Why am I bleeding between periods?

There are many reasons why you may be suffering from abnormal bleeding. Prolonged bleeding between periods should always be investigated, although in most cases it is not something to be worried about. Below we take a look at some of the possible reasons and when you should seek medical advice.

Contraceptive pills and injections

If you have recently started taking hormonal contraception, then it is fairly common for women to experience some degree of bleeding between periods for the first few months. This abnormal bleeding should cease after a few months. The types of hormonal contraception include the combined oral contraceptive pill, the progestogen-only contraceptive pill, the contraceptive patch, and injection intrauterine system (IUS). If the bleeding persists after three months, then you should always seek medical advice.

Other hormonal related issues

Abnormal bleeding may also occur due to missing a pill. If you have any sickness or diarrhoea while on contraceptives, or if you take contraceptives during a pill-free week then this may also result in abnormal bleeding.

What are the other causes?

There are other reasons why you may suffer from abnormal bleeding. Injury to the vagina may result in bleeding, as can a recent abortion or having a sexually transmitted disease. Other reasons are that of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and any changes to the cervix (neck of the womb). If you experience bleeding after having sex, then it is always best to seek medical advice to rule out cancer of the cervix.

When you should see a medical practitioner

If you have any worries or anxieties about any abnormal bleeding then always seek medical advice. Your GP, gynaecologist, or GUM clinic will be able to help you.

What will happen?

Firstly, you will talk through your concerns and symptoms. Depending upon the severity of bleeding and specific circumstances, they may then suggest further tests and investigations. They may carry out a pregnancy test, blood test, tests for STIs, or a pelvic ultrasound. Additional testing may include a speculum examination.

If you are at all concerned about your heavy bleeding, then please do book an appointment with leading female gynaecologist in London Dr Tania Adib.