What are the causes of mid-cycle bleeding?

Updated November 21, 2016

Regular menstrual periods, though necessary, can be annoying and inconvenient; however, if you are experiencing break-through bleeding in the middle of the period, this only ups the ante. No woman wants to be bleeding twice as much as she's supposed to. Furthermore, those unexpected bursts of blood can catch you unaware and create an embarrassing moment. Mid-cycle bleeding may not be a serious condition or it may indicate that something problematic is going on in your body.


Mid-cycle bleeding may occur right before you ovulate, or in the middle of your menstrual cycle, due to the decline in oestrogen levels that occur before ovulation, according to Ovulatory break-through bleeding is generally light and the blood may be brownish, according to

Young Girls, Older Women

Mid-cycle bleeding is an instance of abnormal bleeding (bleeding when you shouldn't be). It happens to women who are peri-menopausal and menopausal as well as to young girls during the first two years following the onset of their menstrual period.

The Thyroid Connection

If your thyroid is not functioning properly and you are suffering from either hypothyroidism (slow) or hyperthyroidism (fast) this can spell trouble for your menstrual period. You may have mid-cycle break-through bleeding or menorrhagia, which is excessive bleeding, or amenorrhoea, which is the absence of your period. Your cycle may shorten from 30 days to, for example, 25 days. There is definitely a connection between thyroid function and your menstrual cycle, according to

Oral Contraceptives

If you are taking oral contraceptives and miss a pill, this can cause mid-cycle bleeding, according to

Intermenstrual Bleeding: The Official Name

The medical term for mid-cycle bleeding is intermenstrual bleeding, according to Dr. Nirupama K. De Silva and Dr. Robert K. Zurawin. This bleeding can come from the vagina, perineum or the cervix. explains that mid-cycle bleeding is normal for some women and may occur just after they have finished up their period or earlier than expected in their regular cycle. Conditions and events that may exacerbate mid-cycle bleeding include hormonal changes and fluctuations, a miscarriage, the use of an IUD (intrauterine device), hypothyroidism, starting or stopping oral contraceptives, starting or stopping oestrogen supplements, vaginal infection or injury, cervical cauterisation or cone biopsy, and stress.

Other Conditions That Can Cause This

Sometimes a woman experiences spotting mid-cycle rather than actual bleeding. notes that spotting can be caused by the mid-cycle shedding of the uterine lining during ovulation, certain medications, the egg bursting through the follicles in the uterus (which can cause bleeding that will manifest itself as spotting), cervical infections, cancer, birth control pills, polyps, fibroids, and the use of an IUD.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.