Note: This information is for hormone-related prolonged or mid-cycle bleeding only, if you may be pregnant, have just given birth, or had abdominal surgery, are menopausal, or do not have a menstrual cycle, please consult a doctor about any unusual bleeding.
Bleeding mid-cycle, or at other ‘unexpected’ times– It is fairly common to experience some light ‘spotting’ around ovulation, or in the week or so before menstruation. Spotting refers to very light bleeding, rather than the ‘flow’ experienced at menstruation, and if it occurs on a regular basis (which you will know if you track your symptoms!) it is unlikely to be a cause for concern, but do let your doctor know that you are experiencing it.
Prolonged or mid-cycle bleeding, usually involves heavier blood loss than spotting, and may be caused by hormonal medication; a hormone imbalance; Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; an internal growth e.g. a fibroid, or polyp; or physical injury e.g. through lack of vaginal lubrication, especially during penetrative sex.
Prolonged or Irregular bleeding, such as spotting, or bleeding between periods, is very common during the first three months of starting hormonal contraception . You may also bleed between periods if you:
Managing prolonged or irregular bleeding/ spotting (i.e. once alternative causes have been ruled out):
Note: The vast majority of prolonged or mid-cycle bleeding is caused by hormonal medications, or contraceptive devices- sometimes the bleeding will settle down after 3-6 months, but if it is affecting your quality of life, you might want to ask your doctor about your options. The following tips will only have a limited effect whilst you remain on the same medication.
Try a hormone-balancing diet– As outlined in this blog, a vegetable-based ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet can significantly improve all hormone-related symptoms. We highlight a key step that is especially relevant for those suffering from mid-cycle bleeding, below;
If you have tried the suggested tips and tricks for at least 3 months, and your symptoms do not improve, please consult your doctor.
If you have any suggestions, or tips, for managing abnormal bleeding- please let us know– we can share them with others!
Page last reviewed and updated: June 2018