What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the few years before periods cease altogether (Menopause) at around 51.. It lasts for 4-10 years, and most people experience at least a few symptoms.
The average age of menopause is 50, so that means most people go through perimenopause when they’re in their 40’s. Of course, it can happen earlier, or later than this.
We’ll talk specifically about perimenopause spotting, but some of the other common perimenopausal symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Night sweats and insomnia
- Headaches from changing hormones
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings, including depression
- Other (learn more here)
These perimenopausal symptoms are caused by changing hormones. Learn more about that here: Perimenopausal Facts and FAQs.
Want to know what the stages of perimenopause are, and where you’re at in that? Learn more here:
What Causes Spotting During Perimenopause?
There are a number of reasons why you might experience perimenopause spotting. We’ll talk about some of the most common ones here:
Changing Hormone Levels
The most normal cause of spotting before menopause is changing hormone levels. Although estrogen levels remain relatively stable, progesterone begins to dip during Perimenopause. This can lead to a number or changes, including perimenopause spotting, missed periods, etc.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Dosage
Another possible cause of spotting is if you’re on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and your medication isn’t properly regulated. The key is to use the lowest effective dose possible. If you’re on hormone replacement therapy and are having irregular periods, including spotting, see your doctor.
Fibroids or Polyps
Finally, abnormalities with your endometrial lining, as well as polyps can cause irregular bleeding. This can look like spotting between periods, but it isn’t really related to your cycle at all.
It is indeed possible to become pregnant during perimenopause. If you still have a period, you can still get pregnant so please use protection if this is not what you want.
During pregnancy, you may experience some light spotting around the same time you’d normally get your period. This doesn’t happen to everyone though, so please check in with your doctor.
Are you on birth control, but have forgotten to take your dose? This may result in some spotting.
Infection, Irritation or STI
There are a number of reasons why you may experience spotting that are not really related to your menstrual cycle. For example, an infection may result in spotting, as well as an irritated vaginal, cervix or uterus. Did you recently get a pap test, or have rough sex for example?
Some STI’s may also result in spotting.
When to See my Doctor about Perimenopausal Spotting?
It’s normal that your periods will become more and more irregular as your approach menopause. However, it’s worth consulting your doctor if things seem not quite right.
There are some serious conditions that can lead to heavy bleeding, spotting, bleeding after sex, etc. These conditions can include cancer, polyps, endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial atrophy.
In addition, if you’re on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you may experience spotting if you’re not on the correct dose. Please see your doctor to adjust the medication.
Perimenopause Spotting Instead of Period
If you have spotting during perimenopause instead of your period (it’s at the correct time of your menstrual cycle), is it normal?
What is “normal” during the years before menopause are irregular periods. They often become further apart, and may also be lighter. So, what resembles spotting instead of your period during perimenopause may be a normal thing. It can actually be considered a sign that you’re about to enter into menopause.
What About Spotting During Menopause?
If you’ve had no periods for a year, you’re officially in menopause. However, if you start to have your period again, or experience some spotting during menopause, this is a serious cause for concern. Please see your doctor immediately.
So, can you have spotting during menopause? Not really. The way it works is that once you have a period, even after an absence of a few months, you’re actually in perimenopause. The clock resets and the countdown to 12 months without a period starts again.
Some of the reasons why you may experience post-menopausal spotting include the following:
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix or vagina
- Thinning of the tissues of the uterus or vagina, which can lead to bleeding
- Fibroids or polyps
- Certain medications
- Pelvic trauma
- Bleeding from the urethra or rectum
As you can see, this is some serious stuff and a visit to the doctor is required for bleeding during menopause!
Learn more about Menopause Spotting
What is Metrorrhagia?
The official definition of Metrorrhagia is irregular uterine bleeding that happens outside of the normal period time. It may, or may not be related to menstruation.
There are various treatment options for Metrorrhagia that depend on the underlying condition causing it. There are also some serious medical conditions that can cause this, including cancer, so it’s important to check with your doctor about this.
You can learn more here: Metrorrhagia FAQs.
Menstrual Cycle Changes: Are they Normal?
Keep Track of your Menstrual Cycle
One thing that can be extremely helpful for your doctor is to have a record of your menstrual cycle. This is vital for them to recognize any irregularities.
When did you begin spotting, and when did it end?
How heavy was it?
When did you begin menstruating, and for how long?
We recommend using a menstrual cycle tracking app for doing this.
Are there Medical Treatment for Pre-Menopausal Spotting?
If you’re experiencing this, you may want to know about the possibility of medical treatments for Perimenopausal Symptoms. The answer is that it depends on the underlying cause.
If it’s HRT, then your doctor will adjust the dose.
If it’s fluctuating hormones, your doctor may suggest medication to regulate their levels.
Perhaps it’s related to polyps or the endometrial lining? Your doctor may suggest surgery to remove them.
As you can see, the treatment your doctor recommends depends heavily on the underlying cause of spotting before menopause. That’s why it’s important to check in with them about it.
What About Supplements to Treat Spotting in Perimenopause?
If you’d prefer not to do hormone replacement therapy, you may want to know if there are any supplements that help to regulate hormone levels?
There are. However, results are mixed and the studies are kind of inconclusive, at best. Many of them actually show no real effect at all. If you do want to try them, ask your doctor for their advice, or check in with a naturopath for their recommendations.
You can learn more here: Supplements to Consider During Perimenopause.
How Can I Deal with Spotting During Perimenopause?
If you’re spotting during perimenopause, it can be a bit of a hassle. That’s why we recommend getting yourself some comfortable options to deal with it!
Best Cloth Pantyliners
|Best Overall||Most Affordable||Best Organic|
|Dutchess Cloth Pantyliners||Simfamily Panty Liners||Hesta Organic Pantyliner|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Spotting between cycles can be a little bit annoying to deal with. However, there are two options that we recommend: period panties and reusable cloth pads.
Both of them are eco-friendly, affordable and better for our bodies than disposable products.
Learn More about Period Panties
Menstrual underwear make an excellent choice if you have very light spotting throughout your cycle. Most people find that they’re more comfortable than disposable pantyliners.
The reason why we love them is because many brands of pads contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them. However, with period panties, you can have a toxin free period experience. This is particularly important if you’re going to be using them for much of the month.
The other reason why you might consider period panties is because you’ll save money over the medium to long-term if you’re using them all the time. Just buy 4-5 pairs and you’ll be covered for all your spotting needs for years.
Check out some of our picks for the best period panties:
Or, check out our favourites in the chart below:
Learn More about Reusable Cloth Pads for Perimenopause Spotting
The next option you might want to consider for spotting during perimenopause are reusable cloth pads. They’re pretty similar to disposable sanitary pads, but they’re made from natural materials. The best thing is that they can be used for 5-10 years.
Like disposables, washable menstrual pads come in a range of absorbencies. For spotting, you might want to consider panty liners.
They’re eco-friendly, very comfortable, hypoallergenic, and will save you a lot of money compared to disposables if you use them all the time. They’re also great for vaginal discharge, along with spotting.
For some of our top picks, you’ll want to check out:
Or, have a look at the options in our handy comparison chart:
Need more Details about Period Protection Before Menopause?
For more information, be sure to check out: Beyond Tampons, Perimenopausal Period Options.
Spotting During Perimenopause: Have your Say!
Have you experienced Perimenopause spotting? How did you deal with it? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.