How Long Does Breakthrough Bleeding Last
What is Breakthrough Bleeding?
Breakthrough bleeding is any form of bleeding you experience aside from your normal period. It is often known as spotting between periods or intermenstrual bleeding.
If you suddenly see blood coming out from your vagina and you are not menstruating then you have an abnormal vaginal discharge.
It is often caused by birth control pills and stress.
Causes of intermenstrual bleeding
Common causes of intermenstrual spottings are:
1. Birth Control Pills
Contraceptives is one of the most popular causes of bleeding or spotting when not menstruating.
When a woman starts taking contraceptive her body will try to get use to the artificial hormones estrogen and progesterone that are in the pill.
It takes a while for the body to adjust to the pills.
Birth control pills pack contain two types of hormonal pill: inactive hormones pill and active hormone pill.
Active hormone pills prevent ovulation from taken place and also it prevents the lining of the womb from getting thick to support a baby.
In active pills are usually 7 in number and they allow monthly period to happen.
Inactive pill causes withdrawal bleeding or fake period. Breakthrough and withdrawal bleeding are not the same thing.
Breakthrough is spotting between your periods that is caused by taking active hormone pills.
While withdrawal is caused by taking inactive pills.
Implantation spotting is a sign of pregnancy that happens few days before your period is due.
It is caused when the fertilised baby attaches itself to the walls of the uterus.
3. Sexually Transmitted Infection
Sexually transmitted disease also known as STI are diseases that are transmitted from one person to the other through oral, anal or vaginal sex.
Common symptoms are: vaginal itching, abnormal discharge, pain during and after intercourse, intermenstrual bleeding.
4. Vagina Injury
Bleeding can occur due to any injury to the vagina that may be caused by intercourse or an infection.
Extreme stress can cause spotting. Emotional stress such as depression, worry, anxiety, lack of sleep) and physical stress such as excessive exercise, poor nutrition, weight loss or weight gain does affect a woman's menstrual cycle.
6. CERVICAL CANCER
Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cervix. The cervix is the neck of the womb or uterus. It is the passage that connects the vagina to the uterus.
One of the symptoms of cervical cancer is vaginal bleeding between periods.
Women approaching menopause are often in the perimenopause stage. It is the 10 year period before a woman reaches menopause.
Women undergo a lot of changes in their menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes that occurs in this stage.
As a woman approaches menopause, her estrogen level starts to decrease or decline. A decline of this hormone causes light spotting in between periods.
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition in which a woman has more male hormones than required. The conditions affects how the ovaries work.
One of the symptoms of PCOS is irregular bleeding or missed period.
What Does BreakThrough Bleeding Look Like
Breakthrough bleeding is lighter than your normal menstrual period. To tell the difference breakthrough vaginal bleeding looks like light blood spots from the vagina.
It is lighter and not as heavy as your monthly menses.
For instance when on your period, you would soak a sanitary towel or pad with blood. But abnormal bleeding or spotting won't flow that much to soak a pad.
How Long Does It Last?
Because there are may causes of breakthrough bleeding, it is difficult to say exactly how long it can last for.
If the breakthrough bleeding is caused by implantation, it can last for 1-2 days. But if the bleeding is caused by birth control pills it can last for hours or months.
Because every woman is different and every cause of abnormal spotting is also different, how long it last depends on the woman and on the cause.
If you are pregnant and you notice a pink or brown discharge, call your doctor immediately.
When does breakthrough bleeding occur on the pill
Spotting between period usually occur in the first 3 months of starting a contraceptive when your body tries to adjust to the artificial hormones in the pill (estrogen and progesterone).
Birth control pills are one of the leading causes of bleeding and spotting on the pill.
While birth control pills is prescribed to women trying not to get pregnant or to women with painful periods. It comes with the disadvantage of causing bleeding when not on period.
The minipill for example is one of the oral contraceptives that causes abnormal spotting for a whole month.
Hormone injections such as Depo-provera is also a common cause or abnormal bleeding.
when to worry about breakthrough bleeding
If you are pregnant and you see a vaginal discharge that is brownish or pinkish, see your midwife or health care provider immediately.
You should be worried about breakthrough bleeding if:
- Your bleeding is heavier and it is longer than 7 days
- If it is accompanied by a lower abdominal cramping
- If this is the first time it is happening and you're not on a pill.
- If the bleeding bothers you
Your healthcare provider will ask you about the current symptoms you are having. Some medical test may also be conducted such as STI, pregnancy test and cervical screening test
How to stop breakthrough bleeding Fast
One of the best and fastest ways to stop spotting while on the pill is to take your medications regularly. Don't skip or stop.
Normally within the first 3-4 months of starting a new birth control your body should adjust to it.
If not you should change to another one after consulting your doctor.
Also cut down on caffeine and drink lots of water.
Is breakthrough bleeding during early pregnancy normal?
Around 25 percent of women have some sort of bleeding when pregnant. Especially in early pregnancy. Implantation bleeding or implantation cramping is perfectly normal.
Implantation causes spotting and cramping when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
This is one of the very early signs of pregnancy.
But if you have vaginal bleeding after the first two weeks of pregnancy, It is a sign that something is wrong.
Common causes of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy that needs immediate attention are:
- Cervical polyps
- Placenta previa
- Molar Pregnancy
- Ectopic Pregnancy
Is heavy breakthrough bleeding on the pill Normal
Any type of bleeding that is heavier than normal is abnormal. So heavy breakthrough bleeding isn't normal.
Spotting when not on your periods should be lighter and scanty.
You should see your healthcare provider immediately if you have a heavy flow.
I have been bleeding for over 2 weeks.... What Should I do?
A prolonged bleeding is a major source of concern. A dysfunctional uterine bleeding is one of the common reason women bleed or menstruate for a long time.
The medical term for this is menorrhagia.
Irregular menstrual bleeding can last for a few hours or for months.
It is recommended that if you have any of the following, you should see the doctor:
- You have a blood flow from your vaginal but you're not on your period
- You have a flow that is heavier or longer than normal
Bleeding Won't Stop what should i do
If you have a vaginal bleeding that won't stop see your healthcare provider immediately. A normal menstrual period should be between 3-7 days.
You should inform your doctor of any bleeding that last for 2 weeks or a month.
Common cause of prolonged bleeding are:
1. You've just started your period
4. Dysfunctional bleeding
5. Endometrial Hyperplasia
7. Poly Ovarian Syndrome
8. Thyroid Issues
- What is Breakthrough Bleeding?
- Causes of intermenstrual bleeding
- What Does BreakThrough Bleeding Look Like
- How Long Does It Last?
- When does breakthrough bleeding occur on the pill
- when to worry about breakthrough bleeding
- How to stop breakthrough bleeding Fast
- Is breakthrough bleeding during early pregnancy normal?
- Is heavy breakthrough bleeding on the pill Normal
- I have been bleeding for over 2 weeks.... What Should I do?
- Bleeding Won't Stop what should i do