Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Anatomy

Breakthrough Bleeding Overview

What is breakthrough bleeding?
A woman with breakthrough bleeding has vaginal bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods. Breakthrough bleeding is most commonly seen as a side effect of birth control pills. Other conditions that cause a change in the level of the sex hormones may also trigger breakthrough bleeding.

What are the symptoms of breakthrough bleeding?
Most cases of breakthrough vaginal bleeding is very light, resulting in vaginal spotting.

How does the doctor treat breakthrough bleeding?
In most cases, breakthrough bleeding can be treated with a change in birth control pill dosage or preparation.

Continue to Breakthrough Bleeding Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Breakthrough Bleeding References
  1. Protheroe J. Modern management of menorrhagia. J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care. 2004 Apr;30(2):118-22. [15087000]
  2. Shankar M, Lee CA, Sabin CA, Economides DL, Kadir RA. von Willebrand disease in women with menorrhagia: a systematic review. BJOG. 2004 Jul;111(7):734-40. [15198765]
  3. Sowter MC, Singla AA, Lethaby A. Pre-operative endometrial thinning agents before hysteroscopic surgery for heavy menstrual bleeding. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001124. [10796747]
  4. Stabinsky SA, Einstein M, Breen JL. Modern treatments of menorrhagia attributable to dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1999 Jan;54(1):61-72. [9891301]
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