Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Other Kinds of Bleeding Problems

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 22: Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina > Other Kinds of Bleeding Problems


In this chapter:
Bleeding During Pregnancy or After Childbirth
Bleeding Problem May be caused by What to do
Bleeding during the first 3 months of pregnancy with constant pain or pain that comes and goes

   pregnancy in the tube
URGENT! Go to a hospital right away.
Bleeding during the last 3 months of pregnancy
the afterbirth (placenta) is coming off the wall of the womb


the placenta is covering the cervix
URGENT! Go to a hospital right away.
Bleeding during the first 6 months of pregnancy
may be a miscarriage (especially if you also have cramping pains like birth pains)
Watch and wait. If bleeding becomes heavy, go to a hospital.
Heavy bleeding during or just after childbirth
pieces of the placenta are left in the womb



the womb is too tired to squeeze or tighten
URGENT! See a midwife or go to a hospital if bleeding is heavy.
Light, pink bleeding during the first 3 months of pregnancy without pain this can be normal, or it may be a sign of early miscarriage See ‘bleeding early in pregnancy’.
Spotting or light bleeding instead of your normal monthly bleeding
the developing baby (fetus) is attaching to the wall of the womb (implantation). This is normal.
See the chapter on “Pregnancy and Childbirth.”


Bleeding After an Abortion or Miscarriage
Bleeding Problem May be caused by What to do
Heavy bleeding, or bleeding that lasts longer than 15 days, or bleeding with pain or fever
pieces of the pregnancy may be still in the womb

infection in the womb
Go to a hospital or clinic right away.
Bleeding like a normal monthly bleeding, but lasting 5 to 15 days, getting lighter and lighter
   this is normal
See ‘what to expect after an abortion’.


Bleeding After Sex
Bleeding Problem May be caused by What to do
Bleeding during or after sex sexually transmitted infection (STI)

pelvic inflammatory disease

forced sex

growths or cancer of the cervix or womb
See ‘gonorrhea and chlamydia’.

See ‘PID’.

See ‘Rape’.

See ‘cancer of the cervix’ and
‘problems of the womb’.


Bleeding After Menopause
Bleeding Problem May be caused by What to do
Bleeding that begins 12 months or more after menopause
growths or cancer of the womb

growths or cancer of the cervix
See a health worker trained to do a pelvic exam.
You may need to have a Pap test
or a D and C.


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