I had intermittent dark spotting ten days after my last menstrual cycle, which lasted for one week. What can it be?

Q. What could be the cause of intermittent spotting after the menstrual cycle?

Answered by
Dr. Uzma Arqam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 28, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have a question about having vaginal discharge. My menstrual cycle lasts seven days, mostly 30 to 34 days apart. Ten days after my last cycle, I had dark spotting, but it would happen intermittently. The next day at night time, the color of the spotting got a little brighter red. I was wondering if this is something I should be concerned about. It has happened a few times and lasted about a week, like a regular menstrual cycle. However, it was not my period because my actual period started two days after the spotting ended.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern.

Please send me your detailed gynecological, medical, surgical, and drug history. It is better to have a serum beta hCG blood pregnancy test immediately so you can know whether there was any pregnancy.

Have you recently noticed any abnormal symptoms such as abnormal hair growth, weight gain or weight loss, hormonal imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, or any medical issues? Check these as well.

1. In case of a positive pregnancy test, if no cramps, abdominal pain, or bleeding are present, repeat the test to be on the safe side to check the progression of conception.

2. If serum beta hCG level shows reduction, it is a miscarriage, but if it shows an increase of more than 60 %, then it is alarming and needs to be checked for any intervention.

3. If the pregnancy test comes negative, then you check for the next two to three months for irregularity; otherwise, I suggest you can take combined oral contraceptive pills for three months. However, please consult a physician, discuss with them and start taking the medications with their consent.

Please consider undergoing the following test.

1. Get a transvaginal scan and blood test done.

2. Get your serum testosterone, serum progesterone, prolactin, serum insulin, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and thyroid function test (on the second day of the period) done.

3. Get your cervical smear and high vaginal swabs done.

Have a healthy diet, daily walking, exercise, and normal BMI (basal metabolic rate) and weight.

Hope this helps.

Thank you and take care.

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