Bleeding between periods, or “spotting,” can occur for many reasons.
The cause is usually benign. Hormonal fluctuations that occur at the very beginning of your reproductive life cycle (menarche, the onset of periods) or toward the end (menopause, when periods stop) are often likely culprits.
Still, spotting between periods is never normal, says Joyce Gottesfeld, MD, an ob/gyn at Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver. That means if you do find yourself bleeding between periods, you should get it checked out by your doctor, she says. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad is going on, but it’s not normal.”
When investigating abnormal bleeding, healthcare providers consider your age and whether you’re pregnant, have been having unprotected sex, or recently started using a hormonal contraceptive.
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