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Bleeding Between Periods

Do You Bleed or Spot Between Periods?

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Updated February 12, 2014

Bleeding or spotting between periods can be a frightening experience. You never know when bleeding between periods may occur. Maybe your period was over last week and then you notice that you're bleeding again. Maybe this isn't the first month you've experienced bleeding or spotting between periods. Or it could be the first time you've had bleeding between periods. Whether it's the first time you've experienced bleeding between periods, or just another month of spotting, bleeding between periods is a frustrating and stressful experience.

What Is Normal Menstruation?

Normal menstrual bleeding lasts about four to five days, and although it may seem like you are losing a lot more blood, the amount of blood lost during your period is only about two to eight tablespoons. While normal menstruation occurs on average every 28 days, anywhere from 21 to 35 days between periods is considered normal.

When Should You Worry About Menstrual Bleeding?

If you are post-menopausal or younger than 11 and bleeding you should consult your physician immediately. Also do so if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding between periods. Try to determine where the bleeding is coming from: Are you sure you are bleeding from your vagina? Or is it your rectum? Is there blood in your urine?

What Causes Bleeding Between Periods?

Although the cause of irregular bleeding can vary according to individual health situations, some of the more common causes include:
  • Implantation Bleeding/Pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Starting, stopping, or missing oral contraceptives or estrogens
  • Low thyroid levels
  • Stress
  • IUDs occasionally cause slight spotting
  • Injury to the vagina from insertion of objects
  • Malignant cancers
  • Undiagnosed vaginal infections
  • Certain drugs, particularly anticoagulants Vaginal dryness
  • GYN procedures
  • Some women have spotting during ovulation, which is normal

Bed rest may be recommended if between period bleeding is heavy. Use your menstrual cycle calendar to record the number of tampons or pads you use. This information helps your doctor determine whether you are bleeding excessively.

Unless your doctor specifically advises otherwise, never take aspirin while you are menstruating. Aspirin can cause bleeding to occur longer and heavier.

Of course, you should inform your doctor about any bleeding or spotting between periods that you experience.

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