Dear Lissa: My daughter got her period at age 11 and up until now (she’s 15) she has had a regular menstrual cycle. After she turned 15, she would spot lightly in between periods, usually 6-8 days after her period ended. She is still a virgin. She’s concerned and I am wondering why this is happening to her and if it’s normal?
Dear Ms. Normal: It can be confusing when periods get whacked out, especially when there have been regular cycles previously. What your daughter is experiencing is something we call intermenstrual bleeding, or midcycle spotting. Because we know she’s a virgin, we can assume she’s not pregnant, which is good. Pregnancy is the most common reason for irregular bleeding after a period. But many other things can cause this type of bleeding.
Reasons For Intermenstrual Bleeding
1. Immature hormones due to youth
2. Thyroid hormone disorders
3. Anatomic causes such as polyps or fibroids in the uterus or on the cervix (very uncommon at that young age)
4. Cervical dysplasia (abnormal pap smear), which would be highly unlikely if she’s a virgin
5. A sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia (again, unlikely if she’s a virgin)
6. Spotting during ovulation, which can be normal and is generally very light
7. Anovulation (lack of ovulation) which can make bleeding irregular
8. Side effect from medication (such as birth control pills)
If the intermenstrual bleeding persists, please take your daughter to see a gynecologist. Chances are it’s nothing serious, but you want to make sure you’re not missing something. We applaud your daughter for being mature about seeking guidance, but remember that an internet doctor is never as thorough as a real live one who can touch and talk to your daughter. I wish you and your daughter all the best in sorting this out.