Dark spotting between periods is not necessarily normal, but there are several reasons for a woman to spot dark blood. It is normal to experience some spotting throughout your menstrual cycle, not just during your period. A woman may spot just after her period as her body finishes cleaning out all of the old blood from the period. Women may also spot during ovulation, when under stress, when using sexual items that are inserted into the vagina, during sexual intercourse, or as a symptom of fibroids within the uterus.
Spotting that comes within a few days of your period is normal and should a cause of serious concern by itself. It is often the result of the body ridding itself of the last bit of old blood inside the uterus and vagina. The spotting is typically medium to dark brown in color and may or may not have clots. Blood that is red in color may indicate something different and should be checked by your health professional.
Spotting during ovulation is normally due to the release of the egg itself, especially if you suffer from ovarian cysts. Cysts form on the ovary when the egg is released sometimes, and these cysts may burst outside of the sac containing the egg. You may notice pain on the side you ovulate from if you have ovarian cysts. You may also notice streaks of red blood when wiping after using the restroom, but if it is more substantial, it may require medical attention.
Stress is a major component to altering your menstrual cycle, not just with the timing of your period, but also with menstrual bleeding itself. Physical and emotional stresses are both causes for spotting between periods. Severe physical or emotional stress can cause spotting or light bleeding, and the best course of action for stress-related spotting between periods is to reduce the stress whenever possible. If that does not help, the next step is to place yourself on bedrest and notify your healthcare practitioner, especially if the bleeding is heavy or has clots of any size.
Egg implantation can also cause mild spotting between periods. Implantation typically occurs 7 to 10 days after ovulation and can cause brown to light pink spotting. The spotting associated with implantation is normally very light, however it is wise to wear a panty liner during this time to avoid embarrassing accidents. If bleeding becomes heavy before your period is due, seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.