Bleeding between your periods, or “spotting,” can occur for many reasons.
The cause is usually benign; for example, hormonal fluctuations that occur at the very beginning of your reproductive life cycle (menarche, the onset of periods) or toward the end (menopause, when periods stop) are often likely culprits.
Causes of Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones that regulate your cycle. You may have spotting if they get out of balance. Dysfunctional ovaries, thyroid gland problems, and starting and stopping birth control pills, can all affect your hormone balance.
2. Pregnancy Complications
Complications during pregnancy can cause spotting. Both a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy can cause bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
3. Uterine Fibroids
These are noncancerous growths that form in the uterus. They aren’t uncommon in women who’ve given birth.
Vaginal bleeding between periods may indicate an infection of the reproductive organs. Infection can cause inflammation and bleeding.
5. Cervical Cancer
If you’re aged 25 to 64, you should be having regular cervical screening tests to detect any changes to your cervix; even if you’re up-to-date with screening tests, you should seek advice about irregular bleeding, particularly bleeding after sex, to eliminate the possibility of cervical cancer.
When To Seek Medical Advice
If you’re concerned about your bleeding, you should see your doctor. A healthcare professional will talk to you about your symptoms. Depending on your situation, they may suggest carrying out some tests, such as:
– tests for STIs, which may include an examination of your genitals
– a pregnancy test
– a cervical screening test, if you’re aged 25 to 64 and not up-to-date with these
– a pelvic ultrasound scan