Cancers Of The Reproductive System
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. It is especially important to take note of abnormal vaginal bleeding if you have entered menopause.
The following cancers may cause irregular vaginal bleeding:
You May Like:Using Birth Control To Stop Period Once It Starts
Why Spotting Between Periods Happens And When To Be Concerned
- Birth control pills: Some women on the birth control pill may experience irregular bleeding if pills are missed.
- Injections: Women who use the Depo-Provera injection as their birth control method may experience irregular cycles or bleeding between cycles as a side effect of the medication.
- Hormonal IUD: Women who have a hormonal IUD in place may also experience irregular bleeding. However, this typically resolves itself within the first several months after placement.
Megan Quimper is an ob/gyn at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Abnormal Bleeding: Why Women Should Treat It Not Tough It Out
Women of any age can experience abnormal bleeding that is, bleeding that is heavy, lasts long periods of time, or occurs outside of regular menstrual cycles. When we say abnormal bleeding, the textbooks define it as blood loss from the uterus in excess of 2.8 ounces, or about a third of a cup over a few days. But who is actually measuring their blood loss? For practicality, abnormal bleeding is bleeding that interferes with regular activities.
Many women also deal with irregular periods that come so irregularly that they feel they are bleeding all the time or so infrequently that the bleed only once every 3-4 months. Though fewer periods may be desirable, it needs to be evaluated. Abnormal bleeding or spotting often happens:
- After menopause
Also Check: Usaa Grace Period Auto Insurance New Car
You May Like: 90 Probationary Period Employment Form
How Long Does The Menstrual Cycle Last
A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days plus or minus 7 days. A menstrual period generally lasts from 2-7 days and has a typical volume of blood and fluid loss of about 2 to 8 tablespoons. This corresponds to about eight or fewer soaked pads per day with usually no more than 2 days of heavy bleeding.
Talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have any abnormal vaginal bleeding, exept during your period.
Living With Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding can impact your life in a negative way. Not being able to predict when bleeding will begin can cause you to be anxious all the time. Also, heavy menstrual bleeding may limit your daily activities during your period. For some women, it even prevents them from leaving the house.
If you have heavy menstrual bleeding, try taking ibuprofen during your period . Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug . NSAIDs can work to reduce the bleeding during your period.
You also should make sure that you are getting enough iron in your diet. Your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement to ensure that you dont become anemic.
Also Check: 90 Day Probationary Period Template
Why Is My Period Heavy Then Light Then Heavy Again
In some cases, this can be completely normal however, in many cases having a period that starts heavy then goes light and heavy again is a sign of a hormonal imbalance or a sign of endometrial tissue blocking the cervix. In my free online masterclass, I give you insight into common hormone imbalances and how to fix these.
Getting To The Bottom Of It
Postmenopausal bleeding can range from light spotting that is pinkish-gray or brown, all the way to a heavy flow, like a regular period. Most of the time, there is no pain with the bleeding. No matter your exact symptoms, youll want to get in touch with your ob-gyn right away if this happens to you.
Any evaluation should start with a detailed conversation, either in person or via telehealth . Your ob-gyn should ask questions such as:
- When did you go through menopause? The longer its been, the greater cause for concern and the more testing we might need to do.
- Are you taking any new medications? Some drugs, such as blood thinners and some mental health medications, can have vaginal bleeding as a side effect.
- What else is going on with your health? Other medical conditions could be relevant.
A pelvic exam usually is needed when were talking about unexplained vaginal bleeding. During the exam, your ob-gyn may look at your vagina and cervix and feel the size of your uterus.
The next steps will depend on your age, how long it has been since you reached menopause, and how much bleeding youre experiencing. Your ob-gyn might suggest a pelvic ultrasound to look at your uterus more closely or a biopsy to take a tissue sample from the lining of your uterus. You might even need both.
Read Also: Period Blood Stains On Sheets
What Does It Mean When Your Period Stops Early
Bleeding for less than 3 days can be normal for some women, particularly if you have always had periods that lasted 2 days. If however, you have had a change from longer periods to shorter bleeds, it can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. Most commonly this change in period length is contributed to a decline in estrogen – the hormone responsible for building up the lining of our uterus which is shed at menstruation. Lower levels of estrogen mean that your body struggles to build a thick, healthy lining in preparation for the potential implantation of an embryo if you were to fall pregnant that cycle.
Physical Conditions And Infections
Spotting can also be caused by infections and physical changes in the reproductive tract, or hormonal imbalances. Physical conditions that can cause spotting episodes include fibroids , uterine or cervical polyps and endometriosis .
Pelvic inflammatory disease , which happens when certain pelvic infections go untreated, can also be another culprit for unscheduled spotting. Other symptoms of PID can include pain in the lower abdomen, unusual vaginal discharge, and fever . If you suspect you have spotting and other associated symptoms of PID or of physical pelvic conditions, itâs important to discuss this with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Urinary tract infections can cause bleeding from the urethra . Pain while urinating, paired with a small amount of blood on the toilet paper, might be signs of a UTI .
Consistently spotting after penetrative vaginal intercourse is not considered normal. Bleeding after sex is often caused by an issue with the cervix or polyps . Some people may experience spotting after their first intercourse experience, which is normal. If youâre noticing spotting after sex, talk to your healthcare provider.
Don’t Miss: Brown Stuff Instead Of Period
When Should You Call A Doctor For Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
A woman should see a health-care professional for any abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is not always necessary to go to a hospital emergency department for this problem. An office visit to a gynecologist is usually sufficient if she is bleeding, but does not have any other symptoms.
If a woman is having abnormal vaginal bleeding with other symptoms, such as lightheadedness, severe abdominal pain, or fevers, she should be evaluated as soon as possible. This includes being seen in an emergency department if her regular doctor is unavailable. An ambulance should be called if she passes out from blood loss.
Spotting Or Bleeding Between Periods What Is It
Most women have a period approximately every 28 days as part of their menstrual cycle, although periods can start sooner or later from day 21 to day 35.18 Typically a period lasts between 3 and 8 days and tends to be heavier in the first two days.19
Vaginal bleeding between periods is called intermenstrual bleeding which describes vaginal bleeding at any time during the menstrual cycle other than during normal menstruation.20 Another name for it is metrorrhagia which refers to vaginal bleeding at irregular intervals, especially between the expected menstrual periods.21
Recommended Reading: Usaa Grace Period
What Is Postmenopausal Bleeding
Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs after menopause. Menopause is a stage in a womans life when reproductive hormones drop and her monthly menstrual periods stop. Vaginal bleeding that occurs more than a year after a womans last period isnt normal. The bleeding can be light or heavy.
Postmenopausal bleeding is usually due to benign gynecological conditions such as endometrial polyps. But for about 10% of women, bleeding after menopause is a sign of uterine cancer . Uterine cancer is the most common type of reproductive cancer Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any bleeding after menopause.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and other tissues that form a sling across the pelvis, which holds together the vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, according to the NLM. Just like any other part of your body, your pelvic floor can become weak or injured, particularly after pregnancy and childbirth, and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, lower back pain, and the feeling of pelvic pressure or fullness that are akin to those during your period.
The standout difference from menstruation pain? If you can feel a bulge inside the vagina or, in more extreme cases, you can organs start to push out of the vaginal opening, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , then you are probably dealing with pelvic floor muscular problems.
Other symptoms include pain during sex, burning feeling in the vagina and while peeing, leaking urine when you cough, laugh, or exercise, and leaking stool or hard time making it to the bathroom in time. To determine whats going on, ACOG says that your health care provide will typically conduct vaginal and rectal exams in which you may be asked to cough or strain to see if you leak.
Read Also: How To Tell If Your Period Is Over
Read Also: Dark Brown Discharge Instead Of Period
How Do I Know If I Am Experiencing Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
While many women, especially adolescents, have irregular periods, its still important to be aware of what your normal menstrual cycle looks like and what symptoms you have regularly. If your periods suddenly become less frequent, heavier, or you experience spotting, its important to speak with a healthcare provider. Tracking your menstrual cycle each month helps you stay aware of any potential changes in your health.
When To Seek Medical Advice
If you’re younger than 11 or post-menopausal and bleeding, you should go see your doctor immediately. It is also a good idea to contact your doctor when you notice heavy vaginal bleeding between periods. Most women will experience spotting at some stage in their lives, which is normal, so long as it’s not heavy bleeding and stops in a few days. If you experience heavy bleeding that continues for more than a week, you should contact your doctor. Also, seek immediate medical assistance if you experience sharp pain in the pelvis with bleeding.
Don’t Miss: Employee Probationary Period Template
Your Period Just Stopped
You just put the unused tampons from your purse back into the little black box on your counter but bam! spots of blood in your favorite panties. WTH, right? Well, lady, hate to break it to you but this is one of the most common spotting times. The reason behind after-period spotting is usually that your uterus didnt finish flushing out its unused inner lining. Unless your period starts again soon after it ends, you dont have anything to worry about.
Starting Or Changing Birth Control Methods
In this particular case, you may see spotting throughout your cycle or right before your period, which is also known as breakthrough bleeding. All types of birth control can cause this situation including the pill, IUD, the patch, a vaginal ring, or an implant.
This sporadic spotting between periods is caused by the introduction of estrogen present in the birth control medication. It will usually resolve itself within a few months time. Should you continue to have spotting beyond that time, see Mid-City OB-GYN for a diagnosis.
Read Also: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period
How To Tell The Difference Between Spotting And Your Period
The biggest difference between spotting and your period is the amount of blood. A period can last for several days and require a tampon or pad to control your flow. However, spotting produces much less blood and doesnt typically require the use of these products.
When the bleeding occurs, also, is a good indicator of whether its your period or spotting. Most women generally have an idea of when their period will come and how long itll last, so if you notice bleeding off cycle but its not as heavy as your regular period, then its likely spotting. The color of the blood also is different. Blood produced during your period often is darker than the blood that appears when youre spotting.
Another good indicator the bleeding may be due to spotting, is if you dont have any other menstrual symptoms, like breast tenderness or cramping. If you normally have these symptoms right before your period, but they arent present during the time you notice some irregular bleeding, then its probably spotting.
Spotting Between Periods: Complications
Abnormal vaginal bleeding may be minor. But it could signal something more serious or even life-threatening, such as a benign growth like a polyp or fibroid, a bleeding disorder, an infection, or an injury. Itâs rare, but spotting can sometimes be a sign of cancer. To be safe, have your doctor check it out.
Don’t Miss: 90 Day Employment Probationary Period Template
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding & Birth Control At A Glance:
- Vaginal bleeding that is considered abnormal occurs when a woman is not expecting her menstrual period, when the flow is lighter or heavier than normal, or when spotting occurs between periods.
- Sometimes birth control pills, patches, injections, rings and implants can cause spotting between periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- In other situations, these hormone-based birth control methods are used to treat abnormal vaginal bleeding that result from other medical conditions.
- Women who experience abnormal vaginal bleeding should consult their physician, as it can signal a serious underlying disorder.
Causes Of Abnormal Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal bleeding has many possible causes. By itself, it does not necessarily indicate a serious condition.
- Because bleeding can mean a problem with pregnancy, possible pregnancy should always be considered in a woman of childbearing age.
- Spotting to minimal bleeding may be normal. But any bleeding during pregnancy needs to be evaluated by your doctor.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding or bleeding that occurs before 12 weeks may mean a serious problem, including an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding or bleeding that occurs after 12 weeks also may mean a serious problem, such as placenta previa.
Treatment of abnormal vaginal bleeding depends on the cause of the bleeding.
Read Also: 90 Day Probation Period Template