Is spotting before your period normal?

Is spotting before your period normal?

Spotting is something that many of us will experience between our periods at some point, but is it normal, and what causes it? Here’s what you should know from a Nutritional Therapist perspective.

 

Spotting is much lighter than a normal period and can vary in timing, colour, and duration. Causes of spotting can range from pregnancy to thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, fibroids, and some other more serious issues.

 

In this blog, we are going to focus on the spotting that occurs in the days leading up to the first day of your period. So, what is spotting?


For many women who experience spotting in the lead up to their period, they consider the light spots as day 1, but this is not the case.



There are many reasons for spotting before your period, but if it’s driven from a hormonal perspective, it is likely caused by an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone.

 

We need these two hormones to work in perfect harmony to ovulate and ensure we get our period on time. Oestrogen is most active at the beginning of your cycle, causing the egg to mature and our uterine lining to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, this lining will be shed during your period.



When we ovulate, progesterone is released, which works to maintain the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. If we are not pregnant, progesterone and oestrogen decline, and our period arrives approximately 14 days post-ovulation.



Any imbalance between these two hormones can lead to spotting right before your period. Usually, this is a combination of low oestrogen and low progesterone.

Specifically, if after ovulation we don’t secrete enough progesterone, this causes an “early” period, or “spotting” before our periods.



Often, these imbalances can be linked back to external stressors on the body, ranging from nutrient deficiencies, poor sleep quality, under-eating, over-exercising, environmental exposures, and stress levels, to name a few. In other cases, however, these imbalances can be linked to underlying issues.



So what can we do to protect progesterone and reduce spotting from occurring?


Here are 4 strategies you can start implementing today -


1. Ensure you are eating enough calories to support your weight, exercise levels and recovery. 



2. Manage stress levels - stress comes in many different forms it can be work, life or environmental so setting time aside to unwind is vitally important to maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle.



3. Research suggests that deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium contribute to low progesterone levels. Dietary choices can impact these nutrient levels. This is something we see as the driving factor in many women's PMS symptoms. Nutrients such as magnesium are easily depleted due to stress - and let's be honest .. lots of us are leading very busy and stressful lives! Low nutrient reserve. This is where Gigi's PMS & Hormone Balance Blend comes in! 



4. Avoid fasting and excessive caffeine intake, especially in the second phase (luteal phase) of your menstrual cycle. During this phase, we are much more sensitive to stressors, so if you’re experiencing spotting we recommend having breakfast within 60-90 minutes of waking.

 

If in doubt or experiencing persistent spotting before or in between your periods, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential for accurate diagnosis and personalised guidance. Every woman's body is unique, and a 360° approach to well-being can contribute to maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle.

 


We have designed Gigi’s PMS & Hormone Balance Blend to support a healthy menstrual cycle and support you through every phase!
Back to blog