How Early Does Pregnancy Spotting Occur
Implantation bleeding is generally light and short, just a few days worth. It usually occurs 10-14 days after conception, or around the time of your missed period. However, vaginal bleeding has been reported anytime in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Spotting is also common before the start of a menstrual period.
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Why Am I Bleeding Between My Periods
Bleeding between periods can be caused by serious or benign causes. The most dangerous causes often involve pregnancy. A failed pregnancy, a pregnancy in which the egg implants in the fallopian tube, disconnection of the placenta from the uterus, or damage to the uterus can all cause bleeding. If you suspect any of these causes, you should seek medical evaluation as soon and as safely as possible. Otherwise, uterine fibroids, tumor, blood thinners, ruptured ovarian cysts and gynecological infections, and changes in contraceptive drugs can cause spotting.
Is Vaginal Bleeding An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
No, vaginal bleeding is not an early sign of normal pregnancy. If you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, you should visit your OBGYN for evaluation. Vaginal bleeding can be caused by many things other than pregnancy, including sexually transmitted infections, uterine growths called fibroids, and certain types of cancers.
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What Causes Bleeding After Menopause
Bleeding after menopause is rarely cause for concern. It does need to be investigated, however, because in very few cases it will be an indicator of something more serious.
In about 90 per cent of cases, a particular cause for bleeding after menopause will not be found. This is not a cause for alarm, if there is a serious problem it will be identified through investigations. Most of the time, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by:
- inflammation and thinning of the lining of your vagina
- thinning of the lining of your uterus
- growths in the cervix or uterus which are usually not cancerous
- thickened endometrium often because of hormone replacement therapy
- abnormalities in the cervix or uterus.
These are generally not serious problems and can be cured relatively easily.
However, about 10 per cent of the time, post-menopausal bleeding is linked to cancer of the cervix or uterus and so it is very important to have it investigated.
When To Seek Medical Advice: Signs & Symptoms
If experiencing persistent spotting or heavy bleeding outside of your period and/or your bleeding is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it warrants getting some medical advice from your doctor or a qualified health professional. Heavy vaginal or uterine bleeding may increase the risk of other conditions such as anemia, which can negatively impact your health, so its wise to closely monitor how much youre bleeding.
Keep track of the number of pads or tampons used and saturated when youre bleeding. Abnormal blood loss can be estimated by tracking the number of pads or tampons used and how quickly they become soaked. Soaking a pad or a tampon within 1 hour indicates heavy menstrual or uterine bleeding at a concerning rate.
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How To Deal With Bleeding After Period
Always take oral contraceptives as per the instructions of your doctor. These pills certainly help regulate your hormonal levels, but you should never start or stop without first asking your doctor. It is also important to take your pill daily at the same time without fail.
Avoid aspirin as much as possible. It is better to stop taking it but you should at least limit the intake of aspirin to prevent bleeding. It is a blood thinner and increases your risk of experiencing bleeding between periods.
Go for pap smears at regular intervals. This helps identify a problem even when it is in its early stages. This increases your chances of recovery.
Pay attention to your body weight. You should take steps to ensure your body weight is within the normal range or else you will be at an increased risk of uterine cancer.
Talk to your doctor about an alternative to oral contraceptives. Sometimes, a change in your birth control method helps prevent bleeding or spotting after period. Bleeding is also an issue for women using intrauterine devices.
Take steps to keep stress under control. You should learn to manage stress better. Emotional stress can affect your menstrual cycle and result in irregular bleeding. You may consider using relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, aerobics, and deep breathing to calm your nerves.
When To Be Concerned
Most women know their bodies and can recognize when something changes. Seek medical care with any of the following:
- Unexplained vagina bleeding in post-menopausal women.
- Bleeding accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, and pain.
- An unpleasant odor from vaginal discharges.
- Bleeding in young girls prior to puberty.
Most sporadic spotting between periods is usually not cause for alarm, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you have any further questions, or would like to set an appointment with Mid-City OB-GYN today, call to schedule an appointment.
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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.
When Should A Doctor Be Consulted
The following symptoms of vaginal bleeding should be brought to the attention of a doctor:
- A change in the regularity of the menstrual cycle .
- A noticeable change in the amount of blood during a menstrual cycle .
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Any bleeding before puberty or after menopause.
- Bleeding in association with douching.
- Bleeding after beginning a new medication or hormone treatment.
- Bleeding during the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
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It Also Depends On The Type Of Iud You Get
There are four hormonal IUDs Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla and one copper IUD ParaGard.
Hormonal IUDs may make your periods lighter. Some people dont get periods at all while on them.
Copper IUDs often make periods heavier and crampier. However, this may not be a permanent change. Your period may return to its usual state after about six months.
Hormonal birth control can throw off your menstrual cycle. At first, your periods may be heavier than usual. Eventually, the bleeding should get lighter.
You Are Having Implantation Bleeding
Midway through your menstrual cycle, there will be an increase in the levels of progesterone and estrogen that causes the ovary to release an egg. If fertilization takes place, the egg attaches itself to the uterine lining, which makes you bleed a little. This is known as implantation spotting or implantation bleeding. As many women do not know that they have conceived, they feel concerned about the bleeding that takes place after implantation. The bleeding is not severe and may be red, pink, or brown in color. It is quite normal and is never a cause for concern.
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Women In Their 40s And Early 50s
In the years before menopause and when menopause begins, women have months when they dont ovulate. This can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, including heavy periods and lighter, irregular bleeding.
Thickening of the lining of the uterus is another cause of bleeding in women in their 40s and 50s. This thickening can be a warning of uterine cancer. If you have abnormal uterine bleeding and youre in this age group, you need to tell your doctor about it. It may be a normal part of getting older, but its important to make sure uterine cancer isnt the cause.
What To Expect From 6 Months On
Your periods should get lighter after the first six months, and you may have fewer of them. Some may find that their periods continue to be more unpredictable than they were in the past.
About 1 in 5 people will no longer have a monthly period by the one-year mark.
Copper IUDs dont contain hormones, so you wont see changes in the timing of your periods. But you can expect more bleeding than before at least for a while.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Yes. Although its normal for periods to change as you near menopause, you should still talk with your obstetriciangynecologist about bleeding changes. Abnormal bleeding sometimes can be a sign of health problems. Its especially important to tell your ob-gyn if you have bleeding after menopause.
If you have any bleeding after menopause, or if you have any of the abnormal changes in your monthly cycle listed above, its important to see your ob-gyn to find out the cause. Many things can cause abnormal bleeding, including
Polyps are noncancerous growths that attach to the wall of the uterus. They also may develop on the endometrium . These growths may cause irregular or heavy bleeding. Polyps also can grow on the cervix or inside the cervical canal. Polyps on the cervix may cause bleeding after sex.
After menopause, the uterine lining may become too thin. This can happen when a woman has low levels of estrogen. The condition is called endometrial atrophy. As the lining thins, a woman may have abnormal bleeding.
The risk factors for endometrial cancer include
early age when periods started
older age at menopause
long-term use of medications containing high doses of estrogen
treatment with a drug called tamoxifen
certain tumors of the ovaries
It’s A Birth Control Side Effect
One of the main perks of hormonal birth control is its ability to regulate your cycle. But any type of hormonal contraceptive can lead to spotting after intercourse, says Dr. Mahnert. Typically, youd notice this when you start a new pill, for example it can take a few months for your body to adjust to it.
But something else could be going on. Hormonal contraception “can occasionally cause significant atrophy, or drying up, of the vagina, intercourse can cause tearing and some bleeding, says Dr. Gersh. If you think your BC is behind your post-sex blood drops, your ob-gyn can help you look into better options.
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You Have Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a type of benign tumor that grow in and around the wall of the uterus. Though doctors havent identified a specific cause of fibroids, they do say that African American women and overweight women are more at risk for developing them. Spotting is one of the main side effects, along with infertility, painful sex, lower back pain, and a chronically bloated feeling. In other words, dont assume you have uterine fibroids just because youre spotting. There are a lot of other causes that are far more likely.
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.
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What Can Cause Bleeding Between Periods
There are several things that could cause bleeding between periods, such as changes to your hormones levels, use of hormonal contraception or contraceptive devices, an infection, or an injury.
Other causes of bleeding between periods may include:
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Treatment
There are several treatment options for abnormal bleeding. Your treatment will depend on the cause of your bleeding, your age, and whether you want to get pregnant in the future. Your doctor will help you decide which treatment is right for you. Or, if your doctor decides that a hormone imbalance is causing your abnormal bleeding, you and your doctor may decide to wait and see if the bleeding improves on its own. Some treatment options include the following:
Intrauterine device . Your doctor may suggest an IUD. An IUD is a small, plastic device that your doctor inserts into your uterus through your vagina to prevent pregnancy. One type of IUD releases hormones. This type can significantly reduce abnormal bleeding. Like birth control pills, sometimes IUDs can actually cause abnormal bleeding. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
Birth control pills. Birth control pills contain hormones that can stop the lining of your uterus from getting too thick. They also can help keep your menstrual cycle regular and reduce cramping. Some types of birth control pills, especially the progestin-only pill can actually cause abnormal bleeding for some women. Let your doctor know if the pill youre taking doesnt control your abnormal bleeding.
If youre having heavy bleeding, your doctor may perform a D& C both to find out the problem and to treat the bleeding. The D& C itself often makes heavy bleeding stop. Your doctor will decide if this procedure is necessary.
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