Abnormal vaginal bleeding, is any bleeding unrelated to normal menstruation.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding may include spotting between periods, menstrual flow that is lighter or heavier than usual, or menstruation at times not expected, such as during pregnancy or menopause.
Causes of Abnormal Bleeding
Abnormal bleeding can be caused by many factors. Some common causes are below:
- Hormonal changes - including thyroid disorder
- Contraception pills or intrauterine device (IUCD)
- Pregnancy related
- Infection of the vagina or uterus
- Problem with blood clotting
- Cancer of the uterus, vagina or cervix
- Trauma to the vagina
- Polyps or fibroids (abnormal outgrowth of tissues or tumours)
- Certain diseases affecting clotting (eg: Haemophilia)
Other Reasons for Abnormal Bleeding
Heavy bleeding during the first few weeks after giving birth or after an abortion may occur because the uterus has not contracted to the prepregnancy size or because fetal tissue remains in the uterus.
For women over 40, abnormal vaginal bleeding may mean entering perimenopause. In a woman who has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, vaginal bleeding is always abnormal and should be discussed with their doctor.
Treatments for abnormal bleeding
The type of treatment will depend on the cause of the bleeding, the woman’s age and whether you still want to have children. Often abnormal bleeding can be treated with medication.
Surgical treatment is recommended when bleeding is caused by polyps or fibroids. Procedures such as hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy may be considered.
Your Next Step
If you are experiencing any of the abnormal bleeding symptoms above, your underlying health may require further investigation.
Dr Gailani can offer advice on a possible diagnosis, further investigations and suitable treatment.
For patients suffering from abnormal bleeding we would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Gailani at omargailani.com.au