Understand vaginal flow: causes, symptoms and when to worry about blood. Informative article on this frequent medical problem.

Understanding Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Worry About Blood. Informative article about this common medical problem.

Vaginal flow is natural in women and can vary in consistency, color and smell depending on the menstrual cycle. However, if you note vaginal flow with blood, it is important to know the possible causes and associated symptoms to determine whether it is necessary to perform an evaluation or receive medical care.


  • Menstruation: vaginal bleeding is a normal part of the menstrual cycle of women. During menstruation, the uterine coating emerges, leading to a combination of blood and mucus that is discharged by the vagina.
  • Ovulation: Some women may experience a slight stained or pink flow during ovulation, which occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
  • Sexual relations: Sometimes, sexual relations can cause small trauma on vaginal walls, which causes small amounts of blood to mix with the flow.

Although certain causes of vaginal flow with blood can be considered normal, there are cases in which an underlying medical condition that requires attention may indicate. It is essential to recognize any accompanying symptom that can help identify the cause.


  • Abnormal bleeding: if the vaginal flow is significantly more abundant or occurs outside the menstrual cycle, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.
  • Pain or discomfort: If you experience abdominal or pelvic pain, persistent itching or burning sensation together with the flow, it can indicate an infection or inflammation.
  • Unusual smell: a smelly flow with blood can be a sign of bacterial infection or overgrowth.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you worry about the presence of vaginal flow with blood. They can perform an exhaustive evaluation, take into account your medical history and offer you an accurate diagnosis together with the appropriate treatment plan.

Understanding Vaginal Discharge with Blood: Causes and Symptoms

Causes: vaginal flow with blood can have various causes, from benign to more serious conditions. Some common causes are:

  • Menstruation: The presence of blood in the vaginal flow is normal during menstruation. It is the detachment of the uterine coating and is usually accompanied by other menstrual symptoms, such as abdominal cramps and abdominal distension.
  • Infections: Certain vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, can cause vaginal bleeding or spotting. These infections are usually accompanied by symptoms such as itching, burning, and abnormal odor.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Fluctuations in hormonal levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone, can cause irregular menstrual cycles and intermittent bleeding. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by factors such as stress, certain medications, or underlying illnesses.
  1. Other factors: In some cases, vaginal bleeding or spotting may be due to factors such as vaginal trauma during sexual intercourse, use of hormonal contraceptives, cervical or uterine polyps, or even certain types of cancer. These factors require medical evaluation and appropriate treatment.

It is important to note that any unexplained or persistent bloody vaginal bleeding should be promptly evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out underlying conditions and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.

Menstruation and Vaginal Bleeding: What’s Normal and When to Seek Medical Help

Normal menstruation:

  • Menstrual bleeding usually lasts between 4 and 7 days, although slight variations in cycle length are common.
  • The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but cycles can range from 21 to 35 days and still be considered within normal limits.
  • Menstrual blood flow can vary throughout the duration of your period, with the heaviest bleeding usually occurring during the first few days.
  • Normal menstrual blood is usually bright red, although it may darken when exposed to air or as your period progresses.

Note: It is normal to experience cramps and mild discomfort during menstruation. However, severe pain that interferes with daily activities may be a sign of an underlying medical condition and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

When to seek medical help:

  1. If you experience unusually heavy bleeding that requires changing sanitary products more frequently than every 1-2 hours.
  2. If your menstruation lasts more than 7 days.
  3. If you notice any significant changes in your menstrual bleeding patterns, such as sudden irregularities or excessive clotting.
  4. If you have severe abdominal pain or any other symptoms that significantly affect your quality of life during menstruation.

It is important to remember that each woman’s menstrual cycle and bleeding patterns may vary. However, if she is concerned about something or she is not sure what is considered normal for her, she does not hesitate to contact her doctor. He or she will be able to assess her individual situation and provide appropriate guidance and medical care if necessary.

Vaginal Bleeding between Periods: Possible Reasons and When to Consult a Doctor

Possible causes of vaginal bleeding between menstruations

  • Hormonal imbalances: Fluctuations in hormone levels can disrupt the regular menstrual cycle, causing abnormal vaginal bleeding. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by factors such as stress, certain medications, or underlying endocrine disorders.
  • Uterine fibroids: These noncancerous growths in the uterus can cause abnormal bleeding between periods. Uterine fibroids can vary in size and location and can also cause heavier than usual bleeding during menstruation.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. In addition to irregular periods, PCOS can cause bleeding between periods due to hormonal imbalances.
  1. Endometriosis: This disease occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of it. It can cause heavy or prolonged bleeding, as well as pelvic pain.
  2. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Some STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause vaginal bleeding between menstruations. It is essential to undergo timely testing and treatment to avoid further complications.
  3. Use of certain contraceptives: Some contraceptive methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) or hormonal implants, may cause irregular bleeding or spotting between periods during the initial adjustment period.

Please note that the information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not substitute for professional medical advice. If you experience persistent or concerning vaginal bleeding between periods, it is important to see a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Postmenopausal Vaginal Bleeding: Causes, Potential Health Concerns, and Treatment Options

There are several reasons why postmenopausal women can experience vaginal bleeding, and it is crucial to identify the specific cause for effective treatment. A possible cause is endometrial atrophy, which is characterized by the thinning of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. This condition can cause vaginal bleeding due to the fragility of atrophic endometrial tissue. In addition, hormonal imbalances, such as deficiency or excess estrogen, can alter the usual stability of the endometrium and cause abnormal bleeding. Other possible causes are uterine polyps, which are no n-cancerous growth in the internal lining of the uterus, and endometrial hyperplasia, a condition characterized by excessive endometrium growth.

  • Endometrial atrophy: thinning of the endometrium that causes the fragility of the tissue and the consequent vaginal bleeding.
  • Hormonal imbalances: alterations in estrogen levels can affect the stability of the endometrium and cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Uterine polyps: no n-cancerous growths in the internal lining of the uterus that can cause postmenopausal vaginal bleeding.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia: excessive growth of the endometrium, which can contribute to vaginal bleeding.

Important: postmenopausal vaginal hemorrhages should never be ignored or discarded as normal. You can indicate serious health problems, including endometrium cancer. Immediate medical evaluation is essential to identify the underlying cause and initiate proper treatment.

In the face of postmenopausal vaginal hemorrhage, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an exhaustive evaluation. Diagnostic procedures such as transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy or hysteroscopy to determine the cause of hemorrhage can be recommended. The treatment options will depend on the identified cause and may include hormonal therapy, surgical intervention to remove uterine polyps or abnormal tissue or, in certain cases, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus. Periodic monitoring visits and proactive supervision are important to guarantee the effectiveness of the chosen therapeutic approach and to address any possible recurrence or subsequent complications.

Pregnancy and Vaginal Bleeding: What’s Normal and When to Worry

1. Normal causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy:

  • Implantation bleeding: It is common for some women to experience a slight stained or bleeding during the first phases of pregnancy, between 6 and 12 days after conception. This occurs when the fertilized ovule adheres to the uterine coating.
  • Cervical changes: Increased blood flow to the cervix during pregnancy can cause it to become tender and more likely to bleed, especially after sexual intercourse or a pelvic exam. This type of bleeding is usually minimal and resolves on its own.
  • Intermenstrual bleeding: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can sometimes cause irregular periods or breakthrough bleeding, which may resemble a light period. This is usually harmless and usually occurs around the time when a woman would have expected to have her normal menstrual cycle.

It is important to keep in mind that any bleeding during pregnancy should be reported to your healthcare professional, even if it is considered normal. Only a healthcare professional can determine the cause of the bleeding and ensure the well-being of both mother and baby.

2. When to go to the doctor:

  • Heavy bleeding: If your pad or tampon becomes soaked within an hour or less, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, as it could be a sign of a serious problem.
  • Persistent spotting: If you notice spotting or bleeding that lasts for several days, even if it is mild, it is advisable that you consult your healthcare professional for a more thorough evaluation.
  • Severe abdominal pain: If you experience severe abdominal pain along with vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, it is recommended to seek immediate medical help as it could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Remember that it is always best to exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional if you are concerned about any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. They will be able to offer you the guidance and support necessary to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Vaginal Bleeding: Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal bleeding can be caused by various STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and genital warts, among others. In some cases, these infections can cause inflammation of the cervix or vagina, which can lead to bleeding. It is essential to differentiate between normal menstrual bleeding and abnormal bleeding caused by an STI to seek appropriate medical attention and receive appropriate treatment.

Symptoms of STIs and Vaginal Bleeding:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding outside the normal menstrual cycle
  • Abnormal bleeding during or after sexual intercourse
  • Spotting or light bleeding between periods
  • Excessive bleeding that lasts longer than normal menstrual periods.
  • Bleeding accompanied by pelvic pain, itching, or unusual discharge.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treatment for STIs that cause vaginal bleeding usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Depending on the specific infection, antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals may be prescribed to eliminate the underlying infection. It is essential to complete all treatment and follow the instructions of the healthcare professional to ensure effective elimination of the infection and prevention of possible complications.

In addition to medication, practicing safe sex, using barrier methods such as condoms, and maintaining good hygiene can also contribute to the prevention and treatment of STIs. Regular screening and screening, especially for people who have sex with multiple partners, can play a crucial role in early detection and timely intervention. Remember that seeking medical advice and treatment promptly is key to controlling and resolving STIs and associated vaginal bleeding.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(2021). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). https://www. cdc. gov/std/default. htm
  2. Mayo Clinic.(2021). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). https://www. mayoclinic. org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-infections/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240

Other Potential Causes of Vaginal Discharge with Blood: Hormonal Imbalances, Polyps, and Injuries

Hormonal imbalances: Hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining overall reproductive health. Imbalances in hormone levels, such as those seen in diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders, can disrupt the normal pattern of menstruation and cause abnormal vaginal discharge. This may include spotting or bleeding between periods, or heavier and longer menstrual bleeding.

It is important for people experiencing hormonal imbalances to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Polyps: Vaginal polyps are small tumors that can appear on the cervix or inside the vagina. These benign growths are usually not cancerous, but they can cause irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge, especially after sex or during menstruation. It is essential that any unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out the possibility of polyps or other potential causes.

Injuries: Trauma or injuries to the vaginal area can also cause unexpected vaginal bleeding or discharge. This can occur during sexual activity, vigorous exercise, or inserting objects into the vagina. It is important to discuss any recent injury or trauma with a healthcare professional as they can assess the extent of the injury and provide appropriate guidance or treatment.

  • Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur in diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome or thyroid disorders, can disrupt the normal menstrual pattern and cause abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal polyps, small growths on the cervix or vagina, can cause irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge, especially after sex or during menstruation.
  • Trauma or injury to the vaginal area caused by sexual activity, exercise, or other activities can cause unexpected vaginal bleeding or discharge.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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