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6 Causes of Spotting Between Periods You Shouldn’t Ignore

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There are a lot of factors that can cause light vaginal bleeding. Occasional spotting can be a sign of ovulation or upcoming menstruation. However, if you have noticed bloody discharges that occur frequently, it is better to visit the doctor. In this article, we gathered six causes of spotting between periods you shouldn’t ignore.

1. An infection

There is no difference if you have a common yeast infection or an STI (such as chlamydia) you will experience vaginal irritation. Moreover, if this irritation becomes chronic, it may be accompanied by painful urination, discharges, pain during sex, and spotting. If you notice bloodstains after sexual intercourse, this may be a result of an infection that causes inflammation of the cervical tissue. Inflammation means more blood is flowing into this area and when the penis touches the cervix, it may bleed a little.

2. Changing of birth control

Your menstrual cycle is caused by fluctuations in hormone levels. An increase in progesterone helps to thicken the uterine mucosa and prepare it for a fertilized egg. If you don’t get pregnant, the level of progesterone drops and the uterus loses the mucous membrane (you have menstruation). Changing the type of hormonal contraception you use can temporarily change progesterone levels that can cause spotting. When your system gets used to your new contraception, spotting should stop.

3. A condition that is messed with your hormones

A stressful period at work or gaining a few pounds can disrupt hormone levels that will cause stains. However, there are a lot of health issues that can affect your cycle. For example, thyroid disorder (excessive or insufficient production of thyroid hormones) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause irregular periods and spotting. The most common treatment for thyroid diseases include synthetic hormones. If you have PCOS, your doctor may prescribe lifestyle changes (like weight loss) and hormonal medications (like birth control pills) to help eliminate symptoms.

4. Uterine fibroids

It may be quite surprising for you but most women (up to 75 percent) have uterine fibroids during their reproductive age. However, many of them never know about their conditions because non-malignant fibroids may be so small that they can develop without causing symptoms. Despite this fact, large fibroids can actually cause pain and discomfort. Moreover, they can complicate pregnancy and lead to frequent urination (if they put extra pressure on your bladder). Uterine fibroids can also cause spotting. They can bleed themselves or cause bleeding in the endometrial wall. 

The fibroid treatment varies depending on the symptoms they cause. Your doctor may recommend medications that regulate your period and help reduce fibroids. There are also a number of surgical procedures that can reduce or eliminate fibroids.

5. Pregnancy

Spotting is fairly common during the first trimester of pregnancy. When the embryo is implanted in the uterus and within four to six weeks thereafter, you may notice a little bloody discharge. This is called implantation spotting that is usually brownish in color and light. If the bleeding resembles menstruation or you also have cramps, this may be a sign of a miscarriage. In this case, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to perform a blood test or get an ultrasound scan.

6. Endometrial hyperplasia

If you have noticed bloody discharge after menopause, you shouldn’t ignore it. Every time you have vaginal bleeding after menopause, it is better to make an appointment with your doctor at least for an examination and a transvaginal ultrasound. Endometrial hyperplasia is a precancerous condition in which the uterine mucosa becomes very thick and this can cause spotting. Endometrial hyperplasia can be treated with progestin (using pills, injections, cream or IUDs) to get rid of the thickened mucous membrane. Your doctor may determine the presence of certain abnormal cells that increase your risk of cancer. If you have such cells and you don’t plan to have children, a hysterectomy may be an option for you.

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