Bleeding between periods

Generally the interval between two menstrual periods is free from bleeding or spotting. Many women experience such bleeding, however, even though no serious condition is present. Women with an intra- uterinc contraceptive device (IUCD) are particularly likely to have occasional spotting. A few women regularly get a spot of bleeding when ovulating, two weeks before a period is due.

If such bleeding can be explained in either of these two ways and is slight and occasional, it may be ignored. However, there are a number of potentially serious conditions which can first be suggested by bleeding between periods, e.g. abnormal pregnancy, infections or growths. So if bleeding is severe, prolonged, irregular, associated with pain or occurs two months in a row, see your doctor. Bleeding with intercourse, if it. Occurs between periods, should be treated in exactly the same way. Any woman who has vaginal bleeding after the menopause should see her doctor, even if it occurs only once.

Home Treatment

Just use sanitary towels or tampons. Avoid the use of aspirin if possible. In theory it may prolong the bleeding. If in doubt about the effect of other drugs or medicines, see your doctor.

What the Doctor Will Do

Ask a number of personal questions and perform a vaginal examination. A cervical smear may be taken. On occasion the cause of the bleeding may be obvious and the GP may prescribe treatment (e.g. an infection may be treated by pessaries or tablets to be taken by mouth). Referral to a gynaecologist may be necessary for further tests, or for a ‘D & C’ for diagnostic purposes.