The vagina can bleed for a variety of reasons…
But many ladies get sick to the stomach whenever they notice a red stain on their underwear.
Especially if it’s not period blood.
So today we’ll look at the reasons why the vagina can release blood outside your cycle…
And when you absolutely must see a doctor.
Bleeding outside your regular period
First things first.
Any bleeding outside of your regular period is known as metrorrhagia. (Pronounced MEE + TROH + RAY + JEE + UH)
It can be anything from spotting to heavier flows, and it can happen at any time.
But remember, every woman is different.
What’s normal for someone else might not be for you. And sometimes, what they think is ’abnormal’ might be just a slight shift in our own rhythm.
That’s why it’s important to verify information you get from online forums.
That's why the first step in decoding vaginal bleeding is to understand your cycle.
Keeping a strict track of your menstrual cycle will help you notice if there’s a pattern… (a certain time or trigger that caused the bleed to happen).
When Should You Be Alarmed?
Unexpected vaginal bleeding doesn’t always mean disaster.
But it can be a bit more serious.
Here are 7 instances when you really should reach out to your healthcare provider:
Bleeding after using a fancy vaginal health product: If you notice pain or bleeding after using a vaginal health product, then watch out.
The vaginal lining is smooth and gentle… and a harsh product can easily cause bleeding. Be sure to stop using the product.
And if the bleeding continues, see your primary physician.
Bleeding After Intimacy: doing the deed can be a lot of fun. But if you notice bleeding after your intimate sessions, then you should check it out.
You might have underlying health issues like cervical polyps or infections. And sometimes it can indicate more serious conditions like cervical cancer.
Always better to play safe and see your doctor if you experience this.
Bleeding Between Periods: Every now and then, you may see some bloodstains in your underwear when you’re not expecting your period.
While this can be shocking, it’s not always a cause for alarm. Your vagina may be reacting to changes in your hormones.
But if it happens too often, make sure to alert your healthcare provider.
Postmenopausal Spotting: Menopause is like the retirement stage for your periods, so bleeding is a red flag.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just a drop. Visit or talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you can.
Heavy or Prolonged Periods: If you find yourself changing your pads/tampons more often than usual, something might be wrong.
The same applies when your cycle continues longer than normal. This may be due to conditions like uterine fibroids.
And while these are usually non-cancerous, they can cause discomfort and should be checked out.
Bleeding During Pregnancy: this is usually not normal.
While light spotting can be normal for some women, heavy bleeding might be a sign of complications. Like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, for example.
Always communicate any bleeding during pregnancy to your healthcare provider.
Painful Bleeding: When an unexpected bleeding brings pain, fever, or discomfort along, then you should definitely call your physician or gynecologist right away.
Such symptoms are signs of an infection or other serious health concerns. You do not want to play the waiting game.
What Can You Do About It?
First, don’t panic! Easier said than done, of course!
But what you want to do is calm down and jot down as much information as possible…
When it started, how heavy it was, and any accompanying symptoms.
Why do you need to do this?
Because you might not remember all the details when you’re with your gynecologist!
Next remember that what you need is professional advice. Google is not a doctor.
And don’t listen to suggestions from other ladies in online forums you belong to! What is abnormal for them, may be normal for you.
Only a qualified professional can give you accurate information and guide you on what to do next.
So there you go.
While unexpected vaginal bleeding can be scary, it’s not always a reason for alarm.
Stay in tune with your body and seek professional advice when necessary. You’ll always be in control of your vaginal health.