Mid cycle bleeding refers to the occasional spotting or bleeding occurring in between the menstrual cycle. It may be caused by several factors, some harmless and some that need your immediate attention. If the bleeding is sufficient to stain the panties, it is called mid-cycle bleeding, if it is in the form of pink or rust brown mucus i.e., too less to stain the undergarment it is referred to as spotting.
Various reasons can lead to both bleeding and spotting. Spotting is rarely a cause of worry and is generally seen 14-15 days before the expected date of the next period and is usually because of ovulation. It is fairly common and is a normal phenomenon. The spotting is generally due to the little blood that is expelled when the follicle bursts forth.
It may or may not be accompanied with a little pain in the right or left side of the abdomen.
The pain would depend on the side of ovulation and lasts for a very short time 6-12 hours and is only slightly uncomfortable in most cases.
Some women may experience ovulation bleeding that may last for a couple of hours or so.
This would be referred to as mid cycle bleeding and is again not a cause of worry if it occurs around the time of ovulation. It is generally due to the dropped estrogen levels facilitating ovulation.
The low levels shrink the endometrium slightly causing the bleeding. It is common for women to mistake this for irregular periods, as they are not able to identify it as ovulation bleeding. There have been indications that the bleeding may be from the ovary itself or even from the cervix.
Another non-alarming cause of mid cycle spotting could be contraceptive pills. It is again due to the low estrogen levels that are created by the pills. Bleeding will generally occur only during the first few months of starting the contraceptive pills. It may also occur if the pills are not taken at a fixed time everyday.
If a woman has bleeding at any other time of the month between her cycles, she needs to pay attention to it. Any type of mid cycle bleeding or spotting except at the time of ovulation needs to be investigated and the cause identified. She needs to see her gynecologist as soon as possible.
Threatened abortion can also be mistaken for mid-cycle bleeding during early pregnancy if the woman is not aware of it. The bleeding could also be implantation bleeding. It is easy to confuse it with ovulation bleeding, and care needs to be taken.
Women using IUCD may experience bleeding in between cycles. But it will be more like irregular bleeding through the cycle rather than a single episode in the middle of the cycle. Other hormones in the body can also cause mid month bleeding. Low thyroid levels or high insulin levels can interfere with progesterone and estrogen levels causing irregular periods and bleeding in mid cycle.
Other causes leading to mid cycle bleeding could be infection of the uterus, vagina or cervix, uterine polyps, cervical erosion, stress, ovarian cysts, cancers, tumors or foreign elements in the vagina like tampons.