When women initially get their periods as young girls, periods tend to be variable in length and start time, which can lead to breakthrough bleeding. However, most women's cycles stabilize as they become adults. If you're a grown-up and are having problems with breakthrough or abnormal bleeding outside of your normal period, it's a warning sign that you shouldn't ignore. Here are a few possibilities that could be causing it.

Changing Hormones

When you're a kid, periods can be abnormal because your hormones are in flux and haven't fully stabilized. This same thing can happen as an adult, usually due to aging or medications.

When women start to get older and are nearing menopause, breakthrough bleeding and abnormal periods can occur. Alternatively, starting a new birth control pill, missing doses, or taking other hormone therapies can cause this type of bleeding.

Benign Growths

Another thing that can cause abnormal period-like bleeding is benign growths in the pelvis. There are several types of these growths, with some of the most common being ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Both of these conditions are non-cancerous but can cause a lot of problems if they go untreated.

Endometriosis is basically the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus. When your body signals the uterine lining to shed, it impacts the endometriosis as well, and this bleeding can extend past the end of your period since it's abnormal tissue.

Ovarian cysts are swollen, fluid-filled sacs that can form on top of the ovaries. These can cause problems like cramping and abnormal periods, as well as bleeding outside your normal cycle.


Finally, while it might be scary, it is possible for cancer to cause abnormal bleeding as well. None of the above conditions should be needlessly tolerated, but if you're experiencing bleeding abnormally, you should go to the doctor regardless. An OBGYN will be able to examine your reproductive organs physically and with imaging scans to determine what's going on. If you have abnormal bleeding due to hormonal fluctuations, they can provide advice or hormone pills to help restore you to a normal state. If benign growths are to blame, hormonal birth control can be helpful in controlling their growth and stopping unwanted symptoms.

Getting help as soon as possible can mean the difference between life and death with cancer, so never hesitate to get abnormal bleeding treatment if you notice anything off or abnormal about your periods.