Abnormal vaginal bleeding can relate to an issue with your reproductive system (a gynecologic condition) or to other medical problems or certain medications. If you've gone through the menopausal transition — 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period — any vaginal bleeding is a particular cause for concern.

Possible causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding include:

  1. Adenomyosis
  2. Celiac disease
  3. Cervical cancer
  4. Cervical polyps, noncancerous (benign) growths on your cervix
  5. Chlamydia
  6. Problems with the cervix, such as a cervical infection, inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix
  7. Endometrial cancer
  8. Endometrial hyperplasia
  9. Endrometrial polyps
  10. Endometritis
  11. Fluctuating hormone levels
  12. Gonorrhea
  13. Hypothyroidism
  14. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  15. Intrauterine contraceptive device
  16. Menorrhagia
  17. Miscarriage (before the 20th week) or intrauterine fetal death
  18. Ovarian cancer
  19. Ovarian cysts
  20. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  21. Perimenopause
  22. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  23. Pregnancy
  24. Random ovulatory cycles
  25. Severe systemic disease, such as kidney or liver disease
  26. Sexual abuse
  27. Sexual intercourse
  28. Stopping birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (withdrawal bleeding)
  29. Tamoxifen side effect
  30. Thrombocytopenia
  31. Uterine fibroids
  32. Uterine polyps
  33. Uterine sarcoma
  34. Vaginal atrophy
  35. Vaginal cancer
  36. Vaginal or cervical trauma
  37. Vaginitis
  38. Von Willebrand disease (and other blood clotting disorders)

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

April 16, 2013