Bleeding erratically between periods (menstrual cycle) is commonly called as spotting. This bleeding is also called as metrorrhagia. Spotting or unexpected bleeding is considered as abnormal when it is least expected at an early age before the onset of menstrual cycle or when you have reached menopause. Spotting between periods is when you experience blood flow in the middle of your cycle, when your periods are not due.
This is definitely not a normal sign and it is important to ascertain the reasons behind this spotting. Symptoms of spotting include having drops of blood discharge over an extended period of time, sometimes heavy bleeding (may be for more than a week), pain and spasms in the lower part of abdomen and weakness along with bleeding. There are many causes of spotting some are described below:
Reasons For Spotting Between Periods
Birth Control Pills
Sometimes contraceptives like birth control pills can lead to irregular vaginal blood loss. Light spotting between your periods can be seen, if you have started taking pills recently. It happens due to the fall in hormone levels and is a common after effect of birth control pills.
Your periods will become regular within few months, and the spotting between the periods could discontinue after one month. It may also include medications and injections containing anaesthetics or progesterone.
Spotting between the periods might indicate infection of the reproductive organs such as vagina, cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes. Infection results in swelling or redness and loss of blood. This may occur due to sexually transmitted infections, after intercourse, due to a pelvic infection or uterus infection. The uterus, fallopian tubes and sometimes ovaries are also infected by pelvic infection. This infection usually occurs when bacteria are passed into the uterus during sexual intercourse.
Abortion / Miscarriage
Abortion or unforeseen miscarriage is one of the probable causes of irregular spotting between periods. There can be a possibility that some of the tissues from pregnancy are retained in the uterus of the woman post abortion which may result in discomfort and elongated periods of spotting.
The infection caused during the course of abortion can be another possibility for erratic and elongated spotting. The third probability can be hormonal alterations that happens post pregnancy.
Disorders or alterations that happen in the thyroid function of the human body may lead to menstrual disturbance which can ultimately lead to spotting between periods. This type of a thyroid dysfunction is also known as ‘Hypothyroidism’.
As per the latest research in this field ‘Hypothyroidism’ is found in almost 5% of the adult population among which a significant population is that of women. If you experience spotting frequently, you must get your thyroid levels checked to rule out this cause.
Irregular bleeding is often reported by the women suffering from gynaecological cancer. There are four types of cancer which report ‘abnormal bleeding’ between periods as one of the symptoms – Uterine, Cervical, Vaginal and Ovarian. Gynaecological cancers are becoming more and more common and are often found in women above 50 years of age. However, as irregular bleeding is not the only cause, doctors conduct many other tests before confirming the disease.