What causes irregular bleeding?
If bleeding from the genital organ other than menstruation is found, there are a few causes that may be considered possible for the bleeding.
● Organic bleeding caused by a medical condition
One possible cause for bleeding is a medical condition in the uterus or vagina, such as uterine cancer, uterine myoma, endometritis, or colpitis (→ Introduced in the section “Medical conditions particular to women”); and it is called organic bleeding.
If you have uterine polyp or cervical erosion, you will have more chances of bleeding after having sex. Bleeding is seen in colpitis and vulvitis, too.
● ”Functional bleeding” caused by hormone balance disorder
Another type of bleeding is caused by hormone imbalance. This is called functional bleeding. This is commonly seen in adolescence or menopause, where hormone balance is not stable. There is also the anovulatory cycle (→Introduced in the section on “basal body temperature”) or the luteal phase defect, in which bleeding continues in small quantity before the menstrual period. These may all be considered as trouble from malfunction in the pituitary body, ovary, or other organs associated with hormone secretion.
● ”Interval hemorrhage”, where bleeding occurs between menstrual periods
This type of bleeding happens because secretion of follicle hormone is temporarily reduced during the ovulatory phase, and this is a kind of functional bleeding. Interval hemorrhage is a physiological matter, not a disease; but if you are concerned, it might help to keep a record of your basal body temperature. If bleeding always happens around ovulation, you may say it is more or less a case of interval hemorrhage, so you do not have to be so worried. However, if the bleeding goes on for a week; or if the amount of bleeding is similar to that of a menstrual period, consulting a gynecologist is recommended.
● Causes may be pregnancy or a medical condition of the whole body
When you become pregnant, you might have a little bleeding in the initial stages. You may think the menstrual blood loss is a little this month, but it might turn out that you are pregnant. Although the frequency is small, sometimes it may happen to be a case of irregular bleeding, amenorrehea, or hypomenorrhea caused by medical conditions such as thyroid hormone abnormality.
● Now, let’s try to understand where irregular bleeding takes place, and its causes.
Treatment of irregular bleeding
● Avoid self-judgment
You cannot judge if you are sick or not just by looking at the state of bleeding．Unless you have a medical examination, it would be difficult to specify the cause. In many cases, you do not need to worry about irregular bleeding, but there is a possibility that uterine cancer or other diseases may be hidden; therefore, seeking diagnosis at the gynecologist would be recommended.
● Take your basal body temperature chart when you see your doctor
When you see your doctor, your basal body temperature would be a big clue to your diagnosis. In particular, if your menstruation cycle is irregular and thus it is difficult to distinguish between menstrual bleeding and irregular bleeding, you should make a habit of recording your basal body temperature in a chart.