To Pray or Not to Pray, That is the Question? (Part 3)

In this article we will discuss some possible reasons for spotting along with my opinion as to whether it is considered HAIZ or ISTHIHAAZA, and whether in that particular situation you can or cannot pray:

1. It’s your first period. EVER. For many girls, your first few years of menstruating are very new and confusing marked by painful feelings like cramps, tampons and pads, and irregular menstrual cycles. Not only do girls experience these off-schedule menstrual periods, many girls experience spotting. This is normal and is usually just a hormonal misstep that makes our uterine lining shed at the wrong time of the month. Essentially, this means our bodies are trying to understand this new “feature” and work out all the nuances of our reproductive system and “becoming a woman.” This would be considered HAIZ, and so you cannot pray.

2. You have done something new with contraceptives. Many of us might use some form of birth control at some point in our lives. Spotting is a common and normal side effect if you are starting, stopping, or switching birth control medications. Estrogen helps keep the lining of the uterus in place. Changing or messing with the estrogen levels in your body as a result of varying your birth control use could lead to spotting in between periods. This type of spotting does not last for longer than 1-3 months as your body tries to adapt to the new estrogen levels. Spotting can also occur with birth controls such as an intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD is a device that is inserted into the uterus and left to prevent pregnancy. The hormones in the IUD are slowly released, which controls the menstrual cycle and reproduction abilities. However, in the first three to six months, it is very common to spot from an IUD, even if the doctor has used a hormonal or copper IUD. The spotting should subside over time though and is a completely normal side effect. I believe the spotting here would be considered ISTHIHAAZA.

3. You just took the morning after pill. Emergency contraception, AKA the morning after pill, can cause light spotting. Although it is not a side effect, the hormones in the medication (either progestin alone or progestin combined with estrogen) can cause women to bleed at off menstrual cycle times. This type of spotting is completely normal. However, it is important to note that this does not indicate you have your period, and therefore does not signify you are not pregnant. This is ISTHIHAAZA.

4. You have implantation spotting. If you are spotting, but your period isn’t due for another few weeks, it could be because of implantation spotting. Implantation spotting, or implantation bleeding, is when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the inside wall of your uterus. When the embryo implants in the uterus, tiny blood vessels can erupt and cause the expectant mother to spot, usually a pink or brown type of discharge. Implantation spotting usually occurs before your next period and five to ten days after conception. Approximately 1/3 of women who reported having experienced implantation spotting claimed that this type of spotting was different than menstrual spotting. Reasons included the different color in the spotting (blood is darker than period blood), texture (more discharge like), and pain associated with spotting (cramps at the same time). The risk level is low, but if you are unsure if you are pregnant, consult a doctor. This would be ISTHIHAAZA

5. You are experiencing ovulation spotting. Ovulation spotting is very regular for certain women and is nothing to be worried about. Women can notice spotting a day or two into ovulating. When you ovulate, it is common to experience light spotting, usually pale pink in color. There are several potential reasons for ovulation spotting. For example, it can be caused by the surfacing of ovarian follicles. When a follicle matures and bursts, it can cause mild pain and some light bleeding. An increase in your estrogen levels during ovulation can result in light spotting or bleeding. It is also important to note that ovulation time is when you are most fertile. Be sure not to mistake this type of spotting with menstrual spotting! This is ISTHIHAAZA

6. You are perimenopausal. When you approach menopause, you may start to experience pink or brown spotting and even light bleeding before your period. During this transitional stage, your periods may be more irregular, sometimes heavier, and you may have occasional spotting about a week before your period. Ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycle, followed by menstruation approximately 2 weeks later. When you are in perimenopause, your hormone levels may become irregular and not follow this usual pattern. Once you enter menopause, all menstrual bleeding stops. However, if you are bleeding into this stage, it is important to consult your doctor and seek immediate attention. Hormonal replacement can be a common cause of vaginal bleeding in menopause, but spotting could also be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions that require medical attention.

7. You have vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness, or vaginal atrophy, is a common cause of spotting. It occurs when vaginal tissue is no longer moist and elastic, and becomes irritated due to a change in estrogen. When the production levels of estrogen are disrupted, it can cause the vagina to feel itchy, dry and irritated. Women who are in menopause tend to experience vaginal dryness more often than women who are not. This is because their ovaries are producing less estrogen, which leads to a thinner vaginal tissue layer and a reduction in the number of lubricating glands. However, that does not mean women not in menopause can experience vaginal dryness. For women who are experiencing vaginal dryness and are definitely not near perimenopause, there are many factors that can create this condition. Childbirth and its aftermath, friction during sexual intercourse, hormone treatments, contraceptives, medications such as antidepressants, and reactions to substances such as alcohol can trigger vaginal dryness. If you are still menstruating, vaginal dryness is usually nothing to worry about. If you are spotting during menopause from vaginal dryness, consult a doctor immediately. this is ISTHIHAAZA

8. You are stressed. Stress can cause about almost anything in your body. It can create many imbalances in your body and spotting is no exception. Emotional stress (depression, anxiety, worry, insomnia) and physical stress (weight loss or gain, illness, poor diet, over exercising) can affect your period cycle. This is because extreme stress can cause your body to release more amounts of the hormone cortisol, which then causes your body to release less estrogen and progesterone. This hormonal imbalance can mess up your period cycle, and can make them irregular or late, and cause spotting in between. While exercising is a good reliever of stress, over-exercising can also cause an absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) and cause you to spot.

9. You have a decline in estrogen. One out of ten women experience light spotting during ovulation in their menstrual cycle because of a brief decline in their estrogen levels that happens when an egg is released from an ovary. This type of spotting usually occurs about ten to fourteen days before your next period. The decline in estrogen causes women to experience brown vaginal discharge, or spotting. They can also experience cramping and slight pain. This is ISTHIHAAZA

10. You’re experiencing delayed ovulation. If you are a woman who ovulates later in your cycle, it may lead to mittelschmerz. Mittelschmerz is one-sided, lower abdominal pain that is associated with ovulation in the middle of your menstrual cycle, usually about fourteen days before your next period. The pain lasts from a few minutes to hours, but can continue on-and-off for a few days. It usually is on the side of the ovary that is releasing an egg. Aside from mild pain, mittelschmerz can cause mild vaginal bleeding, or spotting. Delayed ovulation can also mean you have a small cyst on the surface of your ovary, which leads to the egg breaking through, causing vaginal spotting. This is ISTHIHAAZA

11. You have a delayed or partial period. During a normal period, the blood coming from the vagina consists of old blood, endometrial lining, and dead tissue. When you have a delayed or partial period, your monthly flushing does not complete and leaves a small amount of lining behind. This lining is left in the uterus for up to a month. When this remaining tissue finally expels, it leaves behind a brownish or pinkish color, or spotting. Again, while you may be alarmed and confused, this type of spotting is normal. As we discussed above, if this type brown spotting occurs after you have bathed (Ghusl), you can ignore it and continue to pray and fast. This would be considered ISTHIHAAZA.

12. You have inserted an object into your vagina or experienced a vaginal injury. If you have just inserted something into your vagina (recent sexual intercourse, etc), you could cause spotting. If you just had sex and your vagina isn’t lubricated enough, the friction can cause you to spot. Cervical bleeding can occur if you have deep penetration during sex. Inserting when you are too dry or too forcefully can also cause spotting. This is ISTHIHAAZA

13. You have a urethral prolapse. The urethra is a tube that connects your bladder to the outside of your body which carries urine from the bladder to the urethral opening. Urethral prolapse occurs when the inner lining of your urethra protrudes through the opening of the urethra. Because of this, the opening of your urethra can resemble a pink donut or ball and seem larger and more swollen than normal. This can cause irritation in the vagina, causing small amounts of blood, or spotting, to occur. This is easily treatable with treatments such as estrogen cream, sitz baths, and antibiotics. This is ISTHIHAAZA

*14. You are impregnated. If you are newly pregnant, chances are you will experience spotting. In the first few months of your pregnancy, it is normal to experience spotting due to all the new hormonal changes. If you are unsure if you are pregnant, take a pregnancy test or consult your gynecologist right away. A doctor can help guide you in the right direction for your pregnancy and confirm the spotting is normal and not caused by an ectopic pregnancy, which if not treated, can be life threatening. This is ISTHIHAAZA.

15. You have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that interferes with normal ovulation and can cause abnormal bleeding, or spotting between periods. It can also cause annoying things like unwanted hair and acne. It is very common in teen girls and young women. One out of every 10 women has PCOS. If you have PCOS, your ovaries are not getting the right hormonal signals from your pituitary gland. Without these signals, you can’t ovulate every month, which affects your menstrual cycle. This causes your period to be irregular and spotting in between. Ask your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms such as irregular periods, extra hair on your face and other parts of your body, acne, weight gain, and patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and other areas. The most common treatment for PCOS is birth control or other types of hormonal therapy. The spotting due to this condition would be ISTHIHAAZA.

16. You have inflammation or infection in your cervix (cervicitis). Cervicitis is the inflammation or irritation in your cervix. The symptoms are very similar to vaginitis, such as vaginal discharge, itching, pain with intercourse, and spotting. If the urine tube, or ureter, gets infected, you can feel pain and burning when you pee, which also can be a sign of cervicitis. Cervicitis can be caused by non-infections such as trauma, frequent douching, or exposure to chemical irritants. Cervicitis can be also by infections, such as certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A doctor can diagnose and treat cervicitis in just a few days. The most common reason for cervicitis are sexually transmitted diseases, so the best prevention method is using a condom and being protected during intercourse- ISTHIHAAZA

17. You have an ovarian cyst. Spotting between periods can also be caused by ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts are small sacs that develop in your ovaries and are filled with fluid. You may not know you have ovarian cysts until one rupture. If one ruptures, you can experience lower pelvic pain, spotting, and severe discomfort. It is important to go immediately to the doctor if you are in extreme pain. Normally, doctors will wait and see if the cysts resolve themselves. If they don’t, they can be surgically removed. This is usually more of an emergent case. It is considered Isthihaaza

18. You have Uterine Fibroids. Uterine Fibroids (also known as leiomyomas or myomas) are noncancerous growths of the uterus that can occur during your childbearing years. They can range in size from tiny growths that are almost undetectable to the human eye, to large, bulky growths that can alter and enlarge your uterus. You can also have more than just one fibroid at a time. It is common for women to have fibroids at some point in their life, as they show no symptoms and can be so small it is undetectable. However, some women who experience uterine fibroids have symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, spotting between periods, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, and constipation. Although uterine fibroids are not usually dangerous, they can cause pain and discomfort and can lead to complications, such as anemia from heavy blood loss. See a doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain that won’t go away, overly heavy, prolonged painful periods, or spotting between periods. The spotting here is ISTHIHAAZA.

Vaginal spotting between periods has many potential causes. They can be normal and just a part of life or they can be serious and even life-threatening. It is important to understand your symptoms and body and routinely go to the doctor.

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician and that it should not be used for personal medical decision making.

PART 1     PART 2

Written by FeatherB – (She is a Medical Graduate)



Islam QA

The Book of Cleanliness: Compiled by Iqbal Kailani. Translated by Khaja Abdul Muqtader.


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