≡ Menu

Spotting a Week Before Period. Main Causes and Treatment

Menstrual disorder is one of the most common reasons for which women between the ages of 30 and 49 schedule appointments with their gynecologists. On the average, each menstruation a woman loses around 30-40 ml. of blood. If spotting occurs before period and is prolonged, the woman loses more than 80 ml. of blood, which can lead to grave consequences. The causes of this condition are very diverse and require further medical examinations. Anyway, spotting a week before period always causes some physical, social and psychological discomfort.

Causes of Spotting a Week Before Period

Anatomical Changes

A uterine fibroid (leiomyoma).

It is a benign tumor, which can be located in different parts of the uterus. However, in most cases the main reason for heavy spotting a week before period and during menstruation is the submucosal location of tumor nodes (in the inner layer of the uterus) or large nodes, which distort the uterine cavity and cause endometrial disruption. Most often the reason for tumor growth is a hormonal disorder.

Menstrual disorder is one of the most common reasons for which women between the ages of 30 and 49 schedule appointments with their gynecologists. On the average, each menstruation a woman loses around 30-40 ml. of blood. If spotting occurs before period and is prolonged, the woman loses more than 80 ml. of blood, which can lead to grave consequences. The causes of this condition are very diverse and require further medical examinations. Anyway, spotting a week before period always causes some physical, social and psychological discomfort.

Causes of Spotting a Week Before Period

Anatomical Changes

A uterine fibroid (leiomyoma).

It is a benign tumor, which can be located in different parts of the uterus. However, in most cases the main reason for heavy spotting a week before period and during menstruation is the submucosal location of tumor nodes (in the inner layer of the uterus) or large nodes, which distort the uterine cavity and cause endometrial disruption. Most often the reason for tumor growth is a hormonal disorder.

Endometrial polyps.

A type of endometrial tumor, which usually appears after a chronic inflammatory disease or hormonal disorder. As a result of the polypoidal growths in the endometrial lining, bleeding, which cannot be associated with menstruation, occurs. This type of spotting appears a week before period and during menstruation increases a lot. The polypoidal growths of the endometrium tissues can turn into cancer.

Pelvic inflammatory disease.

Usually it is caused by chlamydia infection. Such inflammation leads to structural changes in the uterine lining. As a result, irregular spotting occurs and menstruations become heavier.

Carcinoma of the endometrium, cervical cancer.

The rapid growth of the tumor cells and blood vessels causes heavy hard-to-stop bleeding.

Systemic Changes

Various coagulopathies (bleeding disorders, including hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, etc.).

Thyroid gland diseases that cause serious hormonal disorders, which in their turn lead to disruption of the menstrual cycle. Spotting a week before period and heavy menstruations can be experienced.

Iatrogenic changes (conditions, caused by side effects of a treatment)

Anticoagulant therapy.

In most cases it is used to treat thrombosis. Thrombosis is a disease, during which blood clots in vessels are formed. They can cause heavy uterine bleeding. Anticoagulant therapy helps to thin the blood clots.

Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD).

Non-hormonal IUD hurts and “irritates” the endometrium, which can cause spotting a week before period and at any time between menstruations.

Implantation Bleeding

Usually implantation bleeding looks like a pink spotting, appears a week before period, after ovulation, and lasts not more than 2-3 days. It doesn`t cause any discomfort and is irregular. The reason for this phenomenon is the ovum`s attachment to the endometrium. At the moment of egg implantation endometrial blood vessels can be damaged. This can cause slight bleeding. If such spotting lasts more than 4-5 days (in case your pregnancy is confirmed), you should see your doctor immediately.

Unexplained Causes (There Are no Systemic or Anatomical Changes in the Uterus)

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (bleeding, which refers to endometrial changes).

If during examinations no pathological changes in the uterus and other systems were found, but cervical bleeding is still experienced, the reason for such spotting may be the endometrial or vascular abnormalities.

Examinations in Case of Spotting a Week Before Period

Case Study

To diagnose the problem, your doctor will need the following information:

– What pads or panty liners do you use (daily or regular, with how many drops on the package)? How often do you change them?

– How does your bleeding look like? What do you see on the panty liner? Are there any blood clots or purulent admixture there? Is your bloody discharge pink, red or brown? Does it have any unpleasant odor or mucosal consistency?

– Do you have spotting a week before period, several days before menstruation or in the middle of the cycle?

– How long does your period last after such spotting? Is it like your normal menstruation, heavier or scantier?

– Does spotting appear only after physical workout or after sex?

– What contraceptive methods do you use? This information is needed to exclude the ectopic pregnancy, threatened abortion, hormone-related bleeding.

– Is spotting accompanied by abdominal cramping or back pains, dysuria (painful urination), intestinal disorders (constipations or diarrhea), breast pain, etc.?

It is important to take all the previous hemorrhages into account, beginning from the first menstruation (called menarche), including postpartum hemorrhages (for nulli- and multiparas), postoperative bleedings, and ending with bleeding after dental procedures, etc.

Medical Examinations

– General medical examination of all organs and systems.

– Abdominal examination, which includes the palpation of the abdomen, abdominal cavity and pelvic organs. This procedure helps to exclude the possibility of the tumor existence.

– Pelvic examination with a speculum, which includes the investigation of the vulva, vagina and cervix.

– Bimanual examination: a gynecologist inserts two fingers into the vagina and palpates the cervix and appendages. This type of examination helps to feel the size of the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries, tenderness of the uterus, its location and pelvic tumors.

Additional Methods of Examination

– Complete blood count (CBC) is performed to exclude the anemia disease.

– Coagulogram – laboratory tests, done to study the clotting of the blood.

– Vaginal and cervical swabs help to diagnose infections and atypical cells.

Pelvic ultrasound helps to see uterine changes, endometrial hyperplasia (the excessive proliferation of the endometrial lining), uterine fibroids, and polyps.

– Endometrial biopsy – the examination of the small sample of endometrial tissue. It is done with the help of pipellebiopsy or hysteroscopy procedures (they give an opportunity to examine the uterine cavity and to detect different pathologies), curettage of the uterine cavity and cervical canal.

– Hormonal investigation, including thyroid gland examination.

Treatment

In case of spotting a week before period there is no one universal procedure or medicament, which will help to stop this unpleasant phenomenon. Your gynecologist after examinations and tests can prescribe different methods of treatment, explaining at the same time all their pros and cons. The following things may be advised:

Medication Therapy

– non-hormonal medications (tranexamic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.);

– hormonal medications (combined oral contraceptives, hormonal intrauterine devices, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, etc.)

Surgical Methods

– Curettage of the uterine cavity is done under general anesthesia with the help of special instruments. It is a curing method as well as the diagnostic one. Uterine cavity curettage is a popular procedure, but it is traumatic enough and a little bit outdated.

– Hysteroscopy is a modern and effective method of investigation and treatment of the uterine and endometrial pathologies. It is performed under general anesthesia.

– Endometrial ablation. It is a procedure which aims to remove the endometrial lining of the uterus with the help of a laser beam, heat, electricity, freezing or microwaves. It is done under general anesthesia during the hysteroscopy.

– Hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus): total hysterectomy (the uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix are removed completely), subtotal hysterectomy (the uterus and fallopian tubes are removed, the cervix is left). The problem of the oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) will be solved individually.

Conclusions

Generally speaking, spotting a week before period is pathological. There are a lot of different reasons, which can cause this type of bleeding. In such a case it is necessary to see the competent specialist. The gynecologist will help to deal with this problem and prescribe adequate therapy.

Prev1 of 9