Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why am I spotting and bleeding?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy am I spotting and bleeding?


Before my period, I spotted for a few days. It was pink/brownish. Then I had an irregularly light period that lasted a week. It ended almost a week ago, but I'm still seeing some blood when I wipe. My boyfriend and I have been intimate the past few days and I thought it might have been from roughness. I took a hot and it was negative. There's been mild cramping, but it was lighter than usual.


There can be many causes of irregular menstrual cycles, or changes in your period. It is important to see your primary care doctor or your gynecologist to evaluate irregular bleeding or changes in your cycle. These causes range from not worrisome to serious conditions. Because of this, it is important to see your primary care doctor regularly. Spotting between menstrual cycles can represent a wide range of problems. These depend on your overall health, your age, your medical problems and history with menstruation. Irregularities in menstruation can occur in both young women who are just starting their cycles, as well as older women who are entering menopause. For example, changes in hormones during menopause can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, from irregular to light to heavy periods. In addition, changes in hormones, such as caused by a new birth control pill, or intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD), can cause fluctuations in the menstrual cycle, and may cause spotting. In addition, changes in your lifestyle such as frequent exercise can alter hormone levels and cause lighter periods. Bleeding after sexual intercourse can be a sign of a more serious condition. While it can signify mild trauma to the vagina, which can be exacerbated by lack of lubrication, it can also signify problems such as early warning signs for cervical cancer. The US Task Force for Preventive Services recommends screening for cervical cancer beginning at age 21. Be sure to see your doctor regularly to have the appropriate exam for your age and history. Sexually transmitted infections can also cause bleeding, and your doctor may perform tests for these so that they can be appropriately treated if they are present. Again, a wide range of medical issues from oral contraceptive pills to cancer can cause vaginal bleeding, so it is important to have a proper exam and screening for your age on a regular basis.

Need more info?

See an obgyn today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.