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Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal Bleeding

Overview of Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is when blood comes from the vagina. This can happen as a result of cervical, uterine, or vaginal conditions. Normal vaginal bleeding is what happens during menstruation. However, there are cases of abnormal vaginal bleeding which need to be discussed here.

Sometimes this occurs outside of a woman's monthly menstrual cycle or they show other extreme symptoms while they're on their periods. This irregular vaginal bleeding may occur at different times throughout the month and in an unpredictable amount, unlike what happens typically during a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. Symptoms can result from several abnormal conditions like hormonal imbalances, infection, complications arising during pregnancy, trauma, and malignancy.

What is Vaginal bleeding?

Any bleeding from your vaginal area is considered vaginal bleeding. It can be used to describe menstrual bleeding as well as bleeding from trauma or other medical conditions. Vaginal bleeding typically refers to bleeding that is unrelated to menstruation (your period).

Abnormal vaginal bleeding can happen during or between periods. It may be accompanied by pain and other symptoms. But it often goes unnoticed, and it's not clear what the causes of this bleeding.

You may bleed from your vagina at some point in your life. Usually, this isn't a cause for concern, but you should have a healthcare provider evaluate you to be sure. In rare cases, vaginal bleeding is an indicator of a serious medical condition.

If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause. They will likely perform a pelvic exam and order tests, such as a Pap smear or ultrasounds. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the bleeding.

Causes of Vaginal Bleeding

There are many potential causes of vaginal bleeding, ranging from benign to serious. Some common causes of vaginal bleeding include:

  • Menstruation: Vaginal bleeding is a normal and healthy part of a woman's menstrual cycle.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Changes in hormone levels can cause irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can sometimes cause vaginal bleeding.
  • Cervical cancer: Cancer of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) is a rare but serious cause of vaginal bleeding.

If you experience any vaginal bleeding, it is important to see your healthcare provider to determine the cause.

Vaginal Bleeding Symptoms

Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of several conditions, most notably pregnancy and menopause. However, it can also be a sign of more serious conditions such as cervical cancer or uterine cancer. 

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Spotting or light bleeding between periods: Spotting or light bleeding between periods can be caused by a number of things. If you have recently started a new birth control method, it is not unusual to have some irregular bleeding. However, if you have been on the same birth control method for awhile and suddenly start spotting, it could be a sign that your body is rejecting the hormones in the birth control. This is especially true if you are also experiencing other symptoms like nausea or headaches.
  • Heavy bleeding during periods: The most common symptom of vaginal bleeding is a menstrual period that lasts longer than usual or is heavier than usual. You may also have bleeding between periods, called intermenstrual bleeding. If your period lasts more than 7 days or is so heavy that you have to change your pad or tampon every 2 hours or less, you should see your doctor.
  • Bleeding after sex: If you're experiencing vaginal bleeding after sex, it's important to consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying causes.
  • Bleeding after Menopause: If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding after menopause, it is important to see your doctor right away. While this may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, it could also be due to less serious causes such as an infection. Your doctor will be able to determine the cause of your bleeding and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
  • Blood Clots: If you are passing blood clots during your period, it is important to see a doctor as this can be a sign of a serious condition. Blood clots during periods can be caused by a number of different things, including: hormonal imbalances, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids.

If you experience heavier vaginal bleeding, it is important to see your doctor right away. Heavier bleeding may last for more than a day and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as pain or cramping in the abdomen or pelvis. This type of bleeding can be a sign of a more serious condition and requires medical attention.

When to Seek Treatment for Vaginal Bleeding

If you experience vaginal bleeding that is heavier than a period or lasts longer than 7 days, you should seek medical treatment. Other signs that you should see a doctor include:

  • Passing blood clots
  • Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours
  • Experiencing vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that they can determine the cause of the bleeding and provide you with the appropriate treatment.

Alternative Therapies for Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of many different conditions. While some causes of vaginal bleeding are benign, others can be more serious. If you're experiencing vaginal bleeding, it's important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause.

There are a variety of alternative therapies that can be used to treat vaginal bleeding. Some of these therapies include:

  • Herbal remedies: There are many different herbs that have been traditionally used to treat vaginal bleeding. Some of these herbs include raspberry leaf, yarrow, and cramp bark.
  • Acupuncture: This therapy involves the placement of thin needles into specific points on the body. It's thought to stimulate the release of endorphins and help to regulate hormones.
  • Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies for vaginal bleeding often include belladonna, calcarea carbonica, and ferrum metallicum.

If you're experiencing vaginal bleeding, talk to your doctor about whether or not alternative therapies might be right for you.

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