Abnormal vaginal bleeding can relate to an issue with your reproductive system (a gynecologic condition) or to other medical problems or certain medications. If you have reached menopause — defined as 12 consecutive months, give or take, without a menstrual period — subsequent vaginal bleeding may be a cause for concern and should be evaluated.
When Should You See a Physician?
If you’re pregnant, contact your doctor immediately if you notice vaginal bleeding.
In general, anytime you experience unexpected vaginal bleeding, consult your doctor. Whether or not vaginal bleeding is normal depends on your age and the circumstances.
Contact your doctor in the following situations:
- Postmenopausal women not taking hormone therapy should see a doctor if they experience vaginal bleeding.
- Postmenopausal women taking cyclic hormone therapy may experience some vaginal bleeding. A cyclic hormone therapy regimen — oral estrogen daily plus oral progestin for 10 to 12 days a month — can lead to bleeding that resembles a period (withdrawal bleeding) for a few days out of the month. If you have bleeding other than expected withdrawal bleeding, contact your doctor.
- Postmenopausal women taking continuous hormone therapy — a low-dose combination of estrogen and progestin daily — may experience light, irregular bleeding for the first six months. If bleeding persists longer or heavy bleeding begins, see your doctor.
- Girls who don’t have any other signs of puberty or are younger than age 8 should have any vaginal bleeding investigated.
The following situations are likely normal, but talk to your doctor if you’re concerned:
- Newborn girls may have some vaginal bleeding during the first month of life. Bleeding that’s excessive or lasts longer should be checked out.
- Teenagers who have just begun having periods may experience irregular cycles during the first few years. In addition, many girls and women have light spotting for a few days before menstruating.
- Women starting birth control pills may experience occasional spotting the first few months.
Women nearing menopause (perimenopause) may experience increasingly heavy or irregular periods. Ask your doctor about possible treatments to minimize your symptoms.
If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding, going to a Houston Emergency room such as Memorial Heights Emergency Center, or The Heights Emergency Room can get you a proper diagnosis. The Heights Emergency Room in Houston, TX Offers 24 Hour Emergency Care. Our unique, state of the art facility includes an On-site Lab & Pharmacy, Private Patient Rooms, and Best of all, No Wait Time. You can be seen by a Board Certified ER Physician Immediately.
The Heights ER is located off of 610, at the corner of North Loop & Yale. (Next to the Whole Foods 365). Stop by our facility today, or call us at (713) 588-0320