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5 Treatable Causes of Vaginal Bleeding

On average, girls get their first menstrual period at age 12. Once you start, you can expect monthly periods until you reach menopause. Most women have about 450 periods in their lifetimes.

Your uterus naturally sheds its lining during your menstrual periods, and vaginal bleeding is a normal part of this process. But certain medical issues can cause heavy, irregular, or otherwise concerning vaginal bleeding. 

Before you jump to the worst-case scenario, take a breath. Most causes of vaginal bleeding are treatable, and A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team are here to help you find answers. We offer comprehensive gynecology care in Cranston, Providence, and Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Here are five possible causes of vaginal bleeding that you should be aware of:

Hormonal imbalance

Hormones regulate your menstrual cycle, and hormonal fluctuations can wreak havoc on your periods and cause irregular bleeding. Stress, weight changes, and underlying medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can all disrupt your hormonal balance.

If hormonal imbalance is behind your symptoms, Dr. Coppa might recommend hormonal contraceptives or hormone therapy to help regulate your cycle and alleviate abnormal bleeding.


Infections in your reproductive system can cause unusual vaginal bleeding. A few common infections are yeast infections and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like gonorrhea or chlamydia. 

These infections often come with other symptoms, too, including unusual discharge, itching, or burning sensations.

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical treatment. We can diagnose your condition and prescribe treatment, like antibiotics or antifungal medications, to effectively clear the infection.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in your uterus, and as many as 77% of women get fibroids during their lifetimes. While fibroids don't always cause symptoms, they can lead to abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure.

Treatment options for fibroids range from medication to surgical procedures, depending on the size and location of the fibroids. Dr. Coppa and our team work with you to find the best approach to manage your condition and alleviate symptoms.

Endometrial polyps

Endometrial polyps are small growths that form in the lining of your uterus. They’re almost always noncancerous, but they can cause discomfort, affect your menstrual cycle, and cause irregular bleeding or spotting between periods.

If you have endometrial polyps, Dr. Coppa may recommend removing them through a minimally invasive procedure like hysteroscopy to prevent further bleeding episodes.

Heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia)

While vaginal bleeding is an unavoidable part of getting your period, very heavy bleeding isn’t normal. Menorrhagia is a common condition that’s characterized by unusually heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding that can interfere with your daily activities and quality of life.

If you’re diagnosed with menorrhagia, you have several treatment options. Dr. Coppa might recommend managing bleeding with hormonal contraceptives, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or even surgical interventions like endometrial ablation or hysterectomy in severe cases.

Experiencing vaginal bleeding doesn't necessarily mean something serious is wrong. It’s essential to talk to your health care team if you’re worried about your symptoms. We offer comprehensive exams to uncover the cause of your symptoms and personalized care plans to help you enjoy your best possible health.

Don't hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help. Call our office nearest you or request an appointment online to get started.

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