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General Fitness

Unexpected Vaginal Bleeding: When to Be Concerned & What to Do

Any bleeding out of this regular pattern can be termed irregular or unusual vaginal bleeding, or intermenstrual vaginal bleeding
October 19, 2023

Experiencing vaginal bleeding outside of your usual period can be worrying. While there are many possible causes, some less serious than others, the first step is understanding when to seek help from a doctor.

Bleeding After Menopause: Always Needs Evaluation

If you've already gone through menopause, any vaginal bleeding is unexpected and warrants prompt attention from your gynecologist.

Possible Causes of Unexpected Bleeding (Before Menopause)

  • Ovulation Spotting: Some women may experience light bleeding mid-cycle around ovulation. This is usually harmless.
  • Hormonal Issues: Changes or imbalances in hormones (like thyroid hormones) can sometimes cause unusual bleeding.
  • Contraceptive Changes: New birth control methods, like pills, injections, or an IUD, may temporarily cause irregular bleeding as your body adjusts.
  • Pregnancy Issues: Bleeding in early pregnancy, even with a pregnancy that sadly might not continue, needs medical evaluation.
  • Infection: An infection in the vagina or uterus might sometimes lead to unexpected bleeding or unusual discharge.
  • Polyps or Fibroids: These non-cancerous growths in the uterus can sometimes result in heavy or irregular bleeding.
  • Injury: Any recent injury to the vaginal area could cause bleeding.

Rare But Serious: Cancer Risks

Rarely, unexpected bleeding can be a sign of uterine, cervical, or vaginal cancer. It's important to remember that prompt medical attention offers the best chance of successful treatment, even in these more severe cases.

What to Do: Don't Wait, Get Answers

Here's the best approach if you experience vaginal bleeding outside your average period:

  • See a Gynecologist: They'll thoroughly examine and likely recommend tests to pinpoint the cause.
  • Keep Track: When the bleeding began, if it's heavy or light, and other relevant details help provide clues.

Your Peace of Mind Matters

Many things can cause unexpected vaginal bleeding, some treatable with simple solutions. For peace of mind and the proper care plan, it's always best to talk to your gynecologist.