Does Spotting Between Periods Actually Mean You’re Pregnant?

Hi Heather,

I heard that spotting between periods could be an early sign of pregnancy. Is this true? Does spotting ALWAYS mean that you’re pregnant?


Spotting is a term for vaginal bleeding between periods. It can vary in amount and length of time – sometimes you only notice a few drops of blood in your underwear once or twice, other times you may experience blood for a few hours or even a whole day. There are several causes of spotting, and one of them certainly is pregnancy – but is that the only reason you’ll experience it? To give you guys the most legitimate answer possible, I got in touch with my friend Dr. Sherry Ross from the site HelloFlo (a monthly period care package you need to check out) to answer these questions.

Dr. Ross says: “No, spotting doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. It can happen because of other reasons, although knowing that it is a common sign of pregnancy can create a ‘fear of the unknown.’ If you have unprotected sex, then have a late period, and then experience spotting, yes, you could be pregnant. You should take a pregnancy test. If you aren’t pregnant, spotting can simply mean you are have a late or irregular period.

So why would you spot other than pregnancy? Dr. Ross says, “Some reasons you spot due to an irregular period are caused by environmental factors such as rigorous exercising, gaining or losing an excessive amount of weight, physical or emotional stress, traveling outside of the country, certain medications and chronic illness. Other reasons include thyroid and other hormonal disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).”

Spotting isn’t always something you have no control over. Dr. Ross says, “If you are having irregular periods and regular sex, you definitely want to find a birth control option to calm your worries regarding an unplanned pregnancy.” Sometimes birth control pills can also regulate your menstrual cycle, getting rid of spotting (as well as your extra stress).

take care,

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at You can also reach our buddies at HelloFlo with questions about your body or health. Just ask Dr. Flo at HelloFlo!


Why Do You Have Pain Before and After Sex?

Follow Gurl, Pretty Please!
FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterest, and Instagram

Posted in: Body Issues
Tags: , , , ,