As someone who tracks her menstrual health quite religiously, the first time I had mid-cycle bleeding was a little surprising for me. I was bleeding a little, and it was not enough to fill up a pad. This continued for three days.
At the time, I was recovering from Covid-19 and, as a result, had experienced an irregularity during my last period. I was also taking a lot of medication. However, I decided to look into why I was bleeding in the middle of the cycle.
Light bleeding or spotting in between two periods can occur for a number of reasons. The amount of blood expelled from the body appears as small spots on the underwear and is not enough to fill up a pad or soak a tampon all the way through.
At first, I tried to dismiss it as post-coital bleeding, but when it happened three mornings in a row, I had to check that possibility off the list. This was something that had not happened only to me. I found out that it is very common and that almost all menstruators experience this at some point. Some of the few reasons for mid-cycle bleeding may be as follows:
Ovulation: Ovulation bleeding occurs due to hormonal changes. Spotting is the result of the dropping of estrogen and progesterone levels. This usually lasts for 1 to 3 days and is nothing to worry about.
Taking Hormonal Birth Control: When a menstruator begins to take hormonal birth control, they can initially experience some mid-cycle spotting. This can continue for up to 3 months. If it does not stop, it is best to consult a certified medical practitioner. Another type of birth control that causes mid-cycle bleeding, which is heavier than just spotting, is the morning-after pill. This lasts up to three days and sometimes causes nausea and headaches.
Implantation bleeding: If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg implants itself in the endometrium after about five to seven days. This can cause some light pink or brown spotting in the middle of the cycle. This is not very common, though. It affects only 15-20% of menstruators, studies have shown.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea can bring about inflammation and mid-cycle bleeding. There can also be an unwanted discharge. It is best to get tested if one had engaged in unprotected sexual activity with a new partner and experiences these symptoms.
Perimenopause: As the body moves closer towards menopause, there can be irregular periods. This is often followed by light bleeding.
Post-coital bleeding: Some menstruators tend to bleed during or immediately after penetrative sex. This can be caused by friction and can be treated with the use of more lubricant during sex. Usually, it is not a cause for concern. However, if it is regular and occurs with other symptoms, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition.
The points mentioned above are just some of the reasons for mid-cycle bleeding. There can be lots of other reasons for it. It can also be a sign of other health conditions that require serious medical attention. Everyone’s bodies are different, and all of us experience menstruation is a unique way.
The best thing that one can do is to know one’s body well so that there is less cause for worry. If something feels abnormal or uncomfortable, it is advised to see a doctor as soon as possible. This kind of bleeding may also be a symptom of something as serious as uterine cancer. The sooner it gets treated, the better.