What Warrants Abnormal Bleeding of the Vagina?

November 12, 2012

What Warrants Abnormal Bleeding of the Vagina?

A lot of women out there experience occasional spotting or abnormal bleeding of the vagina between their menstrual cycles. Vaginal bleeding isn’t considered abnormal, though, unless it happens way before your menstrual cycle, before the age of 10, during pregnancy, after menopause, or when your period is heavier or lighter than usual.

Abnormal bleeding when pregnant

Abnormal bleeding of the vagina has a lot of potential causes, though. In fact, on its own, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that a serious condition is present. Since bleeding could indicate pregnancy problems, women who are at an age where having children is possible should consider pregnancy as a cause. Remember: although minimal bleeding and spotting might be normal, in general, bleeding that occurs during pregnancy will require medical evaluation.

Heavy bleeding and bleeding that happens in the first trimester of pregnancy might indicate something more serious, as well, such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Heavy bleeding and bleeding that happens after the first trimester of pregnancy, on the other hand, might indicate placenta previa.

Heavy bleeding and an abortion

On the flip side, heavy bleeding after getting an abortion or after the first several weeks after giving birth might happen because of the uterus’ inability to contract to its regular pre-pregnancy size. Sometimes, it might also be because the fetal tissue, which is usually retained after the pregnancy anyway, is still inside the uterus.

Abnormal bleeding and the menopause

Conversely, women who are 40 years old or older might experience abnormal vaginal bleeding right before they go into menopause. This stage is called perimenopause and entails a woman not having had her period for a year. In these cases, vaginal bleeding is completely normal and won’t require any immediate medical attention.

Sometimes, ovulation could cause bleeding between menstrual cycles, as well, though. Polycystic ovary syndrome, for example, could interfere with regular ovulation and cause this abnormal bleeding.

Other causes of abnormal bleeding

Other causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding might include medicines, like birth control pills. So, if you have just started taking birth control pills, then you might experience minor bleeding for a few months between your menstrual cycles. You might experience bleeding if you forget to take your birth control pills on a regular basis, as well. Intrauterine devices might increase your overall chances of heavier periods and spotting, too. Other things that might cause abnormal bleeding of the vagina would include pelvic organ infections caused by sexually transmitted diseases or pelvic inflammatory diseases, most of all after douching or after intercourse.

Other causes of abnormal bleeding of the vagina that aren’t very common but are very serious would include an object stuck inside of the vagina; sexual abuse; uterine fibroids; cervical, vaginal, or ovarian cancer; too much exercise and severe emotional stress; and various other diseases like diabetes or hyperthyroidism. However, too much exercise usually causes a complete absence of the female menstrual cycle as opposed to bleeding. In general, the treatment of abnormal bleeding of the vagina will depend on why the bleeding has happened in the first place. If you need any help figuring out why you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, then it would be highly advisable for you to get in touch with a doctor right away.


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