Is it really normal to spot one week before your period starts, or is this more likely the sign of disease such as cancer or fibroids?

“It definitely happens, but if it is recurrent, it cannot be considered normal until a woman has had a full workup for this, to ensure there is nothing pathological,” says Wendie Trubow, MD, an OB/GYN with Five Journeys, a membership-based wellness organization that uses functional and integrative medicine for evaluation and treatment.

Dr. Trubow explains, “There are a lot of reasons this may occur: hormonal imbalance, short luteal phase (i.e., not enough progesterone), polyps, fibroids, pregnancy, cancer (the least likely, but still on the list), periomenopause, cervical lesions/irritation.”

So if you usually begin spotting a week before you begin flowing, don’t panic. Remember, cancer is “the least likely” cause for this.

And how old are you? It may be periomenopause, which can begin in a woman’s 30s.

It was typical for me to spot at least a week early for many of my periods. This occurred so often that it was par for the course.

I don’t recall if this occurred in my 20s, but for sure, it occurred during my periomenopausal years.

Take Inventory of Your Menstrual Spotting

Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

Keep a record for every cycle. As this record grows, the more likely you may see a pattern.

If you ultimately acquire a record that dates back for three years — and are still healthy, think of how very reassuring this will be!

Get going on that record now. Check your panties and tissue paper for signs of spotting. Learn to know what’s normal for your cycle.

I have since completed menopause, but right up to my last periods, I was spotting at least a whole week early. Nothing was ever found to be pathological.

Nevertheless, if this is happening to you, even if you’re in your 40s or 50s, have a complete checkup by an OBGYN.

dr. trubowHaving practiced functional medicine since 2009, Dr. Trubow works with women to identify causes of their symptoms and then works with them to achieve their greatest health and life balance.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Doucefleur