Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting

>> Sunday, April 12, 2015

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So many women, whether young, middle aged or menopausal, will experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods at some time in their lives.

In fact, it would be uncommon for any woman to not have abnormal bleeding at some point. By the time many of you have made an appointment and come in, you have researched the bleeding on the Internet. Of course the first thing it says is, 'Abnormal Vaginal bleeding can be caused by cancer, especially if it happens after sex, after menopause or in between your periods.

But, this statement does not take into any number of important factors, such as: Did the bleeding occur with ovulation? Are you menopausal and on hormones? Did you miss a birth control pill? Do you always have regular cycles? Are you under a lot of stress? Rather, it just carelessly throws out a blanket statement about cancer which scares many of you.

Vaginal bleeding is considered to be abnormal if it occurs when you are not expecting your menstrual period, if your menstrual flow is lighter or heavier than what is normal for you, or if it occurs at any time in life when it is not expected, such as before age 9, during pregnancy, or after menopause. Abnormal bleeding is very common, and even though it can cause alarm, most of the time it does not indicate a serious condition.

In women of childbearing age, early pregnancy should always be considered, even in women on birth control pills or with an IUD in place. Also, ovulation can cause mid-cycle bleeding. Hormone imbalance, such as occurs during menopause, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOs) - the most common hormone imbalance in young women - can also be the cause.

Medications such as birth control pills, antibiotics, oral or IV steroids that are used in asthma or severe allergies, and various allergy medications could also be a factor. Any Infection of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries may also cause vaginal bleeding, especially after intercourse or douching (which is not recommended at any time for any reason). Of course, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which causes inflammation or infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries could also be the cause.

The possibility of a tampon or other object left or put into the vagina and then forgotten can also cause bleeding, and therefore the vagina should be inspected. An ultrasound is useful to see if there are other causes like uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts. Extreme emotional stress and excessive exercise can cause frequent, excessive bleeding or absence and irregular bleeding.

Lastly, tests may be conducted to evaluate for female cancers like cervical, vaginal, uterine, Fallopian tube or ovarian cancer. Most of the time this will take a number of exams and tests to confirm. It is important to go see your doctor if you have abnormal bleeding so you can be reassured and evaluated properly.

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