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Do you get spotting before AF / period? Come and talk to me here

(304 Posts)
Whysoserious Fri 30-Dec-11 10:35:02

Morning ladies!

I have bleated on about spotting before AF a lot now on these conception boards and have realised that it does seem to happen to a log of people, can be for many different reasons and also people can be fobbed off by the doctors as "nothing to worry about".

My periods were normal until last August when I started getting brown spotting 4 days before AF came in full force.

I have googled and googled and there are lots of threads of women TTC with this mysterious affliction, but they only last about 20 posts so you can never find out what the outcome was. What were they treated for? Did they manage to conceive? And the one that I'm always desperate to know the minute I start spotting every month; did they get the spotting the month they conceived?

So I want this thread I be a place for TTC mumsnetters who spot before AF to come and share their experiences and stories and support. The information out there is so conflicted so it would be so good to keep this one going until we get some answers and some BFPs!!

Winkly Fri 30-Dec-11 14:56:28

Hi, I never normally do. Two days ago I got some red spotting and thought it was my period starting, but nothing more has come of it. Very unusual for me.

MinkyMoodles Fri 30-Dec-11 15:20:40

Hello Why & Winkly
Not that I'll be much help, but last month I encountered this spotting malarkey, something I'd never experienced before!
It started about 5 days before AF was due, I wondered if it was implantation bleeding. AF arrived on time, but was different to other AFs!
I saw doc for some other things but mentioned the spotting, she was concerned so sent me for a smear, Wednesday just gone, so I may get some answers when the results come, I may not.
I've googled and found stuff about cervical erosion, but it's all guessing!
Is it worth checking with the doc?
Enough waffle from me, Christmas cake anyone?
MM xxx

PopcornMouse Fri 30-Dec-11 15:26:49

I had this when I was a teen, but not now I'm older (27). I've no idea what caused it, though thinking back my periods were insanely heavy back then, I just didn't realise it (I thought it was normal to need a new Super/Heavy pad every hour and a half shock blush ). Either way, since I no longer get it, I guess I wouldn't automatically assume it was something as drastic as erosion?

highlove Fri 30-Dec-11 15:56:03

I get this and would also live to know a bit more. It can be anywhere between 2-7 days and varies each cycle. I've been TTC a year now and sadly no even a hint of a BFP. I've just done two cycles of Clomid which doesn't seem to have made any difference, had two days of spotting on the first but about six on the second.

I've had endo ruled out by a laparoscopy so guess it is hormonal. But my consultant isn't too bothered by it. I am though - even if the actual spotting itself isn't a problem then surely whatever hormonal imbalance is causing it could be?

Sorry can't help any more, but I feel your pain!

Discolite Fri 30-Dec-11 16:41:55

Hi OP, I have been off the pill since March and for the last six cycles I have been TTC. I usually have 5-6 days of light spotting that is brown in colour before AF arrives. I had a day 21 blood test this month after I went to see the doctor about it all. His theory was that my cycles were still regulating after coming off the pill and that the corpus luteum doesn't produce enough progesterone, hence the spotting. I have an appointment the week after next to find out about the results.

I've tried Vitamin B6 to see if that would help with the spotting but nope! I too am concerned about whether it will affect my chances of conceiving...

CareBear1 Fri 30-Dec-11 18:33:15

Hi Ladies - wow a whole thread about my exact problem! I've been TTC now over 4 yrs, so no good news about outcomes (yet) i'm afraid, but I've been tested for everything under the sun for this (they've ruled out cancer, std, fibroids, endometriosis, which i think is standard list) and the doctors can only come up with that its probably due to cervical erosion for me (which i do have according to the numerous professionals who've had a viewing). They've also said its nothing to worry about, and as my progesterone levels are normal they haven't thought it was lupeal phase defect, but their only solution was ivf. I have tried some months without actually ttc to see if I still got the spotting just to check it wasn't implantation bleeding, and it still happened so don't think its that.

What I've found interesting recently is a whole load of explanations in the chinese medicine world for this. Still not sure how much i believe in all this, difficult when the doctors don't really promote this, but in Randine Lewis' 'the infertility cure' she gives chapters on this and says its due to 'spleen qi deficiency' (according to this the spleen has a holding function of holding the menses in place) and there's loads of treatments like accupuncture and dietary changes etc. I've been seeing an accupuncturist weekly who's also been telling me about this chinese view. The brown / black blood or clotting is something else - stagnant blood, that needs clearing out to get the right environment, again the treatment is acupuncture, diet and other things along those lines. I've been following all this since last summer and in the 3 cycles Sep / Oct / Nov, my spotting reduced from 5 to 2 to 1 day spotting. However last cycle I flew to the other side of the world and back and i was back to square 1 of 5 days of spotting before AF (but not brown). So don't know definately yet if this stuff is going to work but just thought i would post in case it interested you.

Also i've read loads of posts from people in the past who spot and get pg so its definately not something that prevents it on its own.

CareBear1 Fri 30-Dec-11 18:34:10

Highlove, clomid made it worse for me too, i bled for 3 weeks solid on my second cycle of clomid so just stopped after that.

Frizzbonce Fri 30-Dec-11 19:44:00

Hello OP

I never had brown spotting until after I had my first child. Then when I was pg a second time, I noticed a little brown spotting about 5/6 weeks. This light brown spotting ended in m/c at 13 weeks. I went on to have another baby.

Now I find that like you, before AF arrives I get brown spotting 1 to 2 days before and no doctor has ever given me an answer as to why.

However I am now trying to conceive no 3 and a friend recommended Maca, a herbal tonic, which apparently 'boosts fertility and balances the hormones'. I thought it sounded like total twattery but I've been taking about 10 drops a day in water for the past month and even though I haven't conceived, the brown spotting has stopped.

Pipbin Fri 30-Dec-11 20:22:33

I didn't realise spotting was anything other than normal.
I get about two days of spotting before AF. I figured it was just warning shots.

However, I did get some mid cycle spotting a couple of months ago, and, as I was of to have a smear test done I mentioned it to the nurse in a 'while you're down there' kind of way. She had a look and said that it was a tear.
I also had post AF spotting this month too and that was the same tear.

Too much SWI!

Whysoserious Fri 30-Dec-11 21:27:58

Hi all. Really interesting hearing all your experiences with this. Would be good to keep this thread going and continue to share thoughts and ideas and things that work.

I too have been told I have a cervical erosion but I'm not convinced that's the only problem because I have fairly strong (although not unbearable) cramping with it too. Then when AF does arrive the first day it is reeeeeeealy painful.

Carebear-interesting you should say about Chinese medicine. I actually downloaded the Baby-making bible today which discusses this. Im a bit of a sceptic but actually a lot of it made sense and made me think about some other symptoms I have been suffering which I would necessarily equate to fertility - like cracked lips and fungal infections (I sound really attractive don't I). All of this could be related in some way.

Frizzbonce - where do you get Maca? That sounds like something worth trying.

I've only been TTc for 4 months but I'm convinced it won't/can't happen while I am spotting because the lining of the uterus is breaking down to early. Surely that would make it impossible to implantation to occur

MrsHY1 Fri 30-Dec-11 22:00:15

Hello whysoserious, count me in!
I've been TTC for just over a year. I spot brown stuff from 5-6dpo before AF starts 'properly' at around 10-11 dpo. So, I also have a short luteal phase.
No-one I've seen yet (one NHS fertility consultant, one private consultant) seems to be worried about the spotting or the short LP. I have had my progesterone tested - that was great - day 4 bloods were all normal, ultrasounds show PCO, HSG clear.
I am on another forum and I'd say from my experiences there that the spotting thing isn't a pregnancy preventer - some women who spot have continued to do so even when they get a BFP, some women haven't.
Good luck! x

AmandinePoulain Fri 30-Dec-11 22:04:04


I used to get brown spotting for 2 days before my period, and then after a mc last feb sometimes it lasted for up to a week, and one month (October I think) I also had mid cycle spotting for a week. I saw a gp who said it was hormonal. I've also previously been diagnosed with cervical erosion during my first pregnancy - I spotted most days for the first 3 months but the baby is now 3 so it was not a major issue, just annoying!

Anyway, my day 21 bloods were normal in the summer so I don't have an lp defect. I started acupuncture 2 months ago and that seemed to cut the spotting back down to 2 days and last Friday I got a bfp grin!

So I guess what I'm saying is, it's probably normal and shouldn't affect your chances of conceiving, although it did take us 10 months this time (dd was a first month of trying baby and I don't think I used to have the spotting back then, I can't tell you for sure though, until we started ttc I never really paid attention blush) I don't know if there's a connection. I think it's just a symptom of cervical erosion mixed with frequent sex grin!

AmandinePoulain Fri 30-Dec-11 22:06:42

Oh, and I haven't ever had spotting before getting a last pregnancy I didn't bleed until 11 weeks when the mmc was diagnosed, with dd it started at 5 weeks, this time nothing so far <fingers firmly crossed>

HereKittyKitty Fri 30-Dec-11 22:42:23

Oooh, marking my place, as I am TTC my first and have had this with every cycle since coming off the pill (September). Didn't realise it was anything other than normal...

WishingIWasLucky Sat 31-Dec-11 00:59:30

Very interesting thread this... I don't get any spotting BEFORE AF just AFTER! So, the first three to four days normal red bleed, starts heavy lasts like that for two days, light on third day and lighter on fourth; then for the following three to four days dark brown spotting. Never had that prior to six months ago. Cycle length decreased from Regular 28 days, to 25,26,27. Very strange. Any ideas?

Squirrel77 Sat 31-Dec-11 03:01:39

Hmmm, this is all very interesting.

Since having the Mirena removed 4 months ago I have spotted for 2-3 days before AF, old brown blood. Not sure why. Has anyone else had this as well - I wonder if
it has to do with the body self regulating after Mirena? It's bloody (haha) annoying anyway.

Scrummybumb Sat 31-Dec-11 19:27:52

Just jumping in to add my story. I spot every month - before and after. Sometimes up to 7 days before AF arrives proper. Like all of you, doctors not concerned, but when i mentioned it to my private consultant he automatically said it would be just my progesterone levels lowering. I have very high progesterone levels during mid-LP, so it made sense. Having just gone through two cycles of IUI, I've been on progesterone pessaries during the TWW, which extended my LP from 14 to 17 days with minimal to no spotting both cycles before AF.
Interestingly enough, Clomid reduced my AF to next to nothing, so not good for my uterus lining.

Hope you all get your BFPs in 2012!

CareBear1 Sat 31-Dec-11 20:00:48

Whyso, i thought that side of chinese medicine theory was interesting too, i was getting fungal infections, and often having loose stools, and generally feeling really tired all the time, and since i've started some of the treatments these have either stopped or reduced hugely. I know some people think that alternative treatments have mostly a psychosomatic effect but i think there's more to it than that. last month i felt way more horny than usual! and i've seen more EWCM so far this month than usual.

scrummy i had prog pessaries during my ivf and still spotted about 3 days prior to AF but then again there's stronger meds with ivf.

squirrel in the past i have spotted in every possible day throughout the cycle (on different cycles) - often after AF. The spotting after af, and very dark brown / black blood has stopped since i've been having acu.

heatherbee36 Sun 01-Jan-12 13:55:50

Just my experience but up until my miscarriage last September (I was 13 weeks) I had been experiencing spotting for years. It lasted anything from 5 days up to 2 weeks (just after ovulation)before AF. I had been to the Dr numerous times in tears thinking it would prevent me conceiving but then bingo! one month my period never properly arrived -though I had been spotting just as usual -very confusing! So in my case, the spotting didn't stop me getting pregnant smile

Interestingly, since my mc I have very little spotting and am wondering if my pregnancy somehow 'corrected' a hormone imbalance? Still ttc now again and good luck to all you ladies! smile

Quodlibet Mon 02-Jan-12 11:58:49

Watching with interest too - I've always had a day or two of brown spotting before AF, but recently had a couple of cycles spotting brown very early, and of bright red spotting after sex (like start of AF, but then doesn't continue) up to a week before AF is due. Have just started Ttc for the first time, so I'll be keeping an eye on it.

weimy Mon 02-Jan-12 16:47:09

I get a brown spotting 3/4 days before AF proper arrives too. I have been TTC for well over a year now.

CareBear1 Mon 02-Jan-12 21:31:14

In case you're interested, this is the lists of other possible symptoms in the book i've got about traditional chinese medicine for 'spleen qi deficiency':

Feeling fatigued
Poor appetite
Energy lower after a meal
Feeling bloated after eating
Craving sweet food
Having loose stools, abdominal pain, or digestive problems
Cold hands and feet
Prone to feeling heavy and sluggish
Prone to feeling heaviness or grogginess in the head
Bruising easily
Poor circulation
Varicose veins
Lacking in strength in arms and legs
Prone to worry
Low blood pressure
Sweating easily
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded when standing up too quickly
Menstruation that is thin, watery or pinkish in colour
Feeling more tired around ovulation and menstruation
Spotting a few days before a period comes
Menstrual cramps with a bearing down sensation on uterus
Tongue that is swollenish with teeth marks round the side

Whysoserious Tue 03-Jan-12 11:57:31

Happy new year all!

That's interesting carebear. I'm going to try some of the chinese medicine advice this month. Not all of it mind because it's a bit extreme and I don't think I can live my life like that. Basically I would need to live off lettuce and quit my job (apparently a stressful job will stop me conceiving so I have to quit it - hmmmm. Not having enough money to pay the mortgage would be so relaxing wouldn't it confused)

But I am going to cut out alcohol and eat as healthily as possible - that is doable smile

whereismywine Tue 03-Jan-12 14:31:48

Here is me chipping in, another ttc spotter. I always had this for the afternoon my period would come before ttc, I think, it's never just started with a bang ever since income off the ill after 8 years. But, since ttc (and maybe just paying more attention) I always get spotting ranging from 1 to 5 days. It's barely noticeable really, but it is there. My progesterone is good, the spotting starts around 11-12 days dpo and I've given up hoping it might be implantation bleeding! No gp or consultant has seemed remotely concerned or interested and acupuncture hasnt fixed it either. I don't have cervical erosion. But - during my lap and dye 2 weeks ago, a big fat fibroid was found and they said it may be causing it. It needs to come out via an op this year :-(

I'm not sure this is much help really, but I've been ttc a year and would like to follow other people with the same issue. It means I rarely get to poas. If it's any help, my mum spotted for 2 days always and had me and my brother relatively quickly and my friend had it and conceived straight away. I guess on the ttc boards we are likely to meet up with people who are worried it's a problem rather than people who had it and got pregnant straight away, making it look like a problem when it might not be? But I hope the thread continues and will try and report back on spotting after my op. I suspect it will still happen!

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