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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods

Alternate Names : Intermenstrual Bleeding, Spotting, Metrorrhagia

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Vaginal bleeding between periods is when a woman has uterine bleeding after she has finished one menstrual period and before she begins the next. This occurs in many women at some point in their lives.

What is going on in the body?

The normal menstrual flow occurs about every 28 days, and lasts between 3 and 5 days. Bleeding in between periods can occur for many reasons. The bleeding may be harmless or serious. This bleeding can cause much anxiety in affected women.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Bleeding from other areas, such as the bladder or bowels, may make a woman think she is having bleeding from the vagina. True vaginal bleeding has many different causes, including:

  • hormone imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or hypothyroidism
  • early pregnancy or an early miscarriage
  • tumors or cancer, such as fibroids of the uterus, endometrial cancer, or cancer of the cervix
  • trauma to the vagina, such as from tampons or sexual intercourse
  • infections in the female organs, such as cervicitis or pelvic inflammatory disease, both often due to sexually transmitted diseases
  • endometriosis or adenomyosis
  • oral contraceptives when they are stopped and started again
  • certain medications, such as anticoagulants or aspirin
  • Other causes are also possible. In some cases, no cause can be found.


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    Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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