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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 2537
Experience:  30 years of experience and an award-winning educator.
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My period is due today or tomorrow but I've been spotting

Customer Question

my period is due today or tomorrow but I've been spotting since Tuesday and shedding what looked like brown clots or endometrial tissue. it looks like my period struggles to arrive. I'm on day 27 and 13 days past ovulation; usually my periods are 26 days long. I'm worried as I need to be able to identify when my period starts for a cycle tracking urine test this month
JA: Have you been keeping a personal medical record?
Customer: yes, I'm tracking my cycles
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: yes
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

This is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

sounds like your period bleeding may have come a few days early this month.

brown clots tends to be from old blood from your uterus.

your period may be a bit irregular

are you looking into fertility testing ?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it doesn't seem like I'm having a period because it's just spotting and brown tissue and there's no flow; the beginning of the period is always full flow, a day or two of pink spotting before has been normal for me in the last few years since my miscarriages
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what is happening now? are we still connected?
Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

have you had sexual activity recently?

sexual activity can cause some trauma to the cervix and can cause spotting and brown tissue as well.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm in a long-term relationship but haven't had sex in the past few days, I think since last Friday
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it's not likely to be caused by this. I'm wondering what might be keeping my period away, why doesn't the flow start?
Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

stress, weight loss, exercise can delay a period.

if you have been sexually active, if you are not using protection and birth control, you could be pregnant, which can delay a period as well.

Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

do you have other questions?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I typed a question and it didn't go through.
Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

can you type it again?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have been trying to get pregnant since my last miscarriage two years ago and have had stimulated cycles and an IVF cycle which didn't work. Now I'm worried because I can't identify the start of this period and we're doing dried urine cycle hormone tracking this month. what do you suggest I do?
Expert:  Dr David replied 4 months ago.

I see

has he had semen analysis to check his sperm count? this can cause fertility issues.

you may be better to count days after your period is over to find out days of your ovulation.

Expert:  Dr Captain replied 4 months ago.

Hello, it looks like you've requested a new expert to help.

Your Doctor: I am a Family Medicine physician, trained and board-certified in the US with active licenses and certification, and 10 years of experience in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. I have advanced training in Integrative Medicine & Functional Medicine, Neurology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, and Psychiatry. I am also well-versed in Alternative Medicine. So far, 99.5% of the Justanswer community of customers has found my answers helpful, and I currently have the honor of being the highest rated clinician on the site! I will do my best to win over your approval as well!

Excellent Reviews: For your review, here is a direct link with my current ratings:

To You: I have read your post and your query and your discussion with the other expert. I'm sorry for the stress this must be causing you! I can imagine you must be quite concerned, and I’m glad you’ve decided to get information from the experts, instead of randomly online. It sounds like you're concerned because you're having difficulty figuring out how to time your cycles... and you're looking for suggestions, do I have this right?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
hi Dr Captain, that's right. just this cycle is the one I can't figure out as my period has still not properly arrived, same brown spotting and period pain. it's possible that I miscalculated my ovulation, I'm tracking waking temperatures. Another possibility is that I received a large dose vitamin D shot on Monday as I'm deficient and this sudden dose might have messed up the arrival of my period. Not sure if this can be the reason. Yes I'm frustrated by the situation. I usually minimally spot a day or two before my periods but this has been four days now and still no flow.
Expert:  Dr Captain replied 4 months ago.

I see. It is such a frustrating experience - and remarkably common for women. There are a rare lucky minority of women who have regular easy-breezy cycling, but the vast majority of women have situations much like yours, where it can be so tough to figure out. Have you ever used the methods available for monitoring your basal body temperature, to try to figure out when you're ovulating, or the urine-based testing kits, which help tell you when you're ovulating?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for your response. yes, I'm tracking my basal body temperature and although it was coming down while I was just spotting it didn't decline to follicular phase levels until yesterday (Friday) - I've had dark spotting since Tuesday. My period arrived late last night and my temperature dropped further today. I'm less worried now. However, because with a nutritionist and natural health practitioner we're doing a cycle mapping based on dried urine testing this cycle and I'm instructed to take various samples on corresponding cycle days. I must figure out the first day of my cycle correctly. Sample collection starts on cycle day 7 and continues through the 4th day of the next cycle. My period arrived late last nigh with full flow - around midnight and in this case today (Saturday) should be cycle day 1. However I'm uncertain because I've had this spotting since Tuesday. Could you help me figuring this out?
Expert:  Dr Captain replied 4 months ago.

oh, wow! you're so wise to be using a nutritionist and natural health practitioner! Impressive! I wish more were like you! You know, for all of the hemming and hawing in the literature about timing the cycles... you might be surprised to hear that I generally recommend that all of my patients who are trying to conceive simply have intercourse every other day. It's enough time for your male partner to recharge, and enough time to recuperate, and it also adds a nice element of dependable intimacy to the relationship. Of course, as an added bonus... you maximize your fertility!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what do you reckon I should do based on what I described above? which day should I count as the beginning of the new cycle?
Expert:  Dr Captain replied 4 months ago.

I would say count Saturday as your day 1. The fact that you've had some spotting doesn't necessarily confuse the dating - and I think you'll be better off simply putting your dating at the most reliable indicator, which it seems Saturday is.