Metrorrhagia is bleeding from the uterus that occurs between anticipated menstrual periods that is a particularly common problem in teenagers and women approaching menopause. It is considered a type of abnormal vaginal bleeding that is not associated with menstruation, as it occurs at the wrong time of the month. There are many possible causes for metrorrhagia, consequently, treatment will also vary depending on the cause.
In contrast, normal vaginal bleeding occurs as part of every woman’s normal menstrual cycle that implicates an intricate series of hormonal changes in the body, specifically the changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels. Every month, the uterine lining builds up extra blood and tissue in preparation for a potential fertilized egg and thickens. When the egg is released from the ovary, the egg is either fertilized by the sperm and implants in the uterus or if no fertilization occurs, the uterine lining sheds. As a result of the shedding, the periodic menstrual bleeding occurs. The normal menstrual cycle is 28 days plus or minus seven days that typically lasts from two to seven days. Cycle length and amount of blood and fluid loss change with age.
Causes of Metrorrhagia
Metrorrhagia can be caused by a variety of causes, some ranging from mild causes, while in other cases, it may be a result of a serious infection. The following are common causes of metrorrhagia:
- Hormonal imbalances from taking birth control pills or problem with the brain
- Scar tissue
- Inflammation or infection of the uterus, cervix or vagina
- Cervical erosion
- After menopause, dry vaginal walls
- Sexually transmitted infections such as, genital warts, yeast infection etc.
- Use of intrauterine device
- Implantation bleeding
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Certain medications such blood thinners
- Certain chronic medicaldiseases such as diabetes, blood clotting disorders, thyroid disorders, etc.
Symptoms of Metrorrhagia
Metrorrhagia symptoms are evident and the following symptoms may or may not be present:
- Light to heavy bleeding between regular menstrual periods
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- In cases of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, severe abdominal cramps
Treatment for Metrorrhagia
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Always seek medical advice for proper diagnosis. To alleviate discomfort, apply first aid.
- Ensure the bleeding is coming from the vagina and not the urine or rectum. A tampon may be used to make sure bleeding is indeed from the vagina.
- For heavy bleeding, take plenty of rest. Note the number of pads or tampons used.
- Do not take aspirin as it may extend vaginal bleeding.
- Hormonal treatments may be necessary for hormonal imbalances.
- For cases of bacterial infection, antibiotics are essential.
- In some cases, a hysteroscopy or hysterectomy may be required.
Disclaimer: The information mentioned above should not be used for medical advice or treatment. Seek medical attention when necessary. To learn how to treat metrorrhagia and other bleedings in the body, enrol in First Aid Courses with workplace approved Training.