Check Up for Vaginal Bleeding
Imaging tests such as pelvic ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasound, ultrasound of the uterus, pelvic MRI, hysteroscopy or endometrial biopsy also may be used to help diagnose your condition. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include medication, uterine fibroid emobolization, endometrial ablation or surgical intervention.
Do you ever bleed between periods or experience what doctors call intermenstrual bleeding (IMB)?It’s not only inconvenient it can make you worry too. Often, a clinician will consider your age when evaluating the possible reasons for bleeding. Many young women have irregular bleeding for normal reasons, and breakthrough bleeding during the middle of a menstrual cycle is not uncommon.
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal bleeding occurs between menstrual periods, after sex, or after menopause. Menstrual periods that are heavier or last longer than usual or last more than seven days also are considered abnormal. Abnormal vaginal bleeding has various causes, including fibroids, endometrial polyps, an infection of the uterus, pregnancy, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, retained products of conception following pregnancy, or cancers of the uterus including endometrial and cervical cancers. If you're pregnant, contact your doctor immediately if you notice vaginal bleeding. In general, anytime you experience unexpected vaginal bleeding, consult your doctor. Whether or not vaginal bleeding is normal depends on your age and the circumstances.
Contact your doctor
Postmenopausal women not taking hormone therapy should see a doctor if they experience vaginal bleeding.
Postmenopausal women taking cyclic hormone therapy may experience some vaginal bleeding. A cyclic hormone therapy regimen oral estrogen daily plus oral progestin for 10 to 12 days a month can lead to bleeding that resembles a period (withdrawal bleeding) for a few days out of the month. If you have bleeding other than expected withdrawal bleeding, contact your doctor.
Postmenopausal women taking continuous hormone therapy a low-dose combination of estrogen and progestin daily may experience light, irregular bleeding for the first six months. If bleeding persists longer or heavy bleeding begins, see your doctor.
Girls who don't have any other signs of puberty or are younger than age 8 should have any vaginal bleeding investigated.
Normal vaginal bleeding is the periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the woman's uterus as a result of normal cyclic hormonal changes each month. Normal vaginal bleeding is also called menorrhea. The process by which menorrhea occurs is called menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a flow of blood from the vagina that occurs either at an unusual time during the month or in inappropriate amounts.
Many women experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods sometime in their lives. When spotting occurs at the beginning or near the end of a woman’s reproductive years, such as puberty or near menopause, it may be related to hormones. However, no matter your age, it’s important not to ignore this symptom. If you notice spotting between your normal cycle times, contact your doctor for an evaluation. While bleeding between periods generally doesn’t signal a problem, there are times that it does.
Make sure that bleeding is coming from the vagina and is not from the rectum or the urine. Inserting a tampon into the vagina will confirm the vagina, cervix, or uterus as the source of bleeding.
If you are age 40 or older, abnormal vaginal bleeding may mean that you are entering perimenopause. In a woman who has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, vaginal bleeding is always abnormal and should be discussed with our doctor. Treatment of abnormal vaginal bleeding depends on the cause of the bleeding. Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Note: Women with most warning signs should see a doctor immediately, as should those with large clots or clumps of tissue in the blood or with symptoms suggesting a bleeding disorder.
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