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What is Vaginal Bleeding?
Vaginal bleeding happening every month to females is quiet a normal phenomenon of their life. Also known as menstruation, it happens after the interval of 20 to 30 days every month indicating start of a new reproduction cycle in the female body. Bleeding happens due to lining shedding by the uterus and it retains for at least 3 to 5 days, depending on every individual. Amount of bleeding can be very less or very high, again depending on every individual.
But occurrence of vaginal bleeding other than menstruation period indicates the abnormality of the condition. Spots or clots of blood found on the underwear or sometime very mild flow of bleeding happening without any valid reason is the indication of vaginal bleeding. In addition, if menstruation period extends 5 to 7 days then it points out some abnormality in the system. Generally, menstruation bleeding that requires usage of one sanitary pad for 2 to 3 hours shows the cycle is normal.
Unexpected bleeding is indication of some gynecological problem in the body and requires immediate attention by the gynecologist. Absence of menstruation cycle in one or more months indicate something wrong is happening in the body.
Menorrhagia is a condition that indicates heavy bleeding during menstruation cycle. Bleeding occurring at unexpected time other than normal menstruation bleeding indicates another medical complication, named metrorrhagia.
Whereas, combination of these two problems leads to a new medical complication, in which heavy bleeding is happening at unexpected time, known as menometrorrhagia. In abnormal conditions, it is necessary to analyze which part of the reproductive system, such as uterus, vagina, or any other organ, is causing bleeding in the body. Treatment is only possible after knowing the exact location that is causing problem. In normal menstrual cycle an egg is released by the ovary and results in shedding of lining in the form of bleeding, if it is not fertilized by any sperm. So, the whole process includes a series of hormonal changing event causing some changes in the body like weight change or behavioral change.
Symptoms of Vaginal Bleeding
Clots or chunks of blood seen on the underwear worn by a woman, other than menstruation period, indicates occurrence of abnormal bleeding.
Presence of blood in the urine indicates some complication in reproductive system.
Excessive vaginal bleeding during menstruation period also indicates abnormality of the cycle.
Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Causes behind the abnormal vaginal bleeding are different in women, depending on their age or on the location it is happening.
In many cases, abnormal vaginal bleeding is occurring during the childbearing age or in women from 18 – 34 years. It is due to the fact that during this period body of the women faces maximum hormonal changes. The imbalance happening in the level of estrogen and progesterone during this period causes excessive vaginal bleeding. Other than this reason, if some occurrence of abnormal vaginal bleeding is found then it alarms defect in any part of the reproductive system.
The problem is mainly seen in Afro-American ladies because of their physical attributes. Diagnosis of exclusion is done to analyze the other causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding, including trauma or tumors.
An ovulation happening in a female adolescent acts as main contributor to this abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is because of the fact that in the initial years of menstrual cycle no eggs are released through the ovary. Due to this some irregularities in the vaginal bleeding is seen in these years. After some years when the production of eggs becomes normal, the bleeding also turns normal. But, in some cases abnormality in bleeding is seen during release of eggs.
Problem occurs when the egg is not produced by the women in her ovulation period. The situation worsens because of the absence of progesterone secretion, resulting in making the uterus lining thickened and enlarged. And the shedding of the lining causes excessive vaginal bleeding. The bleeding might causes pain or not pain, depending on the condition of reproductive system.
Pregnancy: Period of pregnancy is most sensitive in the whole childbearing age of a woman. Problems occurring during pregnancy like ectopic miscarriages and miscarriages happening due to any severity, like hormonal problem, can turn situation into very critical one. Some women have problem of an ovulation that sometime causes excessive vaginal bleeding.
Menopause: Women who are above 40 face many hormonal changes in their body because of the menopausal transition occurrence during that age. The menopausal transition results into excessive vaginal bleeding for more than 15 days or sometimes several months or year. The transition is a required process and bleeding happening is also normal. But if the amount and days of bleeding exceeds too much, then it is required to take the help of gynecologist to trace out the problem in the reproductive system. During this age there is lack of estrogen in the women body, creating dryness in the vaginal walls. Due to this dryness bleeding occurs during or after sexual intercourse.
Now, women who are in pre-menopausal stage and nearing menopause can experience excessive vaginal bleeding. Other than this, women in postmenopausal stage and not taking any hormonal medication, taking hormonal therapy, or on continuous hormonal therapy tend to have excessive vaginal bleeding.
Disease of reproductive organs: Disease of the reproductive organs can also lead to vaginal bleeding.
Genital disease: Sores forming in the genital, that are not cancerous, due to some infection like yeast infection or bacterial infection causes vaginal bleeding. It might be very less in amount, coming along with urine or some time not, and can be recovered by giving proper medication.
Cancer: Bleeding can occur due to formation of cancerous cells in either of the reproductive organ like vagina, cervix, uterus or ovaries. Some cysts forming in the ovary, cervicitis endometritis, uterine fibroids can also cause excessive or unexpected bleeding.
Intake of drugs: Anticoagulant drugs taken by women causes bleeding in their reproductive system. As, the medicine taken is for the removal of the clots or chunks of blood formed in the any part of the body.
Bleeding disorders: Disorders like von Willebrand ad hemophilia can cause inherited vaginal bleeding in women.
Trauma: Trauma or injury occurred during sexual intercourse might cause mild or light bleeding during that period. But, if the bleeding happening is in excessive amount then, attention is needed to pay on the causes of it.
Baby girls: Newly born girls also faces some slight amount of vaginal bleeding because of the hormonal transfer and changes from mother’s body. It is quiet normal, but if the bleeding exceeds it calls for doctor’s attention.
Intake of birth control pills: Intake of birth control pills by women can result into hormonal changes in their body, further causes for irregular menstruation cycle sometimes turning into heavy vaginal bleeding.
Diagnosis of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Analysis of the patient’s medical history is done to check the presence of any hereditary or other female specific problem faced by her.
Questions regarding any imbalance happening during menstruation are asked by the doctors. Their might be a list of questions including:
Last date of the normal menstruation cycle
Whether the woman is conceiving a child or not?
Is their any occurrence of abnormal vaginal bleeding in the past?
If there were any complications attached to the previous pregnancies or deliveries?
Is she is facing any problem during sexual intercourse or the number of sexual partners she is having?
Does the woman went through any surgeries or not?
After this questionnaire session, the doctor might do pelvic examination of the patient. Careful examination of all reproductive organs like genitalia, urethra, and anal area is done to identify the problem. Usage of tampon can also create problem like this. So, examinations include checking the presence of any foreign object in the reproductive region.
Some cases required ultrasound scanning to examine the interior part of the reproductive system.
Some initial tests include presence of pregnancy and any infection through urine sampling. Thyroid tests and biopsy are done to check any other complication related to deficiency or imbalance of hormones in the body,
The doctor might test for presence of any sexually transmitted disease in the body.
Treatment of Vaginal Bleeding
Treatment is based on the exact cause of the vaginal bleeding. Hormones Medicines are given to balance the hormonal irregularities in the women. Presence of any infection like bacterial or urine infections require intake of antibiotics or vaginal cream.
Doctors prohibit usage of tampons during the treatment period. Severe cases might require surgical treatment to get recover from the medical complication.