Is what you see actually menstrual bleeding? Or is it something else?

September 12, 2019 | Yesmom

Yes Mom

At times, you bleed outside your menstrual period and wonder if it is indeed menstrual blood. Moreover, the bleeding may happen for some other reason and might require treatment and attention. Both ways, it is important to be able to identify menstrual bleeding, and distinguishing it from other kinds. 

To make things difficult, menstrual cycles vary from person to person, and also from time to time for the same person. For a few months, you might have your periods right on time. Then, the next month, you might have a week later, and again a week earlier in the next month.

That said, following are some pointers to help you know if your bleeding for your periods, or for something else.

The Four Scenarios

With regard to bleeding and stains, we have four very common scenarios.

  • Menstruating a week earlier or later than expected. This is absolutely normal. Only if you miss your periods for more than a month or so, you should consider testing for pregnancy or PCOS.
  • Spotting around 3 days before menstruation. In all probabilities, this is menstrual blood.
  • Hypomennorhea. A.k.a scanty menstruation, it occurs within the menstrual period and is definitely menstrual blood.
  • Spotting outside menstrual period. If your spotting doesn’t coincide with either of the above, it probably isn’t menstrual blood. It’s better to get yourself tested if this occurs.

What is Menstruation?

When the egg remains unfertilized, it is discharged along with blood and mucus. This is known as menstruation. A normal menstrual cycle ranges between 22-45 days, and may greatly vary from person to person.

What is Hypomennorhea?

Sometimes referred to as Scanty Menstruation, it is the condition in which the volume of bleeding is less than normal. Usually, it lasts for less than 2 days. In terms of appearance, it may either be blood drops, or small stains on the sanitary napkin.

Primarily, factors such as unbalanced hormone, stress, and nutritional deficiency contribute to Hypomennorhea. That said, there’s not much to worry about this condition, given that your menstruation is otherwise regular and normal.

What is Spotting?

When bleeding occurs outside the menstrual period, it is known as spotting. The amount of blood is often the same as that of hypomenorrhea. Although spotting is quite normal, continuing for more than 7 consecutive days is a pertinent warning sign. Also, spotting at short and regular intervals isn’t desirable.

To conclude, let’s develop a good habit. Keep a record of every time you bleed. Also, keep a close check on the bleeding type. Consult your gynecologist in case you feel anything unusual.