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Overview of abnormal vaginal bleeding

Abnormal vaginal bleeding consists of bleeding or spotting outside of one’s menstrual cycle. Bleeding during one’s period that’s heavier, lighter, longer or shorter than normal may also be considered irregular.

Possible causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding

There are several conditions that cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Some conditions are serious, while some are generally harmless. Possible causes include:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (a serious complication of STDs)
  • Cervicitis (another possible STD complication)
  • Birth control pills or an IUD
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Problems during pregnancy, including miscarriage
  • Gynecological cancers

Diagnosing causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding

The first step in determining the causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding is to perform STD testing. Since STDs can cause infertility if left untreated, it’s important to diagnose and treat these infections quickly. If the STD test returns negative, a doctor can help diagnose other causes of irregular vaginal bleeding.

Treating causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding

When abnormal vaginal bleeding is caused by a bacterial STD, antibiotics cure these infections. All STDs have different treatments, so STD testing is mandatory to determine the right medication. Be sure to treat STDs quickly to avoid complications and have any partners treated to avoid reinfection. A doctor can provide treatment for other causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding.

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