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Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

Symptoms of Abnormal vaginal bleeding could be due to:

Abruptio Placentae (pregnancy)

Symptoms and indications: These depend upon the degree of separation of the placenta and so range from slight to severe but include bleeding from the vagina, pain in the abdomen and abdominal hardness. In very serious untreated cases: maternal shock and foetal distress with possible fatal outcome for both mother and baby. Always consult your doctor if you experience bleeding at any time during pregnancy.

Treatment: Admittance to hospital for rest and observation. An ultrasound examination is usually carried out to establish the diagnosis of abruptio placentae as the symptoms are very similar to those of Placenta Praevia. If the bleeding is slight, the foetus is in good health and the pregnancy is not near to term, continued bed rest is required until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding worsens, delivery of the foetus by Caesarian section is usually required.

Persons most commonly affected: Females during pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Symptoms and indications: If a period is 2-3 weeks overdue, sudden severe pain in the abdomen. Sometimes, there is less severe pain and bleeding from the vagina. If no action is taken at this stage, there may be collapse from bleeding in the abdomen.

Treatment: Immediate admission to hospital for surgery to remove the affected tube. If the blood loss has been large, a blood transfusion will be necessary.

Persons most commonly affected: Females during pregnancy.


Symptoms and indications: Quite often there are no symptoms. However, there may be pain and excessive menstrual bleeding, also more frequent menstruation, bleeding between periods and an increase in vaginal discharge. There may be anaemia.

Treatment: Small fibroids may be enlarged by contraceptive pills that have a high oestrogen content, so it may be necessary to change this contraceptive method. If fibroids are troublesome, causing bleeding, discomfort etc. then they are usually removed surgically. This can be done without removing all of the uterus, but sometimes this is necessary. In addition, if blood loss associated with the fibroids is high, an iron supplement may ne necessary.

Persons most commonly affected: Menstruating women over 30. Fibroids do not form after the menopause.

Vaginal Cancer (or cancer of the vagina)

Symptoms and indications: Symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding especially with sexual intercourse (which may be painful), or internal examination by a doctor. There may be a thin, watery discharge and, if the cancer spreads to the bladder or rectum, a frequent need to empty these organs accompanied by pain. A person with symptoms of cancer of the vagina should seek medical advice.

Treatment: Consists of admittance to hospital for surgery to remove the affected part and, possibly, hysterectomy and removal of lymph nodes in the pelvis. Radiotherapy, both external and internal is likely to be needed. The outlook varies, depending upon the extent of the cancer but symptoms can be relieved.

Persons most commonly affected: Adult women aged between 45 and 65 but can occur at any age. One form (embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas) can affect babies and girls in childhood.

Other problems that could cause Symptoms of Abnormal vaginal bleeding can include: Endometriosis, Pelvic Praevia, Uterine cancer and others.







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