Unusual vaginal bleeding could be a symptom of an issue with your reproductive system. This is called a gynecological condition. Or it could be due to another medical problem or a medicine.

If you're in menopause and notice vaginal bleeding, see your doctor or other health care professional. It could be a cause for concern. Menopause is commonly defined as having no periods for about 12 months.

You might hear this type of vaginal bleeding also called abnormal vaginal bleeding. Possible causes of unusual vaginal bleeding include:

Cancers and precancerous conditions

  1. Cervical cancer
  2. Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer)
  3. Endometrial hyperplasia
  4. Ovarian cancer
  5. Uterine sarcoma
  6. Vaginal cancer

Endocrine system factors

  1. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  2. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  3. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  4. Stopping or changing birth control pills
  5. Withdrawal bleeding, a side effect of menopausal hormone therapy

Fertility and reproduction factors

  1. Ectopic pregnancy
  2. Fluctuating hormone levels
  3. Miscarriage (which is pregnancy loss before the 20th week of pregnancy)
  4. Perimenopause
  5. Pregnancy
  6. Random ovulatory cycles
  7. Sexual intercourse
  8. Vaginal atrophy , also called genitourinary syndrome of menopause


  1. Cervicitis
  2. Chlamydia trachomatis
  3. Endometritis
  4. Gonorrhea
  5. Herpes
  6. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  7. Ureaplasma vaginitis
  8. Vaginitis

Medical conditions

  1. Celiac disease
  2. Obesity
  3. Severe systemic disease, such as kidney or liver disease
  4. Thrombocytopenia
  5. Von Willebrand disease (and other blood clotting disorders)

Medications and devices

  1. Birth control pills.
  2. Forgotten, also called retained, tampon
  3. Intrauterine device (IUD)
  4. Tamoxifen (Soltamox)
  5. Withdrawal bleeding, a side effect of menopausal hormone therapy

Noncancerous growths and other uterine conditions

  1. Adenomyosis
  2. Cervical polyps
  3. Endometrial polyps
  4. Uterine fibroids
  5. Uterine polyps


  1. Blunt trauma or penetrating injury to the vagina or cervix
  2. Past obstetric or gynecological surgery. This includes cesarean sections.
  3. Sexual abuse

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

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May 02, 2023