Is Brown Bleeding a Red Flag?

Question

I have a question about trying to conceive if there is spotting before menstruation. I was on the birth control pill for a number of years but stopped taking the pill about six years ago. Ever since then, I have brownish spotting (sometimes quite heavy) four to seven days before my period begins (which is evident from menstrual cramps and a change in the bleeding). I have no other abnormal symptoms–there is no cramping associated with the spotting although I always have sore breasts from ovulation to the start of menstruation. I haven’t been concerned about this spotting (other than it being annoying) but the last few months I’ve been trying to conceive and I’m wondering if this early spotting will have any negative affects on conceiving.
Rachel

Answer

Last Updated: November 19, 2021
Dear Rachel,

You are wise to be aware that this spotting may effect your fertility and are asking questions. The unusual bleeding occurring four to seven days before menstruation could likely indicate a hormonal imbalance and yes, that could prevent you from maintaining a pregnancy because of the lack of progesterone support after ovulation that prepares the uterus for implantation. Sore breasts that occur from ovulation until your menstruation can also be a result of low progesterone.

My advice would be to have a good medical work-up by your doctor before trying to become pregnant, which should include having your hormone levels measured. The protocol for doing this is followed by NaProTechnolgy trained doctors who are specifically trained in fertility testing and treatment. Learning a Natural Family Planning Method would help you to understand the elements of a healthy cycle and assist your doctor in administering any hormones cooperatively during your cycle. See a Question and Answer already posted on our web site that follows:

https://canfp.org/ask_the_expert/get-the-real-stuff/

A list of NFP doctors can be found on this site if you live in California.

My best to you.

Judy Wilmurt

Answered By:

Judy Wilmurt
Judy Wilmurt, Professional Member of CANFP, and past member of the Executive Board, taught the Creighton Model FertilityCare System of NFP in the Oakland region, wherre she resides with her husband Eric.

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