Abnormal Menses or Vaginal Bleeding

Pelvis | Gynecology | Abnormal Menses or Vaginal Bleeding (Symptom)


Abnormal vaginal bleeding is considered an abundance of blood from vagina that occurs either at the wrong time during the month or in inappropriate amounts.

The characteristics of the abnormality are the duration, interval, and amount of vaginal bleeding and these can define the type of abnormality responsible for the bleeding.

An abnormal duration of menstrual bleeding can be either bleeding for too long of a period called hypermenorrhea, or too short of a period, known as 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 flow of bleeding can also be abnormal. Menorrhagia is associated with too much bleeding, while a low volume is called hypomenorrhea. The combination of excessive bleeding combined with bleeding outside of the expected time of menstruation is referred to as menometrorrhagia.


Abnormal bleeding, especially within a few hours of sexual intercourse, may indicate a disorder of the cervix, such as cervical ectopy or cancer of the cervix. For older women, sex may damage the walls of the vagina, which become thinner and more fragile after the menopause, causing bleeding.

Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is not associated with sexual intercourse or contraception may be caused by a disorder such as fibroids. Loss of blood from the uterus can also occur in early pregnancy and could indicate a miscarriage. Various disorders of the female reproductive organs may cause postmenopausal bleeding, such as cancer of the uterus.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for abnormal menstrual will depend on many factors, including the cause, age, the severity of the bleeding. Treatments include use of birth control pills or hormones, hysteroscopic removal of polyps or fibroids, endometrial ablation, and hysterectomy.