Spotting, or breakthrough bleeding, in between periods is common, and many women experience it at some point in their lives, according to WebMD. Some light bleeding in between periods is usually not serious, though unusual amounts of bleeding at an atypical time during the menstrual cycle can indicate a medical problem, particularly if a woman might be pregnant. Any significant bleeding during pregnancy can signal a serious problem.
About 10 percent of women experience spotting during ovulation during the middle of their cycles, explains
Everyday Health. Stress can cause variations in hormones, leading to slight bleeding at other times. Slight irregular bleeding is rarely anything serious.
Spotting can be the first sign of pregnancy, as the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, according to Everyday Health. Heavy bleeding or cramping during pregnancy, particularly in the first 12 weeks, can announce a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. During perimenopause, indiscriminant bleeding can be common as the menstrual cycle becomes less regular. After menopause, any bleeding from the vagina can result from a serious medical issue, such as cancer. WebMD summarizes that other medical causes of bleeding in women of childbearing years include birth control pills, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, sexually transmitted diseases, pelvic inflammatory disease and other diseases, such as diabetes, cancer or hyperthyroidism.Learn More
Stress plays a large role in irregular or missed periods in many women, according to Everyday Health. Stress suppresses the function of the hypothalamus, which controls the pituitary gland, and disturbances to the pituitary gland can cause disruption in the thyroid and adrenal glands, which control the menstrual cycle and hormone management. Because of this, both good and bad stresses can have a negative effect on the period, causing it to stop.Full Answer >
Healthline identifies several factors that cause spotting between periods, including hormonal imbalances, pregnancy complications, uterine fibroids or polyps, infection, and the presence of an intrauterine device. Due to the number of possible causes for abnormal vaginal bleeding, it is best to seek medical advice to determine its cause.Full Answer >
Pre-existing conditions such as stress, fibroids and endometriosis can cause spotting between periods or it could be implantation bleeding. Spotting before a period is not normal and could be an indication of an underlying health condition. Spotting during ovulation can be normal, but a gynecologist must make that determination.Full Answer >
Unusual or irregular periods happen to many women, and can cause concern if they persist or are accompanied by pain or other symptoms, according to SheKnows. Knowing what an irregular period can mean can help take some of the worry away.Full Answer >