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16 Causes Of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding: A Short Important Overview.

abnormal vaginal bleeding

What Is Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

As a woman, I am sure there have been times where you wanted to pee and saw blood accompanying your pee, or some spotting on your panties when you are not on your period, or after sex, you have little bruises that lead to mild bleeding. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding is any bleeding that is not related to menstruation.

Causes Of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

There are multiple causes of vaginal bleeding. It is quite a common occurrence in women. These are 16 listed below

Uterine Fibroids

abnormal vaginal bleeding

Uterine fibroids are a common type of noncancerous tumor that can grow in and on your uterus.  the cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but research and clinical data point to factors like genetic changes, hormonal changes, and other unknown factors. : Some symptoms of fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, back pain, frequent urination, and pain during sex. Small fibroids often don’t need treatment, but larger fibroids can be treated with medications or surgery, a surgery to remove fibroids is called a myomectomy.

Rough Sex

In general, rough sex refers to sexual activity that includes some form of aggressive behavior. It can lead to vaginal bleeding especially when there is a lot of friction. Also, issues of forced or non-consensual sex can lead to abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Uterine Polyps

abnormal vaginal bleeding

Growths that are attached to the internal wall of the uterus and protrude into the uterine cavity are known as uterine polyps. Uterine polyps also called endometrial polyps, occur when the cells lining the uterine wall start growing too rapidly. Although most of these polyps are benign (non-cancerous), some may be malignant or develop into cancer in the future.

Cervical Polyps

abnormal vaginal bleeding

Growths that are attached to the internal wall of the uterus and protrude into the uterine cavity are known as uterine polyps. Uterine polyps also called endometrial polyps, occur when the cells lining the uterine wall start growing too rapidly. Although most of these polyps are benign (non-cancerous), some may be malignant or develop into cancer in the future.

Cancer: Cervical, Ovarian, Endometrial, and Vaginal Cancer

This includes cervical, ovarian, endometrial, and vaginal cancer. Cancerous cells make sex, vaginal examinations, or any form of penetration,  painful. Sometimes minor irritation can even lead to bleeding.  bleeding after vaginal sex, bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods, or having (menstrual) periods that are longer or heavier than usual. Bleeding after douching may also occur.

Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism


Menorrhagia ( abnormally heavy bleeding during a menstrual cycle) is a side effect of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Twenty percent of people with hypothyroidism, even in subclinical forms, experience significant uterine bleeding. Correcting the thyroid condition usually ends the menorrhagia. Menorrhagia is brought on by prolactin-producing pituitary tumors that disrupt (GnRH) secretion.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

The hormonal condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is prevalent in females of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may experience irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles or have elevated amounts of male hormones, also known as androgens. The ovaries could produce a lot of tiny fluid-filled sacs (follicles) and fail to consistently release eggs. Some symptoms of PCOS are painful Irregular periods, facial hair growth, and acne. PCOS also puts you at a greater risk of high blood pressure. It can also cause female infertility.

Ectopic Pregnancy

A pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube however, ectopic pregnancies can occur in the ovary, the abdomen, and in the lower portion of the uterus (the cervix). one in every 100 women run the risk of ectopic pregnancy”.  the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. If you take a pregnancy test, the result will be positive. The fallopian tube may rupture if the fertilized egg is allowed to continue developing and It’s almost a certainty that the abdomen may bleed heavily on the inside. Potentially fatal symptoms include acute dizziness, fainting, and shock.

Retained Tampon


This occurs when the tampon has been inserted but later becomes either stuck or ‘lost’. Some reasons for this may include:

  • putting in a new tampon before taking out the previous one.
  •  having intercourse with a tampon still inserted
  • Or simply forgetting about it at the end of a period

Female Genital Injury

An injury to the genital tissues is known as a genital tear (laceration). Damage sustained during intercourse could be one of the causes. A tear might also occur if you insert something foreign into your genitalia.

 Age-related tissue loss in the genitalia or surgical scarring of the tissue are two other instances that can increase the likelihood of a tear. genital trauma can also occur when a female hits the vulva or perineum (external female genitalia) on an object and the force generated by the weight of her body causes an injury. This can occur during a fall or accident.

Placenta Previa

image from whattoexpect.com

This is a condition in which the placenta partially or wholly blocks the neck of the uterus, thus interfering with the normal delivery of a baby. The placenta works to provide oxygen and nutrition to the baby and to remove waste. Normally, the placenta is attached to the top or side of the inner wall of the uterus.

With placenta previa, the placenta attaches to the lower part of the uterus. This results in some portion of the placental tissue covering the cervix ( the canal where the baby passes through). It can result in bleeding during the pregnancy. Bleeding can also occur during or after delivery.

Abruptio Placenta

abruptio placenta
image from wikipeda

 (Abruptio placentae) is a serious complication of pregnancy. This occurs when the placenta partly or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. This often happens suddenly and can reduce or block the baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother.

Placental abruption is most likely to occur in the third term of pregnancy, especially in the last few weeks before birth.  Some signs and symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding, although there might not be any
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Uterine tenderness or rigidity
  • Uterine contractions, coming consecutively

Stopping Or Changing Birth Control Pills Or Menopausal Hormone Therapy (Withdrawal Bleeding):

 The monthly bleeding that women suffer while using a hormonal birth control method, such as the pill, the patch, or the vaginal ring, is known as withdrawal bleeding. Although it may resemble menstrual bleeding, it is not the same thing as a period.

Bleeding Disorders

blood cells

a bleeding disorder makes it really difficult for a person to stop bleeding. One in ten women who have frequent or heavy periods may have a bleeding condition. Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most prevalent form of bleeding disorder in women. The amount of bleeding differs from one person to another, depending on the type and severity of the disease.

 Symptoms Of Von Willebrand Disease, include

  • Excessive bleeding from an injury or after surgery or dental work
  • Frequent nosebleeds that don’t stop within 10 minutes
  • Heavy or long menstrual bleeding
  • Heavy bleeding during labor and delivery
  • Blood in your urine or stool
  • Easy bruising or lumpy bruises

Von Willebrand disease has no cure, But with treatment and self-care, most people with this disease can lead normal active lives.

Infections Like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease And Cervicitis

Pelvic Inflammatory disease

image from americanpregnancy.com

This is An infection of the female reproductive system. Most frequently, it happens when bacteria from sex-related sexual contact spreads from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Symptoms include spotting and are usually subtle, mild, or non-existent. This is until you start developing chronic lower back pain and abdominal cramps.


image from mayoclinic.org

This is an inflammation or swelling of the cervix, this is the canal that opens into the vagina. Possible symptoms of cervicitis include

  • bleeding between menstrual periods,
  • pain with intercourse or during a pelvic exam,
  • abnormal vaginal discharge.

However, it’s also possible to have cervicitis and not experience any signs or symptoms.

Often, cervicitis results from a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Cervicitis can develop from noninfectious causes, too.



Treatment options depend on the cause and also your doctor.

Some options include

Medications: Hormonal pills, Birth control pills.

Hormonal Injections: these are used to stop the menstrual flow and reduce the size of fibroids. e.g Depo-Provera, Sayana Press or Noristerat

Tranexamic acid. This is used to stop excessive menstrual bleeding.


This article made this short on purpose. These are the bare essentials non-medical personnel would understand. There is a whole lot more to abnormal vaginal bleeding. Please if for any reason you notice bleeding while you are not menstruating. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.

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