Spotting often occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy and is known as ‘implantation bleeding’ when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterine wall.
While spotting can occur during pregnancy, there are a lot of other reasons you may experience spotting. When you first start using or change your birth control, you may experience spotting. This can happen with the pill, the IUD and sometimes if you’ve taken emergency contraception (see above)
Spotting can also sometimes indicate an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a benign growth, or trauma. If you are pregnant, spotting can sometimes be related to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. In very rare cases, spotting in between periods or after sex could also be a sign of certain cancers, such as cervical cancer.
While spotting often isn’t a cause for concern, you should contact your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, if the spotting is continuous, if you have experienced spotting unexpectedly (i.e. if you don’t normally get it and suddenly you do), if you are going through or have already had the menopause, or if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.