It is very common for women to have spotting before and after their period but it’s not normal.
Why do you have spotting?
General weakness in your uterus: when it’s time for your period, your uterus contracts gently to release the uterine lining that has built up during the month. That process should be only a few days long and it should start and end with fresh blood flow and without spotting. When you do experience spotting it is a sign of weakness, your uterus can’t hold the blood in and it starts releasing before it should.
Low progesterone: Estregon, the hormone that is dominant in the first half of the cycle gets most of the glory but it’s progesterone that is responsible for keeping your uterine lining in place until your period is due and sustaining a potential pregnancy. Once the egg ruptures at ovulation, the leftover follicle on your ovary, now called the corpus luteum (literally yellow body), produces progesterone.
If blood flow is compromised to your abdomen and pelvis and your ovaries aren’t receiving the blood, lymph and general energy they require, the corpus luteum may not be able to produce enough progesterone or continue producing it for long enough.
Both of these scenarios could impact on your ability to conceive and to sustain a pregnancy and it could mean your cycles are very short. Ideally the luteal phase (between ovulation and your period) should be between 11 and 16 days.
Why is it important to have high enough progesterone levels?
In addition to getting pregnant, having sufficiently high enough levels of progesterone is important because it helps lighten your periods, regulates immune function, reduces inflammation and supports healthy brain, bones, thyroid and breasts.
The only way to produce progesterone is through ovulation. Your overall health is going to have a big impact on your menstrual cycle and your menstrual cycle reflects your overall health.
Especially for women who are charting their cycles (Fertility Awareness Method)
If you’re taking your basal body temperature each morning and charting cervical mucus here’s how to spot a progesterone related problem:
Low temperatures during the luteal phase: progesterone causes your basal body temperature to rise. If your temperature rise is very low or you see temperatures dipping below the coverline following ovulation your progesterone levels are probably low.
A short luteal phase: Your luteal phase should be at least 11 days long. Any less than that indicates progesterone levels might be too low.
Fertile mucus in the luteal phase: One of progesterone’s roles is to dry up fertile mucus. If you’re noticing fertile cervical mucus after ovulation, it sounds like your progesterone levels aren’t high enough.
Spotting in the luteal phase: Progesterone is what holds the uterine lining in place until your body is sure you haven’t conceived. If bleeding starts early, even if it’s just spotting, it’s a sign progesterone isn’t high enough.
How can you prevent pre-period spotting?
I use a combination of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage which consists of massage techniques on the abdomen and back to gently encourage improved blood flow to the organs in the pelvis – ovaries, uterus, intestines, etc and remove any restrictions that may be impeding that flow. In addition to blood flow, we are encouraging good flow of lymph, nerve energy and general energy (called Chi in Chinese Medicine and chu-el in the Maya tradition) to the whole of the pelvis.
When your ovaries are receiving all the nutrients they need they are more likely to produce a healthy follicle that in turn leads to a healthy egg at ovulation and the corpus luteum producing enough progesterone after ovulation.
In addition to performing the massage techniques on you, I teach you to complete a short massage technique on your own at home which complements the treatment with me.
Together we look at lifestyle issues which may be impacting your cycle like nutrition, movement, sleep and stress levels and I’ll give you suggestions of small changes that can support you in having healthier cycles.
Once you make changes how soon can you expect results?
It’s a little known fact that a fully developed egg released at ovulation has been developing for approximately 100 days. What you were doing, eating and experiencing (ie stress levels) three months ago is going to impact your ovulation now.
So if you are receiving holistic treatment to improve your cycles and ovulation you may need to be patient and wait three months to see results.
For Orthodox Jewish women who observe Taharat Hamishpacha
Spotting before and/or after your period can make a huge difference to how long you are considered niddah. Ideally you want to be able to do a bedika and start counting seven clean days as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, many women who experience spotting mistakenly think there isn’t much they can do to change the situation. As you can read above, there are different things that impact on spotting and your period in general. I have helped many women improve their cycles so they can go to the mikve earlier. They (and their husbands) are grateful.
Be in touch with me
The first step to us working together is a short 20 minute FREE online consultation so I can hear what your issues are and see how I can help you. All the details on working with me.