Main Causes Of Bleeding Between Periods.
Bleeding between periods refers to any bleeding that occurs after the period ends, or before the period is due to begin. When this happens, a person is likely to notice light brown spotting in their underwear or a heavy flow resembling a regular period.
In this article, we look at the possible causes of bleeding between periods, possible ways to prevent spotting, and when to see a doctor.
Below are the Causes of Bleeding Between Periods.
Causes of Bleeding Between Periods
The medical term for bleeding between periods is metrorrhagia. It is also known as spotting or breakthrough bleeding.
The menstrual cycle refers to the time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next. The cycle typically lasts between 25 and 30 days but can be longer or shorter.
A period refers to the time when a woman bleeds each month, which usually lasts between 2 and 7 days. Periods are different for every woman.
There is a variety of reasons for bleeding between periods:
* Hormonal Contraceptives
Hormonal contraceptives are a common cause of vaginal bleeding between periods. they do cause irregular bleeding and it usually occurs for the first 3 to 6 months of using the contraceptive.
Some examples of hormonal contraceptives include:
- intrauterine device (IUD)
- birth control patch
- vaginal ring
- contraceptive pill
- contraceptive implant
If bleeding between periods is very heavy or lasts for longer than 3 months, it may be a good idea to seek medical advice. Changing to an alternative form of contraception can often stop breakthrough bleeding.
Bleeding between periods can happen if a person does not take their hormonal contraception according to the instructions. For example, a woman may miss taking a contraceptive pill, or have a problem with a birth control patch. This can sometimes cause spotting.
Using emergency contraceptive may also cause bleeding. This applies to both forms of emergency contraceptive: the morning after pill and the IUD.
Bleeding between menstrual periods is one early sign of a miscarriage. Miscarriages can occur at any time during pregnancy and may happen before a woman is aware that she is pregnant.
Many people experience some bleeding after having a termination or abortion. Spotting may last for several weeks after having an in-clinic procedure or taking the abortion pill. If bleeding is very heavy, seek medical advice.
*Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause vaginal bleeding. Chlamydia is a typical example. As well as spotting between periods, chlamydia can cause bleeding during or after sex.
If the skin or tissue of the vagina is damaged, it can bleed. The most common way for this to happen is during penetrative sex. It is much more likely if the vagina is dry.
The body produces a natural lubricant that prepares the vagina for penetrative sex. Vaginal dryness can be caused by many factors including a lack of arousal, changing hormone levels due to menopause, diabetes, or cancer treatment.
*Menopause or Perimenopause
Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. It is marked as the time at which a woman has not had a period for 1 year.
Perimenopause is the period leading up to menopause. This can last for up to 10 years as hormone levels in the body change.
Hormone levels are often unstable during perimenopause. This can cause irregular periods, spotting, and heavy bleeding.
*Polyps in the cervix or vagina
Polyps are small growths. They can develop in the uterus or on the cervix, which is the structure between the vagina and uterus. In some cases, polyps can cause bleeding and may need to be removed.
In most cases, bleeding between periods is not a cause for concern. However, vaginal bleeding between periods is one possible symptom of certain types of cancer. Cervical cancer can affect women of any age. It is most common in sexually active women between the ages of 30 and 45.
Bleeding between periods or after sex is usually the first symptom of cervical cancer. Other early symptoms include pain or discomfort while having sex, or unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge.
Uterine or womb cancer tends to occur in women over 50. Vaginal bleeding is also an early symptom of this type of cancer, especially if the bleeding occurs after menopause.
Uterine cancer mostly affects women who have reached menopause. This means that they no longer have periods. For this reason, any vaginal bleeding after menopause should be noted as unusual.
If women have not reached menopause, bleeding may happen between periods. Sometimes bleeding is heavier than usual. Less common symptoms include pain during sex or pain in the abdomen.
*Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that can cause irregular periods, as well as some bleeding between periods. Other symptoms include fertility problems, weight gain, and oily skin or acne.