Women who are not ovulating regularly may have abnormal vaginal bleeding. There are many causes of vaginal bleeding, and treatment depends upon the underlying cause. It is important to visit a health-care professional for any abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Women approaching menopause may have irregular periods or may miss periods. This can begin several years prior to actual menopause.
What is abnormal vaginal bleeding? Unexpected bleeding is always a concern for a woman at any stage of life. Bleeding other than a normal menstrual period and even an abnormally heavy period can be a cause for alarm. The medical term for excessive or prolonged vaginal bleeding that occurs at the regular time of the menstrual cycle is known as menorrhagia.
Metrorrhagia is the term used to refer to uterine bleeding at irregular intervals, particularly between the expected menstrual periods. Menometrorrhagia is the combination of the two, that is, excessive uterine bleeding, both at the usual time of menstrual periods and at other irregular intervals. It is important to understand exactly what is causing the bleeding, its origin uterus, vagina, or some other organ or tissue , and to make decisions about how to control or stop the bleeding.
A woman's normal menstrual cycle involves a complex series of hormonal events. An egg is released from the ovary; either the egg is fertilized by a sperm and implants in the uterus, or the lining of the uterus is shed each month as the menstrual period. This shedding causes normal menstrual bleeding. A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days plus or minus 7 days. A menstrual period generally lasts from days and has a typical volume of blood and fluid loss of about 2 to 8 tablespoons.
This corresponds to about eight or fewer soaked pads per day with usually no more than 2 days of heavy bleeding. What are causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding? Share Your Story Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding When bleeding is not caused by your menstrual cycle, it is called abnormal or dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
This is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding during a woman's childbearing years. African American women tend to have more episodes. When the complex hormonal processes of the menstrual cycle are interrupted, resulting in estrogen and progesterone levels that are out of balance, excessive vaginal bleeding may occur.
This bleeding is related to irregularities of your menstrual cycle without any disease. The diagnosis of dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that all other causes for the bleeding including trauma , tumors, or diseases have been considered and determined not to be the cause of the bleeding.
Depending on the female adolescent or woman's age, there are different reasons for the person to have dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is commonly associated with an anovulatory cycle. Anovulation occurs when a menstrual cycle occurs that does not result in the release of an egg from one of the ovaries.
In some cases, dysfunctional uterine bleeding can occur with ovulation or the release of an egg from an ovary. When a woman does not ovulate, there is still stimulation of the uterus from the hormone estrogen. Progesterone, a very important hormone produced by the ovary after the release of an egg, is absent.
Therefore, the lining of the uterus becomes unusually thick and enlarged. Irregular shedding of the uterine lining and heavy bleeding occurs. The woman then experiences heavy, irregular vaginal bleeding usually painless.
The most common cause of dysfunctional uterine bleeding in a female adolescent is anovulation. As the female adolescent gets older, the percentage of cycles that are anovulatory decreases, and she is more likely to experience normal periods. Vaginal Bleeding and Menopause Older women who are approaching menopause may also experience dysfunctional bleeding due to the hormonal changes that accompany the transition. Diseases of the Female Reproductive Organs May Cause Bleeding A woman may have a harmless not cancerous sore polyp or lesion on her genitals that can cause bleeding.
Cancer of the vagina, cervix , uterus, and ovaries can cause bleeding. Ovarian cysts , cervicitis , endometritis , fibroids, vaginal infections , and other conditions can also cause excessive bleeding.
Vaginal bleeding is a particular concern in women older than age 50 years or after menopause. The risk of cancer increases with age. Also, the vaginal walls may be dry from lack of estrogen, which may cause bleeding during or after sexual intercourse.
Other Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Certain drugs may cause bleeding, especially if a woman takes anticoagulant drugs drugs that prevent the blood from clotting. Inherited bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease and hemophilia may cause excessive or prolonged vaginal bleeding.
Trauma is also a cause of bleeding. Some types of IUDs may cause heavier periods slight bleeding is usually normal; pay attention to heavier bleeding. Injury trauma to the vaginal wall from sexual intercourse may be a cause of vaginal bleeding. What are abnormal vaginal bleeding symptoms?