Why am I bleeding or spotting after period ends? When your flow stops, you rarely expect to see anything to do with the blood.
However, there are some cases when spotting occurs after menstruation. It can be a brown spotting occurring 1 to 2 weeks or 2, 3, 4, 5 days later. Or even 12 days later.
Is this normal?
Why am I spotting after my period ended? Is it normal? The answers to these questions can be found after going through each of the causes of bleeding after the period ends.
It should be known, however, that the color of the discharge ranges from dark red or dark brown to a mucus-like or watery brown.
In either case, it could be an underlying health issue which will need the attention of a medical doctor. Bleeding that happens 10 days or more after period could be anything like ovulation, hormonal imbalance problems etc. Here are the reasons for bleeding after period is over.
1. Early ovulation
Ovulation normally occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle. A normal cycle should be 28 days meaning that the date of ovulation should be close to the 14th day of the cycle. However, there are times when ovulation occurs too early. Any ovulation before the 12th day of the cycle is termed too early.
If you are experiencing early ovulation, you have a short follicular phase. The follicular phase is the first half of the menstrual cycle. That is from the first day of the period to the ovulation day. During the follicular phase, your egg should grow and mature in readiness for fertilization.
This period should take 14 days with a provision of days before and after the exact half of the cycle. That means that a mature egg can only be available from the 12th day to the 16th day in a normal menstrual cycle.
- When ovulation occurs, the results are that one will observe pink spots or blood some days after the period ends.
- It is often accompanied by cramping. Early cramping has the same signs only that it will occur before the 14th day of the menstrual cycle.
- In such a case, it is safe to your health.
- If it occurs repeatedly, it may cause difficulty in getting pregnant. This is because early ovulation occurs when the egg has not been fully formed.
What causes early ovulation?
Early ovulation is caused by the following;
- Ovarian decline; at birth, every woman is born with about 2 million eggs. Most of these eggs die in their hundreds during menstruation as only a single egg is matured each cycle unless one is hyper-ovulating (releasing more than a single egg). By the age of 30, 90% of the 2 million eggs would have been lost through the many menstrual cycles. From that moment, each menstrual cycle is accompanied with a higher amount of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in compensation for the declining egg-count. In these excess amounts of FSH, one would likely have a short follicular phase with bleeding after periods a common phenomenon.
- Hormonal imbalance; in the menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are held responsible for the production of the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). These two hormones ought to be in their exact amounts at the light time to ensure the egg is matured in the ovary then released from the ovary. Any changes in their amounts at the wrong time can cause early ovulation and bleeding after periods.
- Smoking; smoking has for a long time been linked to infertility due to the shortening of one’s menstrual cycle. Most women who smoke will have short follicular phases due to the impact smoking has on the functions of the hormones.
- Short follicular phase; having a short follicular phase may be the cause for infertility in the long term. This is because the eggs being released will not be mature enough to be successfully fertilized.
- Caffeine; when consumed in excessive amounts, caffeine has been known to cause short follicular phases in women. These are characterized by early ovulation.
- Heavy consumption of alcohol; when women consume alcohol in excessive amounts, the effect on their menstrual cycles is early ovulation and short follicular phases.
2. Uterine incapacity
One of the reasons for spotting after a period is uterine incapacity. As the name suggests, it is the inability of the uterus to expel all the blood during menstruation. In such a case, some blood will be retained leading to what is called ‘old blood’ coming out after the period is over. This old blood has a characteristic brown color.
Most people who experience cramps and brown bleeding after their period is over can trace their pain to uterine incapacity. In most cases, there is nothing major to worry about. However, if it recurs after several menstrual cycles, it is best to seek the advice of a medic.
3. Cervical polyps
Dark brown spotting after your period may be due to cervical polyps. At the bottom of the uterus is the cervix; a narrow canal that extends into the vagina. The cervix should be free of any blockages since it serves many purposes. It acts as the passageway for sperms, menses, and the baby when being born.
There are cases when small and elongated tumors grow on the cervix. These are called cervical polyps and they can be found inside the cervical canal or on the surface of the cervix. In most cases, there is only a single polyp in the cervix with a maximum of three expected.
- Cervical polyps rarely occur in women before they start menstruating.
- However, they are common during pregnancy or in women in their 40s and 50s following the birth of a child.
- An increase in the level of estrogen is the most common cause of cervical polyps. Other causes include clogged blood vessels and chronic inflammation of the uterus, vagina or cervix.
It should come to the attention of women that cervical polyps are not cancerous and will thus not lead to cervical cancer. The presence of cervical polyps can be symptomized by:
- Brown spots after period is over
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Irregular bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding after douching
- Spotting after sexual intercourse
If you think you have cervical polyps, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment to remove them.
4. Hormonal imbalance
The menstrual cycle is controlled by many hormones, the major ones being progesterone and estrogen. These hormones have to rise and fall in an indirect relationship to each other. That means that, when the amount of progesterone is rising, the level of estrogen should be falling and vice versa.
This, however, is not always the case in most women. When the levels of the hormones are not in line with each other, a hormonal imbalance occurs. A hormonal imbalance refers to the malfunctioning of hormones in the body. For instance, when you have too much of the hormone estrogen and too little of progesterone, chances are that you will experience abnormal bleeding (usually too much bleeding).
The same hormonal imbalance determines the amount of period one will experience (either too light or too much).
If you see a dark brown spotting or plainly thick blood, then you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance. If it is a one-time event, then the hormonal imbalance was caused by an external or internal event which is no longer present. However, if you see it too often, then a visit to the gynecologist is exactly what you need.
5. Uterine fibroids
Bleeding and spotting after period, before periods, between periods, after menopause and even during pregnancy have all been linked to uterine fibroids. A fibroid is a muscular tumor that grows in the womb and is often referred to as leiomyoma or myoma in short.
They are rarely cancerous in nature and may occur as a single growth or several of them. In size, they range from as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit. However, there are cases when they can grow to be quite large. They are one of the causes of bleeding after a period.
The existence of fibroids is determined by various factors including;
- Family history; if your mother had fibroids, you are at risk three times more than the average woman to have fibroids.
- Age; fibroids are more common with age especially the 30s and 40s up to menopause after which they shrink out.
- Ethnic origin; you are at a higher chance of getting fibroids if you are an African American lady when compared to your white friends.
- Eating habits; when you consume lots of ham and red meat such as beef, you are likely to get fibroids. Replace that diet with lots of green vegetables to stay safe from fibroids that cause you brown bleeding after menstruation.
- Obesity; obese or overweight women are at a higher chance of getting fibroids compared to others.
How do fibroids relate to this?
Fibroids has been linked to various symptoms among them heavy bleeding or painful periods. The bleeding can be so heavy that it causes anemia in the patient. However, heavy bleeding and painful periods do not in themselves mean that you have fibroids. Other symptoms of this condition include;
- Enlargement of the lower abdomen
- A feeling of fullness in the lower stomach area (pelvic area)
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
- Pain when passing urine
- Pregnancy complications with heightened chances of cesarean section
- In rare cases, infertility may be the result of having fibroids.
6. Birth control pills
If you are a regular user of birth control pills, then chances are high that you have experienced spotting or light bleeding after your period has ended. The case of abnormal bleeding is common in the use of contraceptive birth control pills.
This is known as breakthrough bleeding and it is a result of the body adjusting to the hormones found in the pills. If it occurs too many times, you should see your doctor to establish if there is any other cause for the bleeding especially if the bleeding is a discharge with a foul odor to it as it may be a sign of an infection.
Spotting 1 to 12 days or 2 weeks later
Spotting with a pink color, or light red blood spots can occur at any time from one day to 2 weeks after a period. However, the meaning of each spotting is determined by the number of days it occurs after the period is over.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days afterwards
You may experience spotting after your period has come to an end from day one to day five. If it occurs immediately, it is most likely due to uterine incapacity which is the failure of the uterus to expel all the blood during menstruation. This case occurs when the uterus is too weak to fully contract and shed all the blood as a period.
Therefore, the blood left over will be shed as spotting over a few days after the period has come to an end. It may be dark brown in color or light pink if it has mixed with vaginal secretion. The pink discharge after periods can also be due to;
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Cervical cancer
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Rough sexual intercourse
I am spotting 2 days after my period, am I pregnant? From the first to the fifth day after the period has ended, any spotting should not be taken as a pregnancy since ovulation would not have occurred yet.
It will be a normal occurrence which may not warrant a visit to the doctor. If, however, there is a vaginal opening irritation or a smelly and itchy feeling with the discharge, book the next appointment with your doctor. It is likely to be a sign of an infection or other internal problem.
Bleeding 1 week after period
If light spotting occurs a week before your period is due, you are likely pregnant. However, if it occurs a week after the period, you are unlikely to be pregnant since it could just be an abnormal discharge or ovulation.
It is a common mistake among women to think seeing a discharge a week after a period means they are pregnant. That is only true if the spotting occurs a week before the period.
2 weeks after
A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days. Right at the middle of it (the 14th day), ovulation should occur. Ovulation is often accompanied with spotting of a pink color.
If you see spotting on the 14th day or after two weeks from your period, it means that that is ovulation bleeding. Unless it persists or is accompanied with an itchy feeling or bad smell, have nothing to worry about.
Brown spotting or a brown discharge can be noticed after the period is over. The reasons for this occurrence include:
- Ovulation spotting; during ovulation, spotting is common due to various reasons including irritation of the abdominal lining due to the rupturing of the follicle.
- Implantation spotting; the attachment of the fertilized egg on to the uterine lining is also known to cause brown, pink or red spotting.
- Uterine fibroids; when one has fibroids in their uterine lining or cavity, one of the symptoms is the presence of a brown discharge that may be accompanied with heavy blood flow and pain in the abdomen.
After missed period
Bright red blood can be observed a little while after you have missed your period. Most ladies would be confused as to what it is. Is it the period you missed? Is it implantation bleeding? Here is how to know what it exactly is:
- The color: If it is vibrant or bright red in color, it is likely menstruation. If, on the other hand, it is brown or light pink in color, it is likely implantation bleeding and it means you are pregnant.
- The flow: If it is implantation bleeding, it will be a light flow that will remain light. Menstrual bleeding, however, starts out light and gets heavier by the day.
- The severity of cramping: While both implantation and menstruation are accompanied by cramping, the cramps for menstruation are more intense and they get worse with each day.
- Regularity: Menstruation bleeding is consistent in nature while implantation bleeding will come and go away.
Am I pregnant?
If you see spotting 2 weeks after your period, it is likely just ovulation bleeding. You will not be pregnant in such a case given that implantation bleeding occurs about a week to the next period. That is about 21 days or three weeks after the previous period. It is even easy to confuse implantation bleeding with menstruation.