Vaginal Bleeding (cont.)
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What are abnormal vaginal bleeding symptoms?
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A woman may see blood on her underwear or bed clothes. She might find blood on toilet tissue after urinating. Her menstrual period may be exceptionally heavy, causing her to soak through more pads or tampons than she normally does.
What kind of doctor treats abnormal vaginal bleeding?
A gynecologist is a specialist in conditions of the female genital tract and can evaluate and treat vaginal bleeding. Primary health-care providers may also manage vaginal bleeding.
What about vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?
In women of childbearing age (around 18-40 years), the most common cause of abnormal uterine bleeding is pregnancy and its complications, such as ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages. Anovulation can be a cause of bleeding in women of childbearing age. However, anovulation occurs in fewer than 20% of women in this category, so all other causes, including pelvic inflammatory disease and uterine fibroids, must be ruled out.
Many women experience some degree of vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy and go on to have a healthy baby. However, vaginal bleeding can also be a sign of miscarriage or pregnancy complications, so vaginal bleeding during pregnancy should always be evaluated by a health-care professional.
When should you seek medical care for abnormal vaginal bleeding?
A woman should see a health-care professional for any abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is not always necessary to go to a hospital emergency department for this problem. An office visit to a gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in female reproductive organs) is usually sufficient if she is bleeding, but does not have any other symptoms.
If a woman is having abnormal vaginal bleeding with other symptoms, such as lightheadedness, severe abdominal pain, or fevers, she should be evaluated as soon as possible. This includes being seen in an emergency department if her regular doctor is unavailable. An ambulance should be called if she passes out from blood loss.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2015
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