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Monday, March 10, 2014
Luteal Phase Spotting
My husband and I began trying to conceive two months ago. At this time I began paying close attention to my body and my cycles. I have been on and off birth control for many years, the last four using the nuvaring (many times over those four years I would stop taking the birth control for periods of time.) Whenever I am not on birth control I spot anywhere from 3 to 7 days before my actual period begins. While on birth control I do not have spotting issues. While this concerned me in the past, my doctor brushed it off as normal. Now that I`m trying to conceive it is worrying me. I believe I ovulated my first ttc cycle on cd18 and began spotting on cd28. Full flow (which was lighter than normal) began on CD 34, which I considered CD1 of a new cycle. This cycle, I believe I ovulated on CD15 or 16 and I just experienced very light spotting yesterday which was CD25. I am guessing my ovulation days based on ovulation predictor kits. I plan to temp this next cycle. I am concerned that I may have a luteal phase defect or a problem with my progesterone levels. Is this an irrational fear based on the background given? Should I wait until I have a month charted with my basal body temperature before contacting my doctor? Should I count the days of my luteal phase from ovulation until spotting or ovulation until full red flow? Sorry to ramble on so much, but I`m nervous that there could be an easily fixed problem and I don`t want to wait a whole year before getting checked out. Thanks for any input you can give me!
It is not uncommon for patients to complain of spotting for 1-3 days prior to menses. As long as the time from ovulation to the start of your next flow is at least 12 days, there should be no reason for concern. Other symptoms that you have ovulated would include breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, etc, before you start you cycle.
Daniel B Williams, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati