Q:

What causes spotting a week before a period?

A:

Spotting before a woman's regular period date can be caused by hormonal imbalances due to thyroid complications or the use of birth control, according to Healthline. Women who suffer from uterine fibroids or infections caused by sexually transmitted diseases may also experience unusual spotting before their periods start.

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It is possible for women to become pregnant unknowingly and suffer spotting from pregnancy complications between periods when the egg implants in a fallopian tube, explains Healthline. Women may also experience spotting during an early miscarriage. Some birth control methods are implanted into a woman's uterus and can produce spotting as a side effect. In rare cases, spotting can be a sign of various forms of cancer, such as vaginal, cervical or ovarian cancer.

All forms of spotting should be examined by a doctor to rule out serious health complications. Some instances of spotting are benign and clear up on their own with time. If spotting is accompanied by dizziness, fever, pain or fatigue, it is important to seek emergency medical attention, notes Healthline. Doctors are likely to ask detailed questions about a woman's medical history and regular menstrual behavior as well as order blood samples to identify possible hormonal imbalances. It may be necessary to perform a full internal exam and pull biopsies of cervical tissues for analysis.

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