Mid-cycle spotting is one of the most commonly brought up issues by women who are worried about their fertility. Mid-cycle spotting can be caused by a range of different issues, which may or may not have an effect on your fertility. As with all things, see your doctor if you are concerned or if any mid-cycle spotting is accompanied by pain.
Causes of Mid-Cycle Spotting
- Ovulation – Sometimes mid-cycle spotting happens just after ovulation has occurred. The theory is that the bleeding is due to an early drop in oestrogen just prior to ovulation, which means that there is a bit of lag time before progesterone levels rise. And so, a small amount of the womb lining may shed.
- Implantation Bleeding -This is when an embryo implants into the lining of your womb.
- Endometriosis – Women with endometriosis sometimes report mid-cycle spotting. The excess of endometrial tissue that builds up may slough off.
- Hormonal Imbalance -There are a sequence and balance of hormones released throughout the menstrual cycle that regulates your fertility. This is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis. The many and varied hormones regulate everything from growing the womb lining and follicles to ovulation and implantation of an embryo. Any type of disruption in this system may trigger mid-cycle spotting.
- Failure to Ovulate – When mid-cycle bleeding occurs in a cycle where there is no ovulation, the bleeding is due to a withdrawal of estrogen. Low estrogen levels mean that a surge of LH doesn’t happen (LH triggers ovulation), thus ovulation does not happen. When ovulation does not occur then progesterone cannot be secreted. As a result, a lighter or shorter period may be experienced sooner than your period is due.
- Rupture of an Ovarian Cyst -Symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst usually occur around the time that ovulation should happen. Symptoms are a sharp pain on either side of your lower abdomen and/or slight bleeding around the time ovulation. You should see a doctor immediately if you experience excruciating pain, nausea, vomiting and/or bleeding during any point in your cycle.
- Sexual Intercourse – Around the time of ovulation, the cervix becomes more sensitive. And it is at this point that sexual intercourse may cause some slight damage to the cervix, producing light bleeding as a result. Experiencing mucous tinged with bright red blood after sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation is very common and nothing to be concerned about.
- Abnormalities of the Cervix – The first thing to note here is that cervical abnormalities are rare. Cervical conditions such as HPV or cervical fibroids may cause some slight bleeding mid-cycle. Mid-cycle bleeding that is accompanied by pain in the cervical region, should always be investigated by your doctor. Again, very rarely, abnormalities of the cervix may be cancerous and you want to err on the side of caution and rule that out. (SOURCE: www.FertilityAcupuncture.ie)
Resolving Mid-Cycle Spotting
As you can see, bleeding during the month, as well as when you get your period, is not always indicative of a larger problem and does not always mean that you are less fertile. However, as the causes are varied, you can assist your doctor to resolve/diagnose the issue by keeping track of when spotting/bleeding happens. By determining which day or days in your cycle you are experiencing spotting, how long it lasts, the amount of blood and the colour can all help your doctor to reach an accurate diagnosis.
Managing Mid-Cycle Spotting
1. Diagnosis: See your doctor to determine the cause of your mid-cycle bleeding and to discuss your treatment options. The type of options available to you when it comes to treatment will vary depending on the reason for the problem.
2. Lifestyle & Dietary Changes: You may be able to assist manage mid-cycle spotting by making some changes to your diet and lifestyle.
3. Acupuncture: Many women explore what acupuncture may offer as an adjunct treatment for their mid-cycle spotting.
4. Traditional Herbs: The Ancient Chinese believed Kidney energy played an important part in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. They also believed that as you have two Kidneys, one is considered Yin and the other Yang, and where Yin/Yang is unbalanced then issues may occur.
Traditional Chinese Herbs that have been associated with Yin Yang imbalance include Astralgus, Ginseng, Atractylodes, Hoelen, Licorice, Zizyplus, Dang Qui, Polygala, and Saussurea.
In summary, mid-cycle spotting may or may not affect fertility, depending on the reason behind it, but whatever the reason, you should contact your doctor or health care professional to ensure that you’re taking the best care of your body and future fertility.
If you’d like personalised advice on how you can improve your diet and wellbeing, whilst taking an adjunctive holistic approach to your fertility journey, contact Jenny now to arrange a consultation. Appointments can be booked via our website contact page.