Cover Image
close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
close this folderChapter 22: Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina
close this folderOther Kinds of Bleeding Problems
View the documentBleeding during pregnancy or after childbirth
View the documentBleeding after an abortion or miscarriage
View the documentBleeding after sex
View the documentBleeding after menopause

Bleeding during pregnancy or after childbirth

Bleeding problem

May be caused by

What to do

Bleeding during the first 3 months with constant pain or pain that comes and goes


pregnancy in the tube

URGENT! Go to a hospital right away.

Bleeding during the last 3 months of pregnancy

the afterbirth (placenta) is coming off the wall of the womb


Figure

the placenta is covering the cervix

URGENT! Go to a hospital right away.

Bleeding during the first 6 months of pregnancy


Figure

may be a miscarriage (especially if you also have cramping pains like birth pains)

Watch and wait. If bleeding becomes heavy, go to a hospital.

Heavy bleeding during or just after childbirth

pieces of the placenta are left in the womb


Figure

the womb is too tired to squeeze or tighten

URGENT! See a midwife or go to a hospital if bleeding is heavy.

Light, pink bleeding during the first 3 months of pregnancy without pain

this can be normal, or it may be a sign of early miscarriage

See ‘bleeding early in pregnancy’.

Spotting or light bleeding instead of your normal monthly bleeding

the developing baby (fetus) is attaching to the wall of the womb (implantation). This is normal.


Figure

See the chapter on “Pregnancy and Childbirth.”

Bleeding after an abortion or miscarriage

Bleeding problem

May be caused by

What to do

Heavy bleeding, or bleeding that lasts longer than 15 days, or bleeding with pain or fever

pieces of the pregnancy may still be in the womb


Figure

infection in the womb

Go to a hospital or clinic right away.

Bleeding like a normal monthly bleeding, but lasting 5 to 15 days, getting lighter and lighter

this is normal


Figure

See ‘what to expect after an abortion’.

Bleeding after sex

Bleeding problem

May be caused by

What to do

Bleeding during or after sex

sexually transmitted disease (STD)

See ‘gonorrhea and chlamydia’.


pelvic inflammatory disease

See’PID’.


forced sex

See “Rape.”


growths or cancer of the cervix or womb

See ‘cancer of the cervix’ and ‘problems of the womb’.

Bleeding after menopause

Bleeding problem

May be caused by

What to do

Bleeding that begins 12 months or more after menopause

growths or cancer of the womb


Figure

See a health worker trained to do a pelvic exam.


growths or cancer of the cervix

You may need to have a Pap test or a D and C.