“It is important to note that bleeding after menopause is not normal and should be investigated. Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Vaginal Bleeding and Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Abnormal Bleeding
  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB)
  • Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding (AVB)
  • Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
  • Spotting
  • Uterine Bleeding
  • Vaginal Bleeding

Definition

What is abnormal vaginal bleeding (AVB)?

Dots the definition of AVB may vary. In Vaginal Bleeding: Summary the (United States) Medline Plus’ definition is:

“Menstruation, or period, is a woman’s monthly bleeding.Abnormal vaginal bleeding is different from normal menstrual periods. It could be bleeding that is between periods, is very heavy, or lasts much longer than usual. It also includes bleeding that happens before puberty or after menopause”.2

In Vaginal Bleeding: Basics – Definition the (United States) Mayo Clinic’s definition is:

“Abnormal vaginal bleeding is any vaginal bleeding unrelated to normal menstruation. This type of bleeding may include spotting of small amounts of blood between periods — often seen on toilet tissue after wiping — or extremely heavy periods in which you soak a pad or tampon every one to two hours for two or more hours”.3

When

When is vaginal bleeding considered AVB or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)?

In Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: FAQ – When Is Bleeding Abnormal? the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) explain:

“Bleeding in any of the following situations is considered abnormal uterine bleeding:

  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Bleeding or spotting after sex
  • Heavy bleeding during your period
  • Menstrual cycles that are longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days
  • “Irregular” periods in which cycle length varies by more than 7–9 days
  • Bleeding after menopause”.4

Postmenopausal Bleeding

Is postmenopausal vaginal bleeding normal?

No. In Health After Menopause: Postmenopausal Bleeding the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

Postmenopausal Bleeding
“It is important to note that bleeding after menopause is not normal and should be investigated. Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs more than 12 months after your final period (the menopause). It can be bleeding like a period, spotting or staining”.5

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have AVB?

If you think you have AVB, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Vagina: What’s Normal, What’s Not – What Are Signs or Symptoms of Vaginal Problems? the Mayo Clinic explain:

“Consult your doctor if you notice:

  • A change in the color, odor or amount of vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal redness or itching
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
  • A mass or bulge in your vagina
  • Pain during intercourse”.6

In About Menopause the JH also note:

“When To See Your Doctor

  • If you are troubled by irregular cycles
  • If you are worried about heavy bleeding/bleeding abnormal to you/bleeding between periods and/or after sex
  • If you have increased PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms and/or pain
  • If you have some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, that interfere with your daily life”.7

Health Topics A-Z

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In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Health After Menopause: Postmenopausal Bleeding. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause Accessed: 26 May 2020
  2. Vaginal Bleeding: Summary. Page Last Updated on: 20 May 2020. Topic Last Reviewed: 01 July 2016. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vaginalbleeding.html Accessed: 26 May 2020
  3. Vaginal Bleeding: Basics – Definition. 23 April 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/vaginal-bleeding/basics/definition/SYM-20050756 Accessed: 26 May 2020
  4. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: FAQ – When Is Bleeding Abnormal? March 2017. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/gynecologic-problems/abnormal-uterine-bleeding Accessed: 26 May 2020
  5. Health After Menopause: Postmenopausal Bleeding. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause Accessed: 26 May 2020
  6. Vagina: What’s Normal, What’s Not – What Are Signs or Symptoms of Vaginal Problems? 11 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 26 May 2020
  7. About Menopause: When To See Your Doctor. Last Updated: 04 March 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/about-menopause Accessed: 26 May 2020
Topic Last Updated: 26 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 26 May 2020
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