Noticing a few spots of blood between periods can be worrisome, and although women may see spots in their underwear or on toilet tissue, there are usually benign reasons for these occurrences. Here are seven conditions that can cause sporadic spotting between periods in addition to when you should be concerned enough to seek medical advice.
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 Virginia Women’s Health Associates for a diagnosis.
Many women first discover they have fibroids when they see their provider for spotting or extended heavy periods. These benign cysts occur in the uterus and can cause these bleeding symptoms.
Bleeding and spotting between periods can be the first sign a woman is pregnant. Bleeding can occur when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus. Some women bleed sporadically during the first three months of pregnancy, so it is not often cause for concern.
Hormones affect women in countless ways. Progesterone helps stabilize the uterus, and if a woman is not producing enough progesterone during their cycle, some of the lining of the uterus can slough off creating bleeding and spotting 5 to 7 days prior to a period. This is not a real problem for most women unless you are planning to become pregnant.
An imbalance in the hormone estrogen can also cause spotting between periods. This may affect women during perimenopause and menopause.
A woman’s thyroid may also be to blame for spotting between periods, and with less than normal thyroid hormones, a woman can miss periods altogether. With excess thyroid hormones, women may experience very heavy periods. Talk to Virginia Women’s Health Associates if these symptoms accompany weight gain, loss, and fatigue as the culprit may be the thyroid.
Illness Or Infection
Sometimes women battling a simple illness like the flu can experience spotting, but more serious infections could also be triggering sporadic bleeding. If you suspect you may have an STD, visit your specialist. Serious infections in the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can also produce spotting, making it even more important to schedule regular screenings with Virginia Women’s Health Associates.
Yes, having sex can cause some spotting or bleeding afterward. The cause may be damage to the lining of the vagina due to friction and/or lack of lubrication. This is nothing to be concerned about unless it happens frequently.
Some of the more serious causes of bleeding and spotting can be cancer of the cervix or endometrial cancer. See Virginia Women’s Health Associates if the bleeding happens throughout your cycle especially accompanied by pelvic pain and bloating. This could be a sign of reproductive cancer.
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 Virginia Women’s Health Associates today, call (703) 435-2555 or request an appointment online today!