Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding - Topic Overview

Many women experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods sometime in their lives. Vaginal bleeding is considered to be abnormal if it occurs:

  • When you are not expecting your menstrual period.
  • When your menstrual flow is lighter or heavier than what is normal for you.
  • At a time in life when it is not expected, such as before age 9, when you are pregnant, or after menopause.

Causes of abnormal bleeding

Abnormal vaginal bleeding has many possible causes. By itself, it does not necessarily indicate a serious condition.

Other less common causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding that may be more serious include:

Continued

Heavy bleeding during the first few weeks after delivery (postpartum) or after an abortion may occur because the uterus has not contracted to the prepregnancy size or because fetal tissue remains in the uterus (retained products of conception).

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 your 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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Pagination