Spotting – is it normal?

It’s super common for people to wonder when exactly their period starts as they often spot for a few days before the full-on-period arrives.

I’m happy to share that spotting before your period is very common and, depending on how long it lasts, pretty normal and nothing to worry about. As is spotting around ovulation for 1-2 days.

We consider the first day you need to use period products (rather than just catch the spotting in your undies or with some tissue paper) as Day 1 of your menstrual cycle and it’s totally fine to spot 1-2 days before your period full arrives.

However, spotting 3 days or more before your period fully arrives, is, sadly, not ok. The most common cause of spotting is progesterone dropping too quickly or was never high enough to begin with. What causes this low progesterone? There can be a number of things but most often it’s stress related or thyroid issues.

Other reasons for spotting before or in between periods are:

  •     Infection – bacteria, virus or STI
  •     Uterine condition like fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis
  •     Hormonal birth control can cause spotting
  •     Endometrial cancer

I’m all about the simple things when it comes to our periods and our hormones, so here are some ideas you can try to see if it improves your spotting:

  • Nutrition – eating a balanced diet with each meal containing 50% veggies (yes 50%!), protein and healthy fats like ghee, olive oil, seeds or nuts. An often overlooked part of nutrition is eating sloooooowly. Ideally we need to chews each mouthful 10 times, my friends.
  • Prioritising your sleep – we ideally need 8 hours sleep a night. If you’re not bagging that much sleep or don’t wake feeling fully rested, you need to work on your sleep pronto.
  • Find ways to soothe your nervous system every single day – pick something that works for you whether it’s taking 5 mins daily rest with your eyes closed listening to music, setting an alarm on your phone to take 10 deep slow breathes, try abdominal massage, or spending some time in nature.

If you try these suggestions consistently for 2-3 months and see no improvement to your spotting or your symptoms get worse at anytime, definitely see your doctor and get that investigated.

We deep dive on all things period, hormones and perimenopause in my 6-week live course Embrace Your Cyclical Power. If you want to be part of a supportive group of women from around the world who cheer each other on, this course is for you!

“PMS kind of switched me into a Mr Hyde every month and I was very upset about it - I felt I was fighting a losing battle of self-control. Now I have learned to be kinder to myself and I can handle PMS and perimenopause much better”.

Christel Ong, Massage Therapist, Singapore