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Abnormal Bleeding Specialist

Susanne Ramos, MD

OB/GYNs located in Santa Barbara, CA

Abnormal or unexpected vaginal bleeding is usually a sign that you should call Dr. Susanne Ramos and her team in Santa Barbara, California, particularly if you’re pregnant. While chances are that there’s nothing wrong, abnormal bleeding can be serious, so early diagnosis is always a good idea. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Abnormal Bleeding Q & A

Medium full shot f a female patient talking with her provider

What constitutes abnormal vaginal bleeding?

Any bleeding that you don’t expect or that isn’t related to your period could be considered abnormal. The bleeding might be extra heavy so it soaks a pad or tampon within an hour or two, or it might be light spotting between periods. There are some general situations that describe abnormal bleeding. However, anytime you’re surprised or concerned with bleeding, calling Dr. Ramos is prudent.

What situations are likely during abnormal bleeding?

Contact Dr. Ramos for vaginal bleeding in:

  • Girls with who are younger than eight years old, or who show no other signs of puberty
  • Postmenopausal women who do not use hormone therapy
  • Menopausal women using cyclic hormone therapy who experience bleeding other than withdrawal bleeding
  • Menopausal women using continuous hormone therapy who experience heavy bleeding, or any bleeding that persists after six months

Are there conditions that might be mistaken for abnormal?

There are several common situations where bleeding is not likely abnormal, even though it may be unexpected. Even so, contact Dr. Ramos if you’re concerned. These conditions may include:

  • Newborn baby girls who exhibit minor bleeding for about one month after birth
  • Teenagers who experience irregular cycles for the first few years of menstruation
  • Unexpected spotting after starting birth control pills
  • Perimenopausal women who experience irregular periods

What causes abnormal vaginal bleeding?

Vaginal bleeding may be due to a problem with your reproductive system or in relation to other medical conditions, including reactions to medications. Sometimes bleeding occurs after intercourse, or it can happen during pregnancy or as a result of a miscarriage. Hormone fluctuations may cause irregular bleeding in girls who are just starting their periods or in women approaching menopause.

There are numerous other possible causes for abnormal bleeding including:

Internal devices: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) may sometimes cause bleeding, as can tampons that are retained or forgotten.

Medications: Starting, stopping, or changing types of birth control pills may lead to vaginal bleeding. Spotting or bleeding may be a side effect of taking hormone therapy for menopause or of taking tamoxifen, a breast cancer medication.

Uterine growths or conditions: Bleeding may be caused by uterine fibroids and uterine or cervical polyps, as well as cancers of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, or vagina.

Gynecologic infections: Cervicitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or pelvic inflammatory disease may spark bleeding.

Other gynecologic issues: Polycystic ovary syndrome may lead to vaginal bleeding, and it’s sometimes a result of random ovulation or simply fluctuating hormone levels.

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