Vaginal Bleeding: Understanding the Causes
For every woman, her regular menstrual period can be annoying especially if it means being immobilized for a while, unable to do the most routine of her daily chores. For some, they consider it a sort of curse, especially with the pain that often comes with the menstrual cycle. However, women are not one to easily complain about it because they know that their menstrual period is a testament to their womanhood. And with womanhood, there is always the possibility of being able to bear a child. And that, for most if not all of women, is the greatest joy a female may experience.
What Vaginal Bleeding Is
A woman’s menstrual cycle may be described simply as vaginal bleeding, although the term may be too simple to describe such an occurrence. Vaginal bleeding refers to the bleeding in females that is a physiological response during non-conceptional menstrual cycle, or it may be caused by hormonal or organic problems of the reproductive system. Although such bleeding may occur at any age, an investigation is always imperative as it may indicate more health problems that demand immediate attention. On the other hand, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy may indicate a complicated pregnancy that needs immediate medical attention.
The Different Causes of Vaginal Bleeding
Vaginal bleeding may be due to any of the following causes under the different stages:
1.Bleeding in Children. Vaginal bleeding before the menarche (the female’s first menstrual period) may indicate the presence of a foreign body in the vagina, sexual molestation or vaginal infection.
2.Bleeding in Pre-menopausal Women. On the other hand, if bleeding occurs in postmenopausal women, the following are the most common reasons:
a) Menstruation:- Menstruation can be classified as heavy or light. The former is termed hypermenorrhea, while the latter is hypomenorrhea. Moreover, bleeding may occur in between periods, and it is termed intermenstrual bleeding.
b) Dysfunctional uterine bleeding. This is often due to hormonal imbalance.
c) Cervical cancer may cause vaginal bleeding especially after sexual intercourse.
d) In cases after immediate pregnancy, vaginal bleeding may be due to the products of conception that are still retained in the uterus.
e) Tumors in the uterus known as uterine fibroids can also cause vaginal bleedings.
3. Bleeding in Pregnant Women. If vaginal bleeding occurs in pregnant women, immediate medical attention is necessary to ensure that delivery will be safe, emphasizing the health of both the mother and the child. If the bleeding is light, it may be due to a rupture in a small vein on the outer rim of the placenta. It can also be an indicator of a possible miscarriage, especially if it occurs during the early stages of pregnancy. In cases like this, an ultrasound is badly needed to determine the cause of vaginal bleeding.
4. Bleeding in Post-menopausal Women. For postmenopausal women, vaginal bleeding may herald a gauntlet of problems, any of which needs medical treatment. One such reason is endometrial cancer, which is a malignant type that affects the lining of the uterus.
About the author Florida Abortion Clinic. Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women’s Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women, including Florida abortion clinic, physical examinations, family planning, counseling, laboratory services and sexually transmitted disease screening and counseling. Source: http://www.articlesalley.com/article.detail.php/88395/68/Womens-Issues/Health-and-Fitness/7/Vaginal_Bleeding%3A_Understanding_the_Causes
Frequently Asked Questions
can uterine sarcoma occur without any vaginal bleeding in premenapausal women?
I am a 47 premenopausal woman diagnosed with 5 fibroids (largest being 35*41) three years ago. I only experience occasional pelvic pain.
To look at your fibroids, I will quote from the Merk manual.
“Uterine fibroids are benign uterine tumors of smooth muscle origin. Fibroids frequently cause abnormal vaginal bleeding (eg, menorrhagia, menometrorrhagia), pelvic pain and pressure, urinary and intestinal symptoms, and pregnancy complications. Diagnosis is by pelvic examination and imaging. Treatment of symptomatic patients depends on the patient’s desire for fertility and desire to keep her uterus and may include oral contraceptives, brief presurgical gonadotropin-releasing hormone therapy to shrink fibroids, and more definitive surgical procedures (eg, myomectomy, hysterectomy, endometrial ablation). ”
Then to look at what the Merk says on endometrial cancer.
“Symptoms and Signs. Most (> 90%) women have abnormal uterine bleeding (eg, postmenopausal bleeding, premenopausal recurrent metrorrhagia); 1⁄3 of women with postmenopausal bleeding have endometrial cancer. A vaginal discharge may occur weeks or months before postmenopausal bleeding.”
So, I would say that there are approximately 10% of endometrial cancers that do not present with vaginal bleeding or discharge to begin with. I think you are needlessly worrying about something. Continue to have your fibroids checked, especially if you have any change in discharge or bleeding!
Post Menopause Abnormal Bleeding?
I have been post menopausal for 13 years. Two days ago I had abnormal vaginal bleeding. Cancer? Fibroids? Have you experienced this and if so, what did it turn out to be?
Hi Virginia, You should definitely call your dr and tell him what is going on. I also am post menopausal and just started what seems like a period again. My last period was 18 months ago. I called my dr and talked to nurse and she asked if I was in pain as that would be a sign that you need to get to dr right away. I hope someone else also answers on what it could be.
Sudden Onset Vaginal Bleeding?
Had a hysterectomy in 1988 due to fibroids; had 3 cyst removal surgeries 1990-2000; have a very small piece of cervix b/c complete removal was difficult due to scarring; have one ovary; and currently have another abdominal cyst (lemon size) that is being monitored w/ ultrasound. Today had an onset of vaginal bleeding, heavy and bright, but is now a light trace and dark. Feeling “full” around the abdomen but no cramping. I am also a MS patient. What could be wrong? Surgery is a not welcomed option. Thank you.
What can cause vaginal bleeding upon abrupt movement?
I have had this happen on more than one occasion so I am wondering what a cause could be? I experienced this during the summer when going to a safari park; the ride was so jarring that it caused me to have vaginal bleeding –my period was almost over but it started again and I had to go on provera to stop it. Now I have been bleeding for about three weeks off and on; with lots of clots sorry if TMI but I am just wondering if anyone has had fibroids or polyps and had this happen? I have an appt tomorrow at the gyn.
Abnormal uterine bleeding, heavy menstruation or menorrhagia is usually the result of a hormonal imbalance in adolescents during the years following the onset of menstruation, or in women who are approaching menopause.
Menstruation is often irregular or heavy during these times because, depending on hormonal levels, the ovaries may or may not release an egg. Another common cause of abnormal uterine bleeding is fibroid tumors.
Other causes of excessive bleeding that your doctor should consider include:
* Cervical or endometrial polyps
* Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
* Cervical cancer
* Endometrial cancer.
Women using intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control, may also experience excessive or prolonged periods. If you experience menorrhagia while using an IUD, the IUD should be removed and replaced with an alternative birth control method.
I would recommend following through with your appointment with your gynaecologist for further evaluation. He/she will need to run some tests in order to properly diagnose you with what could be the cause of this.
Good luck 🙂
Period-like vaginal bleeding for 4 weeks
Background: I’m 27 year-old female. I have 1 child and had a miscarriage in November 2005. I have gained a significant amount of weight over the past 2 years (about 50 lbs). I believe that I may have PCOS, because I have had abnormal or no periods over the past 2 years in addition to acne, some facial hair growth and symptoms of metabolic syndrome (boderline cholesterol, glucose, and carrying most of my weight around my middle.)
My question is this; I started my period on July 2, 2008. Nothing crazy, not real heavy, no cramping or anything. It lasted for about 5 days (like usual for me). I stopped for about 2 days and then started bleeding again. Not just spotting, I mean… full-blown period. This bleeding has been going on for about 4 weeks, and I am STILL bleeding! I thought it was worse in the AM, so I was thinking fibroids, but now I’ve realized that it is heavy all day long. It’s also more of a brighter red than I am used to for menstrual bleeding. I know that PCOS affects your hormones and maybe something is going on inside of me that is telling my body to bleed. I am starting to have cramps and feeling very tired. I have been taking Iron supplements and Ibuprofen to ease the cramping. And I have especially been having pain in my lower left side. I have had 1 ovarian cyst before, but this hurts waaaay worse.
Whats going on? Any ideas? I am sick of this. I do not have health insurance so I don’t want to go run up a bill at the hospital, but I am getting tired of this. I feel like the punchline of that joke, :why shouldn’t you ever trust a women? Because you don’t trust anything that can bleed for five days straight and not die!
By the way I’m a RN, so please don’t yell at me. Please let me know if anyone else has had anything like this.
You HAVE to see a doctor! No one on here can diagnose you.
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