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Vaginal Bleeding Diagnosis

Vaginal Bleeding Diagnosis
Vaginal bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding is one of the most common reasons women see their doctors. It can occur at any age and has many causes. Some causes of vaginal bleeding are easily treated, while others are more serious. Finding the cause is the first step in treatment.

Medical exams
In order to diagnose your case, your doctor may start by checking for problems most common in your age group.  As we discuss diagnostic techniques, now might be a good time to pause the video to take notes. 

First, your doctor will ask about your personal and family health history. Be prepared to discuss these issues:

  • Your menstrual cycle
  • Past or present illnesses
  • Use of medications
  • Use of birth control
  • Weight, eating and exercise habits, and level of stress

Also be prepared for a physical exam and perhaps some blood tests. These tests check your blood count and hormone levels to exclude blood diseases as possible causes for abnormal uterine bleeding. You also may have a test to see if you are pregnant.  Based on your symptoms, other tests your doctor may order include:

  • Dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Various pelvic exams

You can help prepare for your appointment by keeping track of your menstrual cycle before your visit. Note the dates, length, and type of your bleeding on a calendar (light, medium, heavy, or spotting).  This is called a Menstrual Flow Diary. Your notes can help your doctor target and better diagnose the problem.

Remember, abnormal bleeding can occur at any age. At certain times in a woman's life it is common for periods to be somewhat irregular.  It also is normal to skip periods or for bleeding to get lighter or heavier during certain times of your life.  But, if you suspect that there is a problem, seek help.   Pelvic exams, blood tests and other procedures can help your doctor diagnose any problem and get treatment started.  To learn more about treating abnormal uterine and vaginal bleeding, read about causes of vaginal bleeding in the Vaginal Bleeding Treatment section now.

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Tags: vaginal bleeding, vaginal, menstrual cycle, Birth Control, blood tests, medications, ultrasound, treatment, menstrual, age group, symptoms, pregnant, Diseases, Exercise, periods, weight, biopsy, Stress, woman, endometrial biopsy
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