If your period has stopped for several days (more than 3 or 4 days) and you experience light spotting, you are likely experiencing something different to your period.
This type of bleeding is known as mid-cycle spotting and can be related to ovulation, lower levels of progesterone, or birth control use. For some women, spotting at the time of ovulation is common and harmless.
If you are tracking your cycle and notice a very small amount of spotting at the time of ovulation, this can be caused by the rupture of your follicle as your egg is released.
This type of spotting will generally last for a short time and will not be seen again until you start your period.
If you are currently taking a form of hormonal birth control (such as the pill, contraceptive patch or implant), spotting can occur during your cycle related to changes in hormone levels from your birth control.
Devices like an intrauterine device (IUD) can commonly cause spotting in the first few months after having it inserted. If this bleeding continues, visit your primary health care provider for advice.
Spotting, particularly later in the cycle in the week before your period is due, is commonly caused by low levels of progesterone. In a healthy cycle, progesterone is secreted in high amounts after ovulation.
Its main role is to maintain the lining of the uterus that has been built up by estrogen in the first half of the cycle, in order for an embryo to safely implant if you are to become pregnant.
If your egg is not fertilised, progesterone levels sharply decline after around 10-14 days, causing your period to start.
When levels of progesterone are too low during the cycle, the lining of your uterus can start to slip away too early, causing spotting before your period starts.
Wondering if you might have low progesterone? Take my free quiz to find out and get access to my personalised guide to healing low progesterone naturally.
If you notice any mid-cycle bleeding that is not related to your period, or you are currently pregnant, it’s best to visit your primary health care provider for a check up as this type of bleeding can indicate more serious issues going on.