Spotting After Period

by Sharon Hopkins

Many women experience both red and brown spotting after menstruation and it can cause a lot of stress. It could have happened at any time, a few days after your last period ended or any other time in between your periods. It could be the first time this has occurred or one of many such occurrences, but either way it could be a scary and stressful experience.

A normal menstrual period lasts for approximately 4 to 5 days and results in the loss of blood equivalent to 2 to 8 tablespoons. While it normally occurs every 28 days, the time between periods can vary from 21 to 35 days. Any spotting or bleeding in the interim period, say within 21 days of your last period could be considered to be abnormal and may be a cause for concern. Post-menopausal women and girls under the age of 11 who experience vaginal bleeding should consult their doctors immediately.

The causes of vaginal bleeding in between periods could vary from the benign, such as hormonal changes, to the potentially fatal such as cancer of the cervix. These include:
  • Fluctuations in hormone levels
  • Uterine fibroids or polyps
  • Cervical polyps
  • Infection of the cervix
  • Trauma to the vagina which may be the result of intercourse or the insertion of foreign objects
  • Diseases or conditions affecting the vagina such as genital warts, polyps or ulcers
  • Use of IUDs
  • Commencing or stopping the use of birth control pills
  • Stress
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Use of medications such as blood thinners or anti-coagulants
  • Biopsies or other procedures performed in the cervical region
  • Cancers of the cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Complications during pregnancy

Whatever the cause of your spotting or bleeding, you should consult your doctor promptly to determine the cause. In case you experience heavy bleeding in between your periods, you should rest and keep a record of the bleeding episode. The record should include details such as the date of your last period and the number of pads or tampons used. This will help the doctor to determine the amount of bleeding and aid in the diagnosis of the cause.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination after recording your personal history. While narrating your history, be sure to inform your doctor about any past pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages and procedures such as D&Cs that you may have undergone. Also remember to inform your doctor about any medication or herbal supplements you are taking.

Once your doctor has diagnosed the cause of your spotting or bleeding, a course of treatment can be decided upon. Treatment options include:

  • Progesterone supplements in case of low levels of the hormone
  • Conditions such as those affecting the thyroid and liver are treated with specific medications
  • Polyps or cysts may have to be removed surgically
  • Antibiotics to treat any infection
  • Surgical procedures such as D&C or hysterectomies
There are many herbal remedies known as styptics or hemostatics. These may help to reduce or stop spotting or bleeding between periods. These include herbs such as shepherd’s purse, cinnamon, nettle, yarrow, geranium and sanicle. Of these herbs, special mention should be made of cinnamon. Cinnamon is reputed to possess hemostatic and stringent properties that may help stop bleeding such as nosebleeds, irregular vaginal bleeding, postpartum bleeding and bleeding due to fibroids.

While these herbs have been used by traditional healers and herbalists to treat episodes of irregular bleeding, no proper scientific studies have been conducted that prove their efficacy in treating irregular vaginal bleeding. Consult your doctor to determine the cause of your spotting or bleeding. Discuss the use of any herbal remedies with your doctors before you use any of them especially with regard to potential side effects.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
More articles from the Women's-Issues Category