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What Infections Cause Spotting Symptoms?

author image R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.
R. Y. Langham served as a senior writer for "The Herald" magazine from 1996-99. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Ph.D in family psychology from Capella University. Dr. R.Y. Langham published her first psychological thriller in September 2011. It can be purchased on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and Lulu.com.
What Infections Cause Spotting Symptoms?
What infections cause spotting? Photo Credit so sad... image by Alexandra Gnatush-Kostenko from Fotolia.com

Spotting occurs when a minimal amount of blood is passed out of the vagina, according to the Mayo Clinic. A woman may notice a few drops of pink, red or brown blood on her underwear or toilet paper immediately after urination or a bowel movement. Spotting may occur at different times throughout the month or it may be a one-time occurrence. The frequency of spotting varies from woman to woman, but cancer, hormonal imbalances, pregnancy and/or infections may contribute to spotting.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs that can cause spotting in between periods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Spotting occurs when a woman's sensitive vaginal tissues become inflamed as a result of sexually transmitted bacteria that have spread to her uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause a woman to spot between periods or during sex. The March of Dimes states that gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that spread throughout a woman's cervix, uterus, mouth, eyes, throat and rectum. This infection irritates a woman's vaginal tissue causing spotting.

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One infection that can cause spotting in between periods is chlamydia. The New York State Health Department describes chlamydia as a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that can easily spread throughout a woman's genital tract, causing spotting or light vaginal bleeding. Spotting may occur when the vaginal tissues experience friction during or immediately after sex, or following a pap smear or pelvic exam.

Vaginal Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections, or candidiasis, can cause spotting in women. The Mayo Clinc states that a vaginal yeast infection occurs when a fungus rapidly spreads throughout a woman's vagina and the vagina opening. Vaginal yeast infections consist of vaginal irritation, intense itchiness and vaginal spotting. Spotting may occur when a woman scratches her vaginal area in an effort to relieve intense itchiness.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection that can cause irregular spotting in women. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that is naturally present in the vagina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. It is characterized by itchiness and burning. Friction can irritate tender vaginal tissues causing a woman to experience spotting immediately after sex.


An infection that can cause women to abnormally spot is trichomoniasis. The Baby Center describes trichomoniasis as a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a microscopic parasite. This infection can quickly spread throughout a woman's reproductive tract causing vaginal redness, itchiness and spotting. A woman may notice that she is spotting periodically throughout the month or after sex.

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