Vaginal bleeding means there’s blood coming out of your vagina. There can be various different reasons for this. You may be on your period, you may be losing blood during your pregnancy or you may be losing blood during or after sex. You can also lose blood if you’ve not had your period for one or more years. In most cases, the bleeding will be harmless and irregular periods are usually not abnormal. This will usually happen during the initial and final years of having periods. However, vaginal bleeding can be harmful in a few cases and could then be caused by an underlying condition or disease. It’s therefore always good to be alert and to notice sudden changes.Overzicht gezondheidsklachten
Vaginal bleeding can result in you suffering from several complaints and these will depend on the cause. For example, you could suffer from:
- A lot or little blood loss.
- Irregular or intermittent bleeding.
- Brown or pink discharge.
- Abdominal pain or cramps.
- Pain in your back or legs.
- Pain in your breasts.
- Feeling bloated.
- Changing moods and/or gloominess.
- Pain during sex.
- A wound in your vagina. This can be caused by sex, a tampon or the menopause. The mucous membrane in your vagina is drier during the menopause, which means damage can occur more easily.
- An infected cervix. This can be caused, for example, by chlamydia.
- An underlying abnormality of the cervix. Like a polyp, or abnormal cells which may indicate uterine cancer.
There are various different things you can do yourself in case of vaginal bleeding. This will depend on the cause.
Blood loss due to menstruation.
- Keep a menstrual calendar if you lose a great deal of blood during your period. You can present this to your GP.
- Take it easy and try to find time to relax.
- Heat up a hot water bottle and place it on your abdomen.
- Massage your lower back or get a massage.
- Do exercises with your lower back. You can arch and hollow your back and repeat this a few times. Don’t overload your lower back.
- Sometimes it helps to induce an orgasm. For some women this reduces cramps in the back, legs and abdomen.
- Take ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen for severe pain. Ibuprofen and naproxen are available from the chemist or pharmacy. Diclofenac can be prescribed by your GP. Obtain good advice about the use of this medication and read the package leaflet before taking the medication. This will stop you from taking the wrong dose.
Vaginal bleeding after sex.
- Practice safe sex and be careful. Make sure you are sufficiently aroused before the penis or dildo enters your vagina. Or use a lubricant. This will allow you to prevent wounds and vaginal bleeding.
- Rinse your vagina with water if you suffer from bleeding after sex. It’s best to do this in the shower or bath.
- Put a sanitary towel in your underwear if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
- Don’t have sex again until the wound or damage in your vagina has healed.
Blood loss and abdominal pain in the first three months of your pregnancy.
- Wait for one week if you have lost a little blood. You should contact your GP or midwife for an examination if the bleeding doesn’t stop or gets worse. It can already become clear whether or not you’re suffering a miscarriage after the first week.
- Arrange for an ultrasound immediately if you’re very concerned. There may not be anything to worry about, but an ultrasound can provide you with clarity. This is possible from 6 weeks after conception.
Vaginal bleeding doesn’t have to be serious. However, we recommend you contact your GP or nurse immediately for vaginal bleeding if:
- The advice given to reduce menstrual pain hasn’t worked and if the pain is getting worse.
- Your period is bothering you a great deal.
- You easily feel fatigued because of the bleeding.
- The bleeding is getting worse.
- You are very concerned.
- You bleed after sex. We particularly recommend this if this is the first time you’ve bled after sex.
- You’ve had sex with different partners or contacts.
- You continue to suffer from interim blood loss after the first consultation with your GP. Especially if it’s been going on for three months or more.
- There’s no obvious cause for the bleeding.
- You start to sweat, you feel dizzy and you feel like you’re going to faint.
- You have severe abdominal pain. Especially if it’s a more severe abdominal pain than during your period.
- You develop a fever.
- You lose blood one year after your last menstrual period.
- You have brown or pink discharge.
- The blood loss comes back after it stops.