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Vaginal Bleeding

Causes of Vaginal Bleeding

A normal menstrual cycle causes vaginal bleeding during a woman’s period, about every 28 days. Commonly, abnormal bleeding results from a change in levels of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that play an important role in ovulation.

Other causes of vaginal bleeding not related to a normal period include:

  • Infection in the uterus (pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Recent injury or surgery to the uterus
  • Changing birth control or hormone medications
  • Use of steroids or blood thinners such as warfarin or Coumadin
  • Changes in exercise routine
  • Dietary changes
  • Recent weight loss or gain
  • Stress
  • Use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
  • Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and other pregnancy complications
  • Bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand disease
  • Cancer of the uterus
  • Endometrial hyperplasia, a thickening of the lining of the uterus
  • Medical conditions such as thyroid and pituitary disorders, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and lupus
  • Noncancerous growths in the womb, including uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, and adenomyosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome


Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be an indication of a serious underlying condition and should be checked by a doctor immediately. The possible causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus
  • The placenta blocks the cervix
  • Fetal blood vessels cross the cervix
  • Infection of the cervix
  • Cervical polyps
  • Early labor

Locations for Vaginal Bleeding