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Terms Used to Describe Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal if it is not caused by pelvic disease, medicine, pregnancy, or another disease process. The following terms are used to describe abnormal vaginal bleeding:

Terms for vaginal bleeding
TermDefinition
MenorrhagiaProlonged or excessive menstrual bleeding at regular intervals
MetrorrhagiaIrregular, frequent menstrual bleeding that is not prolonged or excessive
Menometrorrhagia Prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding at irregular intervals
PolymenorrheaRegular menstrual bleeding at intervals of less than 21 days
OligomenorrheaMenstrual bleeding at intervals of more than 45 days
AmenorrheaNo menstrual bleeding for at least 3 usual cycle lengths
IntermenstrualMenstrual bleeding between regular menstrual cycles

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedJune 20, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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