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Bleeding Inbetween Periods

For some women, bleeding during the menstrual cycle can be problematic, challenging and exhausting. In fact, one of the most comforting things about this process is that it does eventually come to an end. That’s why it can be frustrating and concerning when bleeding occurs between periods and in addition to your normal monthly cycle. 

As something that is quite common amongst women of any age, bleeding between periods can be attributed to a range of factors and can quite often be nothing to worry about. Yet, for every example of our time when this unanticipated blood flow can resolve itself or be easily explained and treated, this could be an indication of a more serious health condition. 

How can this be defined? 

Put simply, bleeding between periods describes any type of vaginal bleeding that occurs outside of your usual cycle. Although some women have irregular periods, it’s important to remember that, for these women, what can be classified as irregular is actually relatively normal. Therefore, bleeding between periods can perhaps be better understood as bleeding which does not hold true to a particular pattern of menstruation. 

In terms of what to look out for, bleeding between periods can take on the form of spotting – a lighter flow of blood which is often brown in colour – or can more closely resemble the flow of a regular period. 

How is this caused? 

As with most instances of irregular or unexpected vaginal bleeding, the reasons behind bleeding between periods are many. The most common explanation for this phenomenon is hormonal imbalance, which is something that can occur naturally or be triggered by the use of a certain contraceptive medication or mechanism. Here, fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone – the two hormones responsible for overseeing the menstrual cycle – can trigger intervals of irregular bleeding. 

Bleeding between periods is also closely linked to the world of pregnancy, particularly in instances where a woman has had an abortion or miscarriage. It should be noted that bleeding whilst pregnant is not uncommon, but that women in this position should always seek immediate medical advice when this occurs. 

Elsewhere, bleeding between periods can be triggered by the contraction of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), appear as a symptom of stress and may be more common in women going through the menopause. Those who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are also prone to bouts of irregular bleeding and, in some cases, this can be a symptom of several types of cancer – including cervical, endometrial and vaginal cancer. 

Taking proactive steps

Although bleeding between periods is far from rare, in most instances it’s advisable to seek out medical attention from a doctor or gynaecology specialist. Quite often, these individuals will guide you through a series of tests and examinations and work closely with you to identify the cause of your bleeding.

Mr Francis Gardner, a veteran in all matters of gynaecology, has built a reputation as one of the foremost experts in his field over a long and fruitful career. He is well known for his calm, considered and professional approach to medical issues that can often be difficult to discuss. With his knowledge and expertise of the female anatomy, he has helped many women identify and manage these sensitive concerns and always works to deliver the best results possible. To book in for a consultation with him or a One Stop See and Treat, please get in touch today.


Although bleeding between periods is a common side effect of taking contraception, this should stop after a set amount of time. If this continues, or you are unsure about what is happening, you should seek further medical advice.

As bleeding between periods is a fairly common occurrence, chances are that the cause of this can be easily explained and managed. In some instances, however, this irregular bleeding could be a symptom of a certain form of cancer. Endometrial cancer more commonly occurs in women over 50, so this could be a cause for concern in older women. As a matter of course, women should already be attending routine cervical screening tests to ensure that this area is regularly monitored. 

Not always. Bleeding during pregnancy can be a common occurrence, but it’s important to get this checked out as soon as you can to make sure that everything is as it should be.

During investigation, you may be asked to undergo a series of exploratory tests to determine the cause of your bleeding. This can include pelvic and vaginal examinations, ultrasound scans, pregnancy tests and STI tests.