Classification and external resources
ICD-10 N92.1, N92.4
ICD-9 626.6
DiseasesDB 6847
MeSH D008796

Metrorrhagia, also known as breakthrough bleeding or spotting, is uterine bleeding at irregular intervals, particularly between the expected menstrual periods.[1]

In some women, menstrual spotting between periods occurs as a normal and harmless part of ovulation. Some women experience acute mid-cycle abdominal pain around the time of ovulation (sometimes referred to by the German term for this phenomenon, mittelschmerz). This may also occur at the same time as menstrual spotting. The use of hormonal contraceptives, such as IUDs or oral contraceptives, can lead to breakthrough bleeding as well. If spotting continues beyond the first three cycles of oral contraceptive use, a woman should have her prescription changed to a pill containing either more estrogen or more progesterone.[2]

Metrorrhagia may also be a sign of an underlying disorder, such as hormone imbalance, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or cancer of the reproductive organs.

Due to repeated bleeding, it may cause significant anemia.



Intermittent spotting between periods can result from any of numerous reproductive system disorders.

See also


  1. ^ > Definition of Metrorrhagia Last Editorial Review: 3/17/2003
  2. ^ Carlson, Karen J., MD; Eisenstat, Stephanie A., MD; Ziporyn, Terra, PhD (2004). The New Harvard Guide to Women's Health. Harvard University Press. pp. 385. ISBN 0674013433. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Metrorrhagia — Met ror*rha gi*a, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? womb + ? to break.] (Med.) Profuse bleeding from the womb, esp. such as does not occur at the menstrual period. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • metrorrhagia — [mē΄trə rā′jē ə, me΄trərā′jē ə] n. [ModL: see METRO 2 & RRHAGIA] nonmenstrual bleeding from the uterus …   English World dictionary

  • metrorrhagia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from metro womb (from Greek mētra, from mētr , mētēr mother) + rrhagia more at mother Date: 1879 irregular uterine bleeding especially between menstrual periods …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • metrorrhagia — metrorrhagic /mee treuh raj ik, me /, adj. /mee treuh ray jee euh, jeuh, me /, n. Pathol. nonmenstrual discharge of blood from the uterus; uterine hemorrhage. [1770 80; < NL; see METRO 2, RRHAGIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • metrorrhagia — noun uterine bleeding, other than the menses …   Wiktionary

  • metrorrhagia — Any irregular, acyclic bleeding from the uterus between periods. [metro + G. rhegnymi, to burst forth] * * * me·tror·rha·gia .mē trə rā j(ē )ə, rā zhə; räj ə, räzh n irregular uterine bleeding esp. between menstrual periods compare MENORRHAGIA… …   Medical dictionary

  • metrorrhagia — mɪɪtrÉ™ reɪdʒɪə n. uterine bleeding (Medicine) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • metrorrhagia — [ˌmi:trə reɪdʒɪə] noun abnormal bleeding from the womb. Origin C19: mod. L., from Gk mētra womb + rrhag , stem of rhēgnunai to burst …   English new terms dictionary

  • metrorrhagia — metror·rha·gia …   English syllables

  • metrorrhagia — me•tror•rha•gi•a [[t]ˌmi trəˈreɪ dʒi ə, dʒə, ˌmɛ [/t]] n. pat nonmenstrual discharge of blood from the uterus; uterine hemorrhage • Etymology: 1770–80 …   From formal English to slang

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