Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal Bleeding Overview

Unexpected bleeding is always a concern for a woman at any stage of life. Bleeding other than a normal menstrual period and even an abnormally heavy period can be a cause for alarm. The medical term for excessive or prolonged vaginal bleeding that occurs at the regular time of the menstrual cycle is known as menorrhagia. Metrorrhagia is the term used to refer to uterine bleeding at irregular intervals, particularly between the expected menstrual periods. Menometrorrhagia is the combination of the two, that is, excessive uterine bleeding, both at the usual time of menstrual periods and at other irregular intervals.

It is important to understand exactly what is causing the bleeding, its origin (uterus, vagina, or some other organ or tissue), and to make decisions about how to control or stop the bleeding.

  • A woman's normal menstrual cycle involves a complex series of hormonal events. An egg is released from the ovary; either the egg is fertilized by a sperm and implants in the uterus, or the lining of the uterus is shed each month as the menstrual period. This shedding causes normal menstrual bleeding.
  • A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days plus or minus 7 days.
  • A menstrual period generally lasts from 2-7 days and has a typical volume of blood and fluid loss of about 2 to 8 tablespoons. This corresponds to about eight or fewer soaked pads per day with usually no more than 2 days of heavy bleeding.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Vaginal Bleeding

Abdominal Pain (Adults)
Abdominal Pain in Adults Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include appendicitis, gallbladder dis...learn more >>
Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic Pregnancy Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which a pregnancy develops outside of a woman's uterus. Causes of ectopic pregnancy include previous Fallopian tube infectio...learn more >>
Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial Cancer Uterine (endometrial) cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women in the U.S. Read about staging, symptoms, prognosis, risk factors and treatment. Treatmen...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Vaginal Bleeding:

Vaginal Bleeding - Causes

What caused your vaginal bleeding?

Vaginal Bleeding - Medical Treatment

What was the treatment for your vaginal bleeding?

Vaginal Bleeding - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your vaginal bleeding after treatment?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding »

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is irregular uterine bleeding that occurs in the absence of pathology or medical illness.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary