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Is Spotting Between Periods Normal?

Is Spotting Between Periods Normal?

Have you been experiencing bleeding between your periods? While unexpected spotting is inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing, it can also make you worry about if there’s a serious condition triggering it. 

At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada, board-certified OB/GYNs Dr. Darin Swainston and Dr. Daniel Richards diagnose and treat many causes of abnormal uterine bleeding — including spotting. 

If you’ve been spotting between your periods and feel concerned, keep reading to learn about the possible causes and when to seek medical help.     

What causes spotting between periods?

While spotting between periods is annoying, there are many reasons you may experience it — and most of them aren’t serious. However, bleeding between your periods is never normal, so if you experience it, be sure not to ignore this symptom to rule out any underlying problems. 

Most of the time, spotting between periods is the result of hormonal changes. Because of fluctuations in hormone levels, young women at the beginning of the reproductive cycle (puberty) and older women approaching the end (menopause) frequently experience spotting. 

You may also experience spotting due to hormonal changes related to birth control. If you’ve recently started, stopped, or switched birth control pills or received an implant or IUD, you could experience spotting. In addition, if you take birth control pills and skip one or two days, the shifts this causes in your hormones can bring on spotting between your periods. 

Some women experience mid-cycle spotting when they’re pregnant but don’t realize it. This type of bleeding doesn’t always mean you’ll miscarry, but you should call your doctor if you could be pregnant and start spotting. 

If you’re in your 30s or 40s, spotting can also signal the presence of benign growths, like fibroids or polyps. These types of growths aren’t cancerous, but they can cause troublesome symptoms. Fortunately, different treatments can remove or minimize their impact. 

Spotting between periods may also be a sign that the lining of your uterus is too thick. This condition, called endometrial hyperplasia, is linked to a higher risk of endometrial cancer, which can also trigger abnormal bleeding.  

Abnormal bleeding may also be associated with different conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or infection. Getting treatment sooner rather than later can help minimize symptoms and prevent complications.

When should I see a doctor about spotting?

In most cases, it’s impossible to know what’s causing your spotting without an examination by an OB/GYN provider. Although there are many reasons for spotting that aren’t cause for concern, it’s important to remember that spotting between periods is never normal

Schedule an appointment with your provider at Darin Swainston MD, FACOG if you experience this type of spotting to rule out any serious condition or start treatment if required. You can help shed light on the cause of your spotting by tracking when it happens and if you experience other symptoms in addition to the spotting, such as pelvic pain or unusual vaginal discharge. 

If the bleeding continues to get worse, if you experience bleeding after sex, or if you start bleeding after menopause, schedule an appointment right away and it could be a sign of a serious medical issue, like cervical cancer.  

Is there a treatment for the underlying cause of my spotting?

At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, Dr. Richards and Dr. Swainston may recommend different treatment options depending on why you’re experiencing spotting between periods. In many cases, hormonal birth control can help stop irregular spotting. 

When birth control isn’t enough, our office offers different solutions based on your needs. Some options may include:

To determine which treatment is right for you, Dr. Richards or Dr. Swainston reviews your symptoms, family history, medical history, and any findings from your physical exam, lab work, and imaging studies. 

Tired of spotting between your periods? Uncover the root cause and get the help you need by contacting the experts at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG. You can schedule an appointment online or call our Las Vegas, Nevada, office at 702-357-5741. 

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