Are you experiencing light or moderate bleeding before your period? Commonly known as spotting or breakthrough bleeding, intermenstrual bleeding affects many women across the country. While there are numerous possible causes, the following three are some of the most common.


One of the most common causes of spotting is using contraception. Contraceptive pills, implants, injections, patches and all other hormonal forms of birth control can all cause bleeding in the lead-up to your period.

For some women, this spotting starts when they first start using contraception. For others, it can begin after using contraception for a prolonged period of time. With contraceptive pills, missing doses or taking too many doses can also trigger spotting. Women using contraception may also experience breakthrough bleeding when they're not expecting their periods—not just in the day preceding.

In general, spotting on contraception isn't a cause for concern. However, it can be a disruptive nuisance in daily life. If you think birth control is the cause of your breakthrough bleeding, talk to a doctor about changing your method of contraception.


Sadly, around 1 in 10 adult women are believed to have endometriosis. This painful condition is caused when the tissue in your uterus grows in or around your ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvis and sometimes other areas of the body. As in your uterus, this tissue breaks down and bleeds, but it has nowhere to go, which can lead to scarring, endometrial cysts and adhesion between organs.

Spotting is a common symptom of endometriosis, but if you have this condition, you'll likely have other symptoms too. One of the most common is moderate to severe pain, though it's possible to have painless endometriosis (even if your condition is advanced). This pain typically occurs during your period, during intercourse, and when you use the toilet. Many women who suffer from the disorder also experience tiredness and fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea.

There are a range of treatment options available, so don't hesitate to see a doctor if you believe you could have endometriosis.


While it may sound surprising, it's actually possible for excess stress to cause intermenstrual bleeding.

For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle in many ways. Stress releases and impacts various hormones in your body, and hormonal changes are directly linked to various menstrual concerns—including spotting.

Stress can also lead to more painful periods, heavier or lighter periods, irregular periods or even no periods. If you're stressed, you may also experience worse symptoms of pre-menstrual stress. And, if you're trying to get pregnant, you may find that stress impacts your fertility. Many women under high levels of stress have trouble ovulating or experience short cycles that don't allow fertilised eggs time to implant.

While it can be very difficult to tackle stress if you're dealing with difficulties in life, there are many methods you can try to relieve it. More sleep, more exercise and a healthier diet can all help. Spending time on hobbies, with family and friends or meditating are also incredibly beneficial stress-management strategies.

Contact a women's healthcare facility to learn more.