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Vaginal Bleeding

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Introduction

The vagina may bleed in several instances; however, any vaginal bleeding unrelated to normal menstrual bleeding is abnormal. Spotting is a light blood flow, which appears as brown spots – often in between the periods. Sometimes, there may be heavy periods.

Vaginal Bleeding may have several causes that include hormonal changes, injury, or any underlying medical condition. Vaginal infections include gonorrhea, chlamydia, yeast infections, which occur after sexual intercourse.

Bleeding between periods is menorrhagia and appears as spots or breakthrough bleeding. Menstruation is a time where women bleed each month that lasts for 2 to 7 days.

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What does a Vaginal Bleed or spot mean?

When you notice light brown spots or blood before the onset of periods or after the periods, it is spotting. You may also have a heavy flow that is unusual. These can be the reasons for visiting your physician for your vaginal health.

What are the Causes of Vaginal Bleeding?

There are many causes of vaginal bleeding.  Some of them include the following:

  • Hormonal contraceptives:

Using hormonal contraceptives may be one of the causes of bleeding between periods. If the bleeding is irregular and unusually heavy, it happens in the first three months of using the contraceptives.

A few examples for hormonal contraceptives are inclusive of:

  • ● Intrauterine device
  • ● Birth control patch
  • ● Vaginal ring
  • ● Contraceptive pill
  • Contraceptive implant

It is advisable to visit a physician if the bleeding is persistently heavy and lasts for more than 3 months. Transitioning to alternative contraception can put an end to your breakthrough bleeding.

  • Emergency contraceptive: Using emergency contraceptives can cause bleeding; this is inclusive of birth control pills and intrauterine devices.
  • Implantation contraceptives: A few women experience vaginal bleeding because of reproductive system issues, medications, or underlying problems. In case you have reached menopause (no periods for 12 consecutive months), persistent vaginal bleeding may be a cause of concern, and hence evaluation is a must.
  • Cancers and precancerous conditions:
  1. Cervical cancer
  2. Endometrial cancer
  3. Endometrial hyperplasia
  4. Ovarian cancer
  5. Uterine sarcoma
  6. Vaginal cancer
  • Endocrine factors:
  1. Hyperthyroidism
  2. Hypothyroidism
  3. Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  4. Refraining from using birth control pills or menopausal hormonal therapy
  • Fertility factors:
  1. Ectopic pregnancy where a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus
  2. Hormonal level imbalances
  3. Miscarriage
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Ovulatory cycles that are random
  6. Sexual intercourse
  7. Perimenopause (a time that transits before menopause)
  8. Vaginal atrophy ( genitourinary syndrome of menopause)
  • Infections:
  1. Cervicitis
  2. Chlamydia trachomatis
  3. Endometritis
  4. Gonorrhea
  5. Pelvic inflammatory disease
  6. Vaginitis
  • Miscarriage: When you bleed in between your menstrual periods is an onset of miscarriage. Miscarriages are likely to occur anytime during pregnancy or may happen even before you know you are pregnant.
  • Termination: On pregnancy termination, there may be symptoms of bleeding. During an in-clinic procedure, spotting lasts for several weeks or taking an abortion pill. Seeking medical advice when the bleeding is heavy is recommended.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia may cause bleeding or brown spots.
  • Injury: When there is damage in vaginal skin and tissue, it mostly occurs during sexual penetration and is more likely to occur when the vagina is dry. The secretion of natural lubricant prepares the vagina for penetrative sex. Vaginal dryness is usually because of lack of arousal, hormonal change because of menopause, diabetes, or cancer treatment.
  • Cervical polyps: Cervical polyps are minute growths. They can either develop on the uterus or the cervix, structure connecting the vagina to the uterus. In a few cases, the polyps cause bleeding and need removal.
  • Certain cancers: If you are bleeding between periods, it may be a reason for your concern. This bleeding may be a cause of cervical cancer. Any woman aged between 30 and 45 can experience this. You can bleed while having sex and after having sex and vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor.
  • Other causes:
  1. Hyperprolactinemia
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Liver disease
  4. Medications
  5. Uterus, vulvar, or vaginal related

How is Vaginal Bleeding Diagnosed?

The doctor may perform cervical screening tests such as pap smears for detecting unusual tissues of the cervix. Minor tears and bleeding occur when there is damage to the dry skin of the vagina. If you use artificial lubricants for arousal before sex, it refrains vaginal damage during sexual activity.

How is Vaginal Bleeding Treated?

Treatment for Vaginal Bleeding is based on the underlying cause, the frequency it occurs, blood loss. There is no known cure for polycystic ovarian syndrome and symptoms are manageable by losing weight, taking hormonal contraceptives, and use of metabolic treatment.

What are the Risks Associated with Vaginal Bleeding treatments?

If there is Vaginal Bleeding between periods, it causes anxiety or stress and may cause discomfort and pain.

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FAQ's

What is Heavy Bleeding During Menstruation?

A medical condition in which there is frequent blood loss during menstruation affects your social, physical, and emotional well-being. It is usually 1 in 3 women during their reproductive life. There are several treatment options available for this medical condition.

When is it Considered Heavy Bleeding?

A menstruation period differs from one woman to another. However, an indication for blood loss is you may change a large number of pads or tampons, with a blood loss of 30-40 ml. You may experience flooding and require double protection to prevent leakage.

What do I Need to do to Prevent Heavy Periods?

Visit your physician and talk about your botheration during periods. There are several treatment options available depending on the mode of action, regimen, and efficacy. Treatment is given based on medical history and your situation.

Can Heavy Periods be a Problem?

Heavy Bleeding occurs in some women; however, if the period affects daily life and activities, it is advisable to visit a physician and talk about its impact affecting the quality of your life.

Is Having Heavy Periods a Cause for Anemia?

Heavy menstrual bleeding can cause anemia. Anemia is a condition where you do not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood to body tissues creating fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

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