11 Reasons Not to Ignore Spotting After Period

Spotting After Period
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When the menstrual period is over, most women expect that any vaginal bleeding will stop until the next period. So, you may be worried if you have noticed signs of spotting after your period has ended. Thankfully, noticing some pink or brown spots on your underwear or having light vaginal bleeding a week or more after your period isn’t usually anything to worry about.


Spotting after a period can happen because of using some birth control methods, it could be the first sign of pregnancy (implantation bleeding), or it could be just the normal part of your menstrual cycle when ovulation happens. Even stress has been connected with spotting between periods. Depending on the cause of the spotting, you may also experience vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, pelvic discomfort, or cramping.

Because bleeding after your period has ended is classed as “abnormal vaginal bleeding”, doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend seeing a doctor or gynecologist for a checkup.1 This is because spotting between periods could also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition like ovarian cysts, thyroid disease or cancer in the reproductive organs.

If you are concerned about spotting after your period, please read on to find out what could be causing this abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Causes of Spotting After Period

Here are the most common causes of light bleeding or spotting after your period has ended.


Light bleeding about one week or two weeks after the end of your period could be due to ovulation. A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts on average 28 days and ovulation occurs about 10 to 14 days after the start of the menstrual period.

The reason for light bleeding when ovulation occurs is explained by Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Andrew M. Kaunitz from the University of Florida. He says that sudden changes in hormone levels can cause vaginal spotting at the time of ovulation. Women who have irregular periods may also find that they have light bleeding between periods.2

According to the Mayo Clinic, ovulation can also cause an increase in vaginal secretions which become slightly thicker just after ovulation. Around the time of ovulation is the optimal time for a woman to become pregnant.

Implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding is one of the first signs of pregnancy and can cause brown spotting after your period. This light bleeding is completely natural and is nothing to be concerned about. Along with spotting, the early signs of pregnancy are a white milky or creamy discharge and pelvic cramping, but no period.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, some light spotting and cramping can occur. However, not all women experience light bleeding as the first sign of pregnancy.3

The only way of being sure that you are pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test. Home testing kits are generally quite reliable and a doctor will also carry out a test to confirm if you are pregnant or not.

If you are already pregnant and you notice vaginal bleeding, you should contact your health care professional as soon as possible. Dr. Traci Johnson on WebMD says that although some light bleeding is common during the first trimester, it could also be a sign of a more serious condition like miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.4

Birth control

If you have started using birth control in the past few months, you could experience some spotting after your period. This is common if you have started taking the contraceptive pill or have had an intrauterine device (IUD) fitted.

According to the University of Colorado, birth control pills can cause spotting or abnormal vaginal bleeding in the first few months of using them. Also, spotting can occur if the estrogen dose is changed or you miss taking the pill at the same time every day. Some spotting may happen in the first few days of having an IUD fitted. Some women continue to have spotting between their periods all the time while they have the IUD fitted.5


If you have heavy vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal or pelvic pain, and/or vaginal discharge that gives off a foul odor (or fishy smell), you should visit your doctor.6


Spotting after your period or light bleeding between periods is common in women who are approaching the menopause. The few years before the menopause are called the perimenopause. You will also notice that your menstrual periods become more irregular because your estrogen levels fluctuate.

Doctors from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that fluctuations in the levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and spotting before period. However, between periods you may have more frequent spotting or light, irregular bleeding. If vaginal bleeding lasts longer than normal, they advise speaking to your doctor to have a checkup and to rule out more sinister health conditions.7

To find relief from the stress and anxiety that the menopause can cause, please read my articles on the best natural supplements for coping with the menopause and how essential oils can provide relief from menopausal symptoms.


Pink or brown spotting after your period could be due to physiological or emotional stress. Stress can affect your body in many ways, and play havoc with your monthly cycle.

Dr. Melissa Stöppler on MedicineNet says that stress can interfere with the menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods. She says that stress is one of the most common causes of missed or late menstrual periods.8 The National Health Service in the United Kingdom says that stress also causes spotting or light bleeding after your period has ended.9

There are many natural ways to help you cope with stress better and, therefore, prevent spotting after your periods. For more information on reducing stress, please read my article about various natural remedies for coping with anxiety and stress better.


Ovarian cyst

Ovarian cysts can cause abnormal bleeding and spotting after your period has finished. Cysts can form in the ovaries and develop as part of the menstrual cycle. Usually ovarian cysts don’t cause any problems, however, in some cases, these cysts can become larger and cause pain and bleeding if they rupture.

Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Irina Burd says that among the symptoms of ovarian cysts are spotting or light bleeding after your period. You may also have pelvic pain, bloating, and pain during bowel movements.10

Many doctors often take a “wait and see” approach to treating ovarian cysts. If they become bothersome, they can be surgically removed. If you are concerned about ovarian cysts, you can find some useful information in my article about the warning signs of ovarian cysts and what to do about them.

Underactive thyroid

Even though it doesn’t seem connected with your reproductive system, one of the signs of an underactive thyroid is spotting a week or more after the end of your period. An underactive thyroid condition is called hypothyroidism where the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep your body functioning properly.

Doctors at WebMD say that hypothyroidism can cause tiredness, fatigue, dry skin, and changes in the menstrual cycle.11 Regarding the effect of thyroid disease on abnormal vaginal bleeding, Dr. Millie A Behera on MedScape.com says that hypothyroidism can cause random or frequent bleeding that can be heavy or light.12

Pelvic inflammatory disease

If you notice spotting after your period or even light bleeding, it could be a symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The vaginal discharge, lower pelvic pain, and irregular bleeding from the vagina are all caused by a bacterial infection which often results from a sexually transmitted disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the bacterial infection responsible for bleeding between periods is caused by inflammation and infection in the ovaries, uterus, and/or fallopian tubes. It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as pelvic inflammatory disease can cause complications in your reproductive system and even make you infertile if left untreated.13



Cancer of the ovaries, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer can all cause irregular bleeding after your period has ended. If you have been through the menopause, then it’s good to remember that any kind spotting or vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal and should be checked out by a doctor.

The NHS says that most people with abnormal bleeding don’t have cancer, but because bleeding from the vagina can be a symptom of cancer, you should see a doctor. This means that if you have been through the menopause, any kind of vaginal bleeding is a cause for concern. If you haven’t been through the menopause, then you should see a doctor if your periods are heavier than usual or you have unusual bleeding after your period has ended.14

Uterine fibroids

Sometimes uterine fibroids can cause spotting a week or more after the end of your period. Uterine fibroids are harmless growths that develop in the uterus. Apart from brown spotting, fibroids can cause lower back pain, pelvic discomfort and bladder problems. They may also cause heavier than usual menstrual bleeding.

If you have spotting after your period has ended along with pelvic discomfort and painful periods, doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend that you visit your doctor.15

To find out more about how to identify if you have uterine fibroids, you can find helpful information in my article about the warning signs of uterine fibroids.

Urethral prolapse

If the muscles that hold your urethra in place become weakened and stretched, you may experience pink spotting after the end of your period. In order to prevent spotting caused by prolapse and strengthen the pelvic muscles, many women have found Kegel exercises to be very helpful.

Spotting After Your Period Has Ended – When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor in any case of unusual or abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods. This can help to put your mind at rest and start treatment as soon as possible in case the spotting is because of a serious condition.

Your doctor may also check you over for other underlying health conditions. For example, irregular menstrual cycles have been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease16 and type 2 diabetes.17

Related articles:

Article Sources

  1. org. Vaginal bleeding.
  2. com. Abnormal uterine bleeding.
  3. org. Getting pregnant.
  4. com. Bleeding during pregnancy stages.
  5. ColaradoWomensHealth.com. Vaginal bleeding.
  6. com. Intrauterine device for birth control.
  7. org. Perimenopausal bleeding.
  8. com. Can stress cause irregular periods?
  9. uk. What causes vaginal bleeding between periods?
  10. com. Ovarian cysts.
  11. Medscape.com. Abnormal uterine bleeding.
  12. com. Hypothyroidism.
  13. gov. Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  14. uk. Symptoms of womb cancer
  15. org. Uterine fibroids.
  16. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 May;87(5):2013-7.
  17. JAMA. 2001 Nov 21;286(19):2421-6.
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30 Responses to 11 Reasons Not to Ignore Spotting After Period

  1. nicoy spencer says:

    I notice my abnormal bleeding after I did a c-section and a tie off 10 years ago. I went to the doctor they ssay it’s caused from infection, but after I took the medication its the same thing.after my period I start seeing spotting like 4 days or a week aafter and it comes with lower back pain and belly cramps. What do you think is the problem?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I can’t know for sure what the problem is because I’m not a doctor and you need further tests to diagnose the issue, but I would definitely not ignore it if it still continues. I would go for a second opinion and ask for further investigation to find the root of the problem. Your doctor may refer you to an ultrasound to see if there are ovarian cysts or polyps, or he/she may have other tests for you to do.

  2. Ellie says:

    I’m 45 and I skip my period and I’m kind of worried I tested twice and it was neg today I saw light blood on my pantie

  3. Sifa says:

    Hello my name is sifa
    I m in period bfr one wee nd aftr wrd their was light bleeding i saw.
    Now i m planning for child.
    Is their any issue

    Plzz suggest me

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Usually there is a need to be some pattern of spotting after period rather than a single occurrence which is not accompanied with other symptoms. If you see that the spotting after period continues, and/or you feel any other symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor for further investigation.

  4. Bonita Paige says:

    I had an abalation 2 years ago but now I spot for 5-6 days after my period.

  5. Jenny Peters says:

    Hello. I’ve been terribly sick for about 5days with terrible vaginal pain. Well I just woke up 30minutes ago to find myself bleeding. My period ended about a week ago and the flow was lighter than usual. Please I’m worried as I’m just 23 and have never experienced this before. I await your response.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Jenny, unfortunately I’m unable to provide a specific advice because I’m not a doctor or a certified health practitioner. You really need to see your doctor who knows your medical history and is able to do the required tests if needed for a proper diagnosis. I apologize I cannot be of any help, but I don’t want to do more harm than good.

  6. Sadi zahi says:

    My age is 25 and i am facing a problem from 2 or 3 years even when i was single.3 or 7 days after my periods dark brown or redish brown blood clots comes out with right side pain and sometimes back pain.my dr recomend me altrasound which is fine. Now its been 6 months i am married and not conceiving please tell me any solution.

  7. Ty says:

    I’m 23 years and I’ve been facing irregular period since January although I was told it’s due to stress. I had my last period in first week of august which normally lasts for 3 days but till now been the 3rd week I keep seeing drops of brownish blood on my panties and it’s scares me. A friend asked me to use klovinal that it might help but I need a professional advice on it….Thanks

    • Jenny Hills says:

      From what I’ve seen, Klovinal is a drug to treat vaginal yeast infection. The fact that you have spotting doesn’t mean that you have vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections usually cause severe itching in and around the genitals, swelling around the vaginal lips (labia), and a type of thick white discharge that is clumpy. Also, urinating and having sexual intercourse will usually be painful because of the inflammation in the vagina. As you can see from the article, there can be many reasons for having spotting, and you need to discuss it with your doctor for a professional diagnosis.

  8. Katrina says:

    I took postinor 2 on the first day of my period Nd normally my period ends within 4days but now it’s the 8th day and am still bleeding but very lightly. should I be worried.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Katrina, I don’t know how postinor works and how the body reacts after taking it. I suggest that you read the product leaflet to get more information about what to expect after taking postinor. If you still have any worries, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

  9. Ella says:

    Hi, I’ve been using a contraceptive pill now for about 6-7 months and it is now that I’m seeing brown spotting and yesterday I saw a very light trace of blood. However, I’m just over a week since my period stopped. I’m not getting any pain in any sorts. So I’m guessing my issue is because, since i started taking the pill for this month, I haven’t been taking it on time but I never missed it. So I guess this is what’s causing those spotting right? But still is it advisable to see the doctor?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Ella, I’m not a doctor so I cannot give a specific advise, but generally speaking usually there is a need to be some pattern of spotting after period rather than a single occurrence which is not accompanied with other symptoms. If you see that the spotting after period continues, and/or you feel any other symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor for further investigation.

  10. Momi says:

    From last 2 mnth I have a problem after 1week of periods I am seeing Brown spotting and bleed doctor advise to take deviry and it stopped bleeding but next month same prblm so I consult doctor and he advise to take an ultrasound but my report of ultrasound was ok no problem is there. doctor advise me to take M2TONE but now again I face same prblm I am scared plz advice me wat to do.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Momi, unfortunately I cannot give specific advice because I’m not a doctor, and the issue of spotting after period requires a consultation with a professional medical practitioner. I know you’ve already visited your doctor, but if the problem continues and you see a pattern that repeats itself (rather than a single occurrence) then perhaps there is a need to see a specialist (in this case gynecologist) rather than your family doctor and take it to a higher level. I don’t think you need to be scared as the fact that your ultrasound was OK is encouraging, but I’m not really familiar with the medication you were given and their effect, so I believe that if the problem continues, the safest option would be to go back to your doctor/gynecologist.

  11. anonymous says:

    I was/have been on my period for about a week (don’t quote me because I cant remember what day it began) and about 2 or 3 days ago my period began to turn brown. I thought it was a normal period, but yesterday it started to smell a bit funny. So I checked and it was the pad with the blood. I took a shower straight away, but it continued to smell. I’m not sure what is wrong, I have been using pads for the past 4 days….I am not really sure what spotting is but when I searched it up, it came up with a similar description to it, but I am not pregnant and it wouldn’t be possible either as I am a virgin.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      The most common reason for brown period blood is that it occurs at the end of your period. Depending on your blood flow, it may slow down at the end of the period so some blood may not being expelled as quickly as usual and is exposed to more oxygen which turns it brown and causes it to have some smell. I suggest that you read my article about Dark or Brown Period Blood: Causes and What to Do About It for more information including when to see a doctor.

  12. Bell says:

    Hi, i’m belle.. I experienced 4 days of spotting adter my period and after my fertility week ends I experience it again what shoud I do or what does it mean?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Bell, as you’ve seen from the article, there can be many reasons for that. If you see a pattern of spotting between your periods rather than a single occurrence, then you need to visit your doctor to find the reason for that.

  13. queen says:

    hi am queen, 2 days after my period, I had sex and took postinor 2, 5 days after taking the drug I just noticed spotting of brown blood

  14. Amiczy says:

    Hello. I started noticing light bleeding a day after my period and this is the 3rd day of the spotting and am getting really worried.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I couldn’t understand if the spotting occurred after the period had finished or if it’s part of your period in which you get spotting instead of period which is characterized in heavier flow. In any case, you need to look for a pattern rather than a single occurrence. If it’s only a one-off occurrence and you don’t have any unusual symptoms such as pain, itchiness, irritation or smelly discharge, then I would keep an eye on it. If however it becomes a pattern and the spotting looks like irregular vaginal bleeding, or if you have any other concerns or unusual symptoms, then it’s best to see a doctor for a professional advice.

      • Amiczy says:

        I don’t know if it is part of it, my period last for 4days normally but after the forth day thus time I started seeing blood spotting. Today is the 9th day since my period started and am still seeing the light blood. There’s no pain though, just the blood.

  15. karen says:

    Hi! IS anyone experience ths? I have period on October 6, and after 4 days it’s finish. then after 2 days i have spotting for 4 days amd light bleeding for 1 week then stop.. then spotting again, and until now i have light bleeding. I have 4 test and it was positive. But I am scared at all.

  16. Karlee says:

    I’ve been bleeding for 12-13 days now, started my period and never got off , should I be worried ? I’ve never had this happen before. But I also had thyroid cancer an have hypothyroidism

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Hi Karlee, any unusual bleeding is best to be discussed with your doctor. I haven’t heard that thyroid issues affect vaginal bleeding in any way, but to be on the safe side of things it’s best to raise your concerns with your doctor.

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