bleeding that isn’t following your normal pattern, and seek medical care. The four
normal types of bleeding are:
Menstruation which is the shedding of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) caused
by a fall in the level of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone when there has
been no conception.
Oestrogen Withdrawal Bleeding when there has been some growth of the lining of
the uterus due to raised oestrogen, but no ovulation. When the level of oestrogen
drops again the endometrium is shed.
Breakthrough bleeding may occur in some cycles as oestrogen levels rise. The
bleeding will usually be accompanied by other symptoms of fertility such as a
feeling of wetness and the appearance of mucus. This can occur in any cycle, but
is most likely when there has been a delay in ovulation.
Implantation bleeding may occur about a week after conception, as the fertilised
ovum is implanting into the lining of the uterus.
Some conditions that can cause abnormal bleeding are uterine fibroids, cervical or
endometrial polyps, and cancer in the lining of the uterus or in the cervix.
By being aware of when you ovulate, you
may become aware of mid-cycle pain which
can occur around the time of ovulation.
You may then be able to distinguish this
normal pain from pelvic pain that occurs at
other times of your cycle which could be an
indication of a condition like endometriosis.
Cancers of the Reproductive Tract
Sometimes abnormal bleeding alerts a
woman to more serious problems like cancers
of the reproductive tract. And sometimes it
is a bizarre mucus pattern that can raise the
alert. In any case, knowledge of your body
and what is a healthy pattern for you can
help you catch any problems early... and that
could just save your life.
A 33 year old woman’s
chart showed a bizarre
mucus pattern, which
enabled early detection
of adenocarcinoma of the
cervix. A pan-hysterectomy
was performed. No
evidence of metastatic
cancer was detected. Her
doctors commented that she
would not have survived
until her next scheduled
Pap Smear if she had not
identified the abnormality in