Most women have an occasional problem with vaginal bleeding. If you have a menstrual period, you probably know what this is like. But bleeding at other times besides your period can be caused by a variety of health problems.
When there’s a cause for your bleeding problem, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. The longer the problem goes untreated, the higher your chances are of developing complications.
Vaginal bleeding and discharge are perfectly normal for most women. This article will tell you when something isn’t normal. If you notice changes to your vaginal discharge or bleeding, it could mean illness, infection, or another problem.
- Increased vaginal discharge
To begin with, sticky, white discharge is a natural, normal part of your monthly cycle. It helps protect against genital infections and cleans your vagina. The discharge may also be more noticeable in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Abnormal vaginal discharge is a common symptom of various types of gynae disorder. This abnormality can range from the presence of yellow or green scaly patches in the vagina to the presence of abnormal vaginal discharge that is yellow or greenish in colour.
Abnormal vaginal discharge is most commonly seen in two forms, thin and thick. The causes are quite different from one other and both are a symptom of a gynaecological disorder that needs to be treated right away.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
You might experience bleeding between your periods unrelated to gynaecological issues – for example, due to hormonal imbalances or birth control. Abnormal bleeding, however, may be dangerous.
There is often a link between an abnormal period pattern and excessive bleeding. A heavy or frequent period, a long or short cycle, or menstruation that causes unusual pain may indicate severe diseases like endometriosis or uterine fibroids. It’s also possible that unusual bleeding is due to an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or to cancer if you’re past the age of 40.
- Pelvic pain or pressure that is not associated with menstrual cramps
This is often characterised by dull throbbing pain around the lower abdomen or pelvis region. The thigh muscles and stomach may also feel tender. This pain is different from menstrual cramps.
It is important not to ignore pelvic pain. The condition may be caused by a variety of infections of the reproductive tract, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), cysts of the ovaries, or even appendicitis. This can result in severe damage to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus, causing infertility and other complications.
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate
Do you find yourself constantly searching for the ladies’ restroom? This might be a red flag. If you are passing water frequently and feeling a sharp, stinging pain during the process, you may have an infection like cystitis, but it may also indicate a range of gynaecological problems including STD infection, fibroids or an ovarian cyst. So, get in touch with your doctor if the issue persists.
- Vaginal redness, itching, swelling, or burning
Do you have burning and itching in your vaginal area? This sensation could be accompanied by a red or sore appearance, swelling, lumps or eruptions. A yeast infection can cause the irritation, or sexual disorders like vaginal dryness can also contribute to it
Other symptoms to look out for are:
- Bleeding between periods
- A burning sensation during urination
- Bleeding after menopause
- Sores or lumps in the genital area
- Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant or unusual odour, or of an unusual colour
It is important to remember that the following list only shows the most common gynaecological symptoms. Other signs may be harder to spot. So don’t take chances. A gynaecologist with experience is your best option for complete peace of mind.
Getting checked out sooner means a faster, more effective intervention, and a safer outcome. The chances of successful treatment increase when you recognise symptoms early and seek treatment right away.