Breakthrough bleeding is the scientific name of genital bleeding that occurs outside the menstrual period. And what is more disconcerting than a red stain on your pants, especially, when you are sure that this is not the time of your period?
Dr. Natasha Johnson, obstetrics specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital said it it impossible to know if you are just dealing with a disorder or something else, unless you visit your gynecologist.
While waiting to see your doctor for more information, here are some possible reasons for the breakthrough bleeding:
You are pregnant
According to the American Pregnancy Association, 20% of women bleed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor will do a test to find out. If you are indeed pregnant, the color of blood will be lighter than the rules.
Blame your medications
Anticoagulants are known to cause bleeding and heavier periods. Dietary supplements like ginkgo biloba (natural booster) also have effects on the blood thinners. Another reason could be the pill that you take. If you just start taking it and you notice this bleeding, talk to your gynecologist.
You have an STD
It is difficult to identify an STD. Often it manifests itself without causing symptoms. But if you are bleeding from the vagina, especially after sex, you may have gonorrhea or chlamydia. These sexually transmitted diseases (besides trichomoniasis and HPV) can cause inflammation. When the cervix is infected, it can bleed.
You use an IUD
The IUD can cause abnormal bleeding. Nearly 25% of women who have one, notice that their periods become heavier and longer. What is the reason? The IUD contains a small amount of levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin that blocks ovulation. This hormone can cause bleeding during the first 3 to 6 months at least. It is also possible that the IUD has moved or is not well placed.
Something is wrong with your thyroid
Like any disorder that affects the blood, hyperthyroidism can cause bleeding because it causes a hormonal imbalance.
You made love too aggressively
Sometimes sex can cause bleeding. Either you have gone a little too hard, or your vagina was not lubricated enough. If these few drops of blood does not bother you (and you know the cause), no need to consult. But next time, go more slowly to spare your private parts (or keep a lubricant aside).
You suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
This is a disorder where the ovaries swell containing small collection of fluid. The result is a hormonal imbalance that causes irregular bleeding. It is characterized by a slight increase in testosterone that prevents the estrogen to act normally. Here are some symptoms: long and heavy periods, irregular and far between.
Maybe you have cancer
If your bleeding is alarming, take it seriously because it can indicate pre-cancer or cancer state of the uterus or cervix. Be especially careful if you are predisposed to contract. Your doctor will do tests as a precaution.