Vaginal Bleeding between the Periods- What to do?

Normal vaginal bleeding is the periodic flow of blood from the woman’s uterus that occurs as a result of cyclic hormonal changes. If the bleeding occurs when you are not expecting a menstrual period or in inappropriate amounts,  it is abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is also known as metrorrhagia.

If there is vaginal  bleeding between the periods, whether it is heavy or in the form of spotting consult the doctor and undergo tests and diagnosis to determine the underlying cause.

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Every woman has a characteristic menstruation pattern that includes duration, interval, and time of bleeding. A deviation from their normal pattern may be an indication of the abnormality responsible for bleeding.

Discussed below are the possible causes of vaginal bleeding between the periods:

  1. Hormonal imbalance- The two hormones responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle are Estrogen and Progesterone. However, their function may be interrupted by certain factors such as birth control pills, thyroid gland problems, intrauterine devices, contraceptive patches or injections, and dysfunctional ovaries. Hormonal out of balance results in vaginal bleeding between the periods.
  2. Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy– When the fertilized egg implants itself in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus it may cause bleeding.
  3. Infections of reproductive organs- This includes STD, vaginal douching, pelvic inflammatory disease. These infections may cause inflammation and bleeding.
  4. Vaginal dryness-  It may result in bleeding during sexual intercourse.
  5. Uterine fibroids– These are non- cancerous growth that forms in the uterus.
  6. Cancer or female reproductive parts like cancer of cervix, ovaries, vagina and uterus.
  7. Some of the other possible causes are stress, change in medications, use of anticoagulants and Starting or stopping of birth control pills.

Management of vaginal bleeding between the periods:

  • First, of all keep a track of your menstrual cycle and consult a doctor in case of any irregularity observed.
  • Remember, ignoring the problem may worsen the condition. It may be life- threatening if the underlying cause is cancer or an infection.
  • On meeting the doctor, give the details about your menstrual cycle, present complaint, and health history.
  • The doctor may ask you questions like, How heavy is your bleeding?  Do you have cramps? How long bleeding lasts? Anything that exaggerates or eases your symptoms.
  • The doctor may ask you to have certain tests such as blood test, Pap smear test, ultrasound, a biopsy to determine the underlying cause for the vaginal bleeding between the periods.
  • Treatment of the underlying cause under the supervision of the doctor.
  • Changes in lifestyle-  Avoid alcohol and smoking,
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid certain medicines such as aspirin that increase the risk of bleeding.

In the case of vaginal bleeding between the periods along with pain, dizziness and fatigue please consult your doctor.

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