Bleeding Between Periods. There are some women with regular menstrual cycles of 28 days while others have them shorter or longer, normally between 21 and 35 days. You may however notice that you have some bleeding even after you have had your period and you are sure that it is not yet time for your next period. This kind of bleeding between your periods is known as metrorrhagia.
It may not be as much blood as that from a regular period and many will call it spotting. Some may ignore it because it doesn’t always come with pain, depending on the cause. It is however an indication of an underlying problem and should be checked within the shortest time possible.
- Hormonal imbalances that may be caused by hormonal birth control methods or issues with the glands that produce hormones
- Ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilized egg implants inside a fallopian tube instead of the uterus
- Abnormal uterine growths such as fibroids and polyps as well as scar tissue and inflammation
- Endometriosis – when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus
- Infections such as yeast infections and genital warts
- Implantation bleeding – this is the spotting that occurs when a fertilized egg burrows into the uterine lining to attach itself in preparation to grow into a foetus
- An IUD (Intrauterine device)
- Uterine or vaginal cancer
- Chronic conditions like thyroid and blood clotting disorders and diabetes
- Blood thinning medications
The most telling symptom is the light to heavy bleeding between regular menstrual periods. It could come with pain, for example if the cause is an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage then you could experience some severe abdominal pain.
The doctor can still be able to determine the cause of the bleeding even when you are bleeding so do not put off an appointment because you are waiting for the bleeding to stop. Keep a record of when the bleeding occurs to help the doctor with diagnosis.
You may need several tests so as to find out the exact cause of the bleeding. A blood test to check hormone and thyroid levels, pelvic exam to check for infections, pregnancy test and a Pap smear to check for cervical cancer. An ultrasound may be required to check for growths.
The treatment plan will depend on what the cause is.
- For endometriosis and growths like polyps and fibroids you may need surgery.
- Hormonal imbalances, chronic medical conditions and infections may be sorted using medication.
- An ectopic pregnancy will need immediate surgery
- If the bleeding is caused by an IUD then it may have to be removed.
- A miscarriage will require dilation and curettage to clean out any leftover tissue to avoid an infection.
- Cancer will need surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and medication.
You may be tempted to ignore the spotting, especially if it is minimal and painless. From the possible causes above, you will be doing your body a disservice if you take too long. Cancer can spread further if left unattended, an ectopic pregnancy can lead to serious health complications and they could both end in death. Hormonal imbalance may keep you from conceiving. Any chronic conditions will need proper management for you to live a full life so you need to know what you are dealing with.
Take it all in your stride and make sure that you get a proper diagnosis and proper treatment. Get a second or third opinion if you have to because a wrong diagnosis will put you on the wrong treatment procedure or medication.