 years.1 It is said to begin when a woman experiences prolonged menstrual irregularities midlife and ends after she has not menstruated for 12 consecutive months.
Symptoms of Spotting Between Periods
Irregular periods are often the first symptom of perimenopause. Women may find that their periods are shorter or longer than normal, and they might arrive at unpredictable times.
However, intermenstrual spotting is clearly different from a period as it occurs outside of a woman's menstrual patterns, and she does not need tampons or pads to contain it.
Typically, a woman finds just a few drops of blood on her underwear, not enough to soak through a panty liner. Spotting generally lasts for one or two days and may have a light pink, red, or brown color.
What Causes Spotting Between Periods?
Menstrual irregularities, including spotting between periods, are generally caused by natural hormonal fluctuations as a woman nears the end of her fertile years.
During premenopause, her levels of estrogen fluctuate in a predictable fashion alongside progesterone. These two principal reproductive hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and reproduction from puberty until menopause.
However, as she approaches menopause, her estrogen begins to decline more drastically as ovarian hormonal production comes to a halt, oftentimes causing bleeding between period. These hormonal fluctuations occur in an erratic manner until hormone levels reach a consistently low level with postmenopause.
Should I Be Concerned?
Light spotting between periods typically does not signal other, potentially serious causes.
However, it is key to consult a doctor when first experiencing spotting between periods during perimenopause, especially when accompanied by the following symptoms:
- It lasts longer than a couple of days
- It happens more often than every 21 days
- It pccurs after intercourse
- It becomes very heavy
- it accompanied by other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and cramps.1
These could be indicative of a serious health condition that requires prompt medical attention.
For most women, light spotting between periods during perimenopause is nothing to worry about as this transition is characterized by such irregularities. To promote hormonal balance in the body during this life phase and find out how to deal with irregular periods and other pesky symptoms, read about natural and effective perimenopause treatments by clicking on the previous link.
- Jefferson Health. (2017). Is Spotting Normal During Perimenopause and Menopause? Retrieved March 2, 2020 from https://www.abingtonhealth.org/healthy-living/health-news/library/articles-related-to-womens-health-/is-spotting-normal-during-perimenopause-and-menopause/#.XJOmy2l7mUk
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Perimenopause. Retrieved March 2, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666
- Office on Women's Health. (2017). Menopause Basics. Retrieved March 2, 2020 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2018). Perimenopausal Bleeding and Bleeding After Menopause. Retrieved March 2, 2020 from https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Perimenopausal-Bleeding-and-Bleeding-After-Menopause