Light spotting in between periods – also known as Intermenstrual bleeding (IMB) – is not uncommon. Many women, if not all, experienced spotting at some point in their lives. It is light bleeding but must not be confused with a light period as spotting vs light period are different. Spotting has minimal bleeding and can be sporadic, normally lasting one to two days; while a light period, has more consistent bleeding that lasts three to five days.
Spotting shouldn’t automatically be a cause of alarm, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly either. One should take note that spotting between normal periods isn’t usually part of the normal menstrual cycle. There are many potential causes to bleeding or spotting that occurs between normal periods. Some do not cause concern while some cases are potentially alarming and indicative of much more serious underlying conditions such as hormonal imbalances, cysts, or cancer. But before you start worrying, first observe and take note of some factors which may help you initially decipher the cause of your spotting. One would the timing – how many days before or after your period did the bleeding occur? Another would be the frequency of the spotting and if it is accompanied by any pain.
The color of spotting and characteristics of the bloody discharge is also a good indicator. This can range from light pink, to light red, light to dark brown. The color indicates the kind of blood that has been discharged. Red to bright red is fresh blood. Pink is blood mixed with other vaginal secretions. Light brown to black blood indicates older blood. When spotting occurs, it is important to take note of the color and it may help identify what is happening to a woman’s reproductive system. It will also be important in cases where you may have to consult a doctor.