Abnormal vaginal bleeding, also known as intermenstrual spotting, metrorrhagia, and bleeding, occurs between regular period. This abnormal bleeding may result from different conditions and abnormalities in the body.
Some causes of intermenstrual spotting are easy to treat, but others may result from a serious underlying condition. It is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor for an examination, diagnosis and treatment if you experience heavy bleeding or spotting between your periods.
Some common causes of vaginal bleeding between periods include:
- Growth in the cervix or uterus
- Change in medication
- Vaginal dryness
- Hormonal imbalance
Causes of spotting or heavy vaginal bleeding between periods
Experiencing bleeding between your periods is not a normal occurrence. On average, the menstrual cycle lasts between 21 – 35 days. Normal vaginal bleeding usually occurs for some days or one week in the initial period of each menstrual cycle, so any vaginal bleeding after this period is abnormal and may result from any of these.
- Hormonal imbalance
Two hormones, progesterone and oestrogen, regulate the menstrual cycle. If these two hormones are not balanced, you may experience spotting. Irregular oestrogen and progesterone levels may result from thyroid gland problems, dysfunctional ovaries, starting or stopping birth control pills.
Spotting during ovulation also results from abnormal hormonal changes, and when you start a hormonal contraceptive, you will likely experience abnormal bleeding within the first three months.
Contraceptives like birth control pills, IUD, patch, implant or injection usually cause abnormal bleeding in the first few months of using them.
- Pregnancy complications
If you have a complication during pregnancy, it could result in spotting. Complications such as ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage can cause abnormal bleeding.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilised egg gets implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Experiencing spotting during pregnancy may indicate a miscarriage, so ensure you contact your doctor if you notice vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.
- Uterine fibroids
These are noncancerous growth in the uterus, mostly affecting women who have not given birth.
You may experience vaginal bleeding between periods if you have a reproductive organ infection. Infections in the reproductive organs usually cause bleeding and infection. This may occur due to a sexually transmitted infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, intercourse and vaginal douching.
Cancer is a less common cause of vaginal bleeding. You may experience vaginal bleeding if you have cancer of the vagina, uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
- Rare causes
Possible but rare causes of vaginal bleeding include extreme stress, thyroid disorder, diabetes, significant weight loss or gain, and inserting an object in the vagina.
When you should get medical help
Consult your doctor whenever you experience vaginal bleeding because it could be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you experience vaginal bleeding and any of these symptoms, ensure you seek emergency medical care.
You can book a private gynaecologist in London at www.gynae-clinic.co.uk to get a diagnosis and treatment for vaginal bleeding between periods or contact us today on 020 7183 1049 to schedule an appointment.