We Primary Care - Best Primary Care Knowledge Site

Overview

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is defined as vaginal spotting or bleeding that is not caused by menstruation. This kind of bleeding may vary from little spotting between periods to very heavy periods.

Depending on the individual, menstrual cycles may last anywhere from a few days to a week. Excessive or minor bleeding is a possibility. Teenagers and women approaching menopause have lengthier menstrual periods than other women. At various ages, menstrual flow may be heavier.

At some point in their life, many women have irregular vaginal bleeding in between periods. It is considered to be abnormal if you are not anticipating the monthly cycle or if the menstrual flow is substantially lighter or heavier than typical.

It may happen at any age, including before the age of nine, during pregnancy, and during menopause.

The majority of irregular vaginal bleeding during pregnancy happens during the first trimester when the woman is unaware that she is pregnant. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy may also be linked to pregnancy issues including miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

The length, timing, and volume of vaginal bleeding may all be used to figure out what is causing it. Bleeding when not on the period for an unusually long length of time i.e. hypermenorrhea or bleeding for an abnormally short amount of time i.e. hypomenorrhea are two examples of abnormal bleeding duration.

For a variety of reasons, the bleeding interval might be irregular. Menstrual cycles may occur often or seldom throughout a woman’s life. Furthermore, the duration may vary significantly from cycle to cycle.

The quantity of bleeding or blood volume may also be abnormal in certain instances. Excessive bleeding or a lack of volume might affect a woman.

Causes

An issue with the reproductive system, another medical condition, or the use of certain drugs might all be the causative factors for abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Any vaginal bleeding should be taken seriously and addressed by a physician if you are undergoing menopause, which is commonly defined as 12 months without a monthly period.

The following are some possible reasons of abnormal bleeding:

Hormones: Hormones are linked with uterine bleeding. Abnormal bleeding may develop as a consequence of irregular ovulation in many cases. Adolescents and women nearing menopause are more likely to have this symptom.

If you use oral contraceptives, you may have irregular vaginal bleeding from time to time. It is referred to as a “breakthrough hemorrhage.” This is often a self-resolving problem. However, if you are concerned about the bleeding, you should see a doctor.

Pregnancy complications: various complications of pregnancy like miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are also linked to abnormal bleeding from the vagina.

Reproductive issues: Different conditions may have an effect on the reproductive organs. These include Uterine infection, uterine injury, noncancerous womb growths including fibroids in the uterus, uterine or cervical polyps, and adenomyosis. These conditions often lead to bleeding from the vagina.

Inflammation of the cervical cavity, often known as cervical infection, is a medical condition that affects women’s reproductive systems leading to abnormal bleeding.

Endometrial hyperplasia is a condition that affects the endometrium and results in abnormal bleeding.

Other medical conditions and causes of vaginal bleeding are:

·         PCO i.e. Polycystic ovary syndrome

·         Cancer

·         Thyroid disorders

·         Diabetes

·         Bleeding disorders

·         Diet changes

·         Stress

·         Sexual abuse

·         Trauma

·         Vaginitis

Vaginal bleeding after sex may also occur in some women. A health condition such as an infection may cause bleeding after intercourse. Even in the absence of dryness, the tissue in the region may be ripped or otherwise harmed during extremely forceful sex (or intercourse in deeper positions), increasing the possibility of bleeding. As a result, more aggressive intercourse might lead to bleeding.

When to see a doctor

If you notice vaginal bleeding while pregnant, call your doctor right away.

If you have sudden vaginal bleeding, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding is considered normal or abnormal depending on the age and the conditions surrounding the menstruation.

You should contact a doctor if you are a postmenopausal woman who is not on hormone treatment and is experiencing vaginal bleeding.

During treatment with cyclic hormone therapy, postmenopausal women may have vaginal bleeding. If you suffer bleeding that is not compatible with predicted withdrawal hemorrhage, see your doctor.

If the bleeding lasts for an extended period of time or gets severe, see your doctor.

Girls under the age of eight should have their condition checked if they are bleeding vaginally and have no other puberty signs.