Vaginal bleeding facts Normal vaginal bleeding is the periodic blood flow from the uterus. Normal vaginal bleeding is also called menorrhea. The process by which menorrhea occurs is called menstruation.
In order to determine whether bleeding is abnormal, and its cause, the doctor must answer 3 questions: Is the woman pregnant? What is the pattern of the bleeding? Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding.
There are many causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding that are associated with irregular ovulation. A woman who has irregular menstrual periods requires a physical examination with a special emphasis on the thyroid, breast, and pelvic organs. Treatment for irregular vaginal bleeding depends on the underlying cause.
After the cause is determined, the doctor decides if treatment is actually necessary. What is normal vaginal bleeding? Normal vaginal bleeding is the periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the woman's uterus. Normal menstrual vaginal bleeding is also called menorrhea. Normal vaginal bleeding occurs as a result of cyclic hormonal changes.
The ovaries are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. The hormones also regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovary, or female gonad, is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond.
The ovaries produce eggs ova and female hormones. During each monthly menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one ovary. The egg travels from the ovary through a Fallopian tube to the uterus.
Picture of the female reproductive system Unless pregnancy occurs, the cycle ends with the shedding of part of the inner lining of the uterus, which results in menstruation.
Although it is actually the end of the physical cycle, the first day of menstrual bleeding is designated as "day 1" of the menstrual cycle in medical jargon. The time of the cycle during which menstruation occurs is referred to as menses.
The menses occurs at approximately four week intervals, representing the menstrual cycle. Menarche is the time in a girl's life when menstruation first begins. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases and menstrual periods stop. The average age of menopause is 51 years old. What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain? Pelvic Pain and Vaginal Bleeding Depending on the cause, pelvic pain can be acute and sudden in onset, or the pain can be chronic and longstanding.
The characteristics of the pain -- location, timing, duration, etc. Some types of pelvic pain may only be apparent at certain times, such as during sexual activity or during urination. Persisting pelvic pain should be evaluated by a physician. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a flow of blood from the vagina that occurs either at the wrong time during the month or in inappropriate amounts.
In order to determine whether bleeding is abnormal, and its cause, the doctor must consider three questions: Every woman who thinks she has an irregular menstrual bleeding pattern should think carefully about the specific characteristics of her vaginal bleeding in order to help her doctor evaluate her particular situation. Her doctor will require the details of her menstrual history. Each category of menstrual disturbance has a particular list of causes, necessary testing, and treatment.
Each type of abnormality is discussed individually below. Is the woman having abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy? Much of the abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy occurs so early in the pregnancy that the woman doesn't realize she is pregnant. Therefore, irregular bleeding that is new may be a sign of very early pregnancy, even before a woman is aware of her condition. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can also be associated with complications of pregnancy, such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
What is the pattern of the abnormal vaginal bleeding? The duration, interval, and amount of vaginal bleeding may suggest what type of abnormality is responsible for the bleeding. An abnormal duration of menstrual bleeding can be either bleeding for too long of a period hypermenorrhea , or too short of a period hypomenorrhea. The interval of the bleeding can be abnormal in several ways. A woman's menstrual periods can occur too frequently polymenorrhea or too seldom oligomenorrhea.
Additionally, the duration can vary excessively from cycle to cycle metrorrhagia. The amount volume of bleeding can also be abnormal.
A woman can either have too much bleeding menorrhagia or too little volume hypomenorrhea. The combination of excessive bleeding combined with bleeding outside of the expected time of menstruation is referred to as menometrorrhagia. Is the woman ovulating? Usually, the ovary releases an egg every month in a process called ovulation. Normal ovulation is necessary for regular menstrual periods.
There are certain clues that a woman is ovulating normally including regular menstrual intervals, vaginal mucus discharge halfway between menstrual cycles, and monthly symptoms including breast tenderness, fluid retention, menstrual cramps , back pain , and mood changes. If necessary, doctors will order hormone blood tests progesterone level , daily home body temperature testing, or rarely, a sampling of the lining of the uterus endometrial biopsy to determine whether or not a woman is ovulating normally.
On the other hand, signs that a woman is not ovulating regularly include prolonged bleeding at irregular intervals after not having a menstrual period for several months, excessively low blood progesterone levels in the second half of the menstrual cycle, and lack of the normal body temperature fluctuation during the time of expected ovulation.
Sometimes, a doctor determines that a woman is not ovulating by using endometrial sampling with biopsy. What conditions cause abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly?