Are you worried about your Vaginal Bleeding?
Abnormal bleeding is characterised by any bleeding that occurs between periods. Sometimes, this bleeding may be minor and occur only as spotting in your underwear but in other cases it may be heavy and prolonged, requiring sanitary pads to be changed regularly. Abnormal bleeding can be an indication of an underlying problem particularly if you have previously been diagnosed with the menopause but have experienced bleeding. The possible causes for abnormal bleeding are very wide ranging and could be a result of a recent injury, hormone changes, fertility related issues or an underlying infection or condition such as, cancer.
For many women, the menstrual cycle results in premenstrual syndrome, more commonly known as PMS. Symptoms will begin to occur approximately a week prior to the start of your period and can vary significantly from woman to woman, some women experience these symptoms during their periods too. PMS is your body’s reaction to hormone levels changing. During this phase of your cycle, you may experience a wide variety of different symptoms, such as, painful cramps, backaches, mild depression, skin problems, breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, or irritability. Listed below are some of the things you may be able to do at home to minimise the pain of discomfort you may experience during this time.
- Use a hot water bottle to alleviate cramps
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief
- Use sanitary products, such as tampons and pads.
It may be worrying to experience abnormal bleeding but there are scenarios where abnormal bleeding is of less concern. For example, it is completely normal for newborn girls to experience periods in the first month of their life and unless the bleeding is excessive or prolonged it is usually no cause for alarm. It is also normal for an adolescent girl to have irregular menstrual cycles in the first few years, experiencing mild spotting prior to the start of their periods. Women who begin taking the contraceptive pill may also experience spotting during the initial months as the body adjusts. It is also true that women who are approaching the menopause (perimenopause) may notice that their periods become increasing irregular or heavy, but rest assured that this is perfectly natural. However, you should contact a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding with the following symptoms or if you are concerned and are seeking reassurance.
- During pregnancy – If you are pregnant and have bleeding, discharge, and are also experiencing cramping, particularly during the first 12 weeks this could be a sign or miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
- Postmenopausal women (Not on hormone therapy)
- Postmenopausal – If you are taking cyclic hormone therapy you might have some bleeding for a few days of the month, known as withdrawal bleeding, but any additional bleeding needs investigating
- Young girls who are not experiencing any other signs of puberty, or are less than 8 years old, but are experiencing vaginal bleeding
- Any bleeding after sex
Here at VIDA we have expert clinicians on hand to help diagnose and treat your condition. To find out more about these services, we recommend visiting the following pages:
- Cancers and precancerous conditions
- Celiac disease
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical polyps
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Endometrial hyperplasia
- Endometrial polyps
- Fluctuating hormone levels
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Miscarriage (before the 20th week of pregnancy)
- Ovarian cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Severe systemic disease
- Tamoxifen side effect
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
- Ureaplasma vaginitis
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine sarcoma
- Vaginal atrophy (genitourinary syndrome of menopause)
- Vaginal cancer
- Von Willebrand disease (and other blood clotting disorders)