Family Health

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), March 7, 2001 | Go to article overview

Family Health


Byline: Dr Sarah Brewer

Dr Sarah Brewer is here to solve your problems in The Max. Sarah graduated from Cambridge University as a doctor in 1983. She was a full-time GP for five years and now works in hospital medicine.

She writes on all aspects of health, and has written more than 25 popular health books.

Sarah is married to Richard and has a four-year old son, Saxon, and baby twins, Roman and Sapphire.

Write to her, in confidence, with any problem your family need solved, at The Max, Daily Record, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.

BLEEDING between periods may occur spontaneously or after making love.

Any woman who notices any bleeding between periods should always seek medical advice - even if it is only slight spotting. There are several possible causes and, though most cases are due to non serious conditions, it needs to be investigated

In many cases of bleeding, no obvious cause is found and it is believed to be due to temporary hormone imbalances. If you are on the Pill, you may be experiencing breakthrough bleeding, which means the dose of hormone you are on may not be enough to prevent pregnancy.

You will usually be advised to use an additional method of contraception (eg condoms) and, if it continues for more than two or three cycles, will be changed to a higher dose Pill.

The possibility of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy may also need to be explored.

Sometimes bleeding between periods occurs when delicate cells lining the cervical canal are also found on the outer cervix.

This forms a red, velvety area - known as an ectropion or an erosion - that bleeds easily when touched. An ectropion is a normal result of oestrogen stimulation and is common in women on the Pill.

It could also be due to a cervical polyp, especially when bleeding occurs after sex. A polyp is a fragile, fleshy growth that can protrude through the cervical opening on a stalk.

Inflammation can also trigger vaginal bleeding and it is important to have tests to rule out Chlamydia infection. …

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