How to distinguish menstruation from bleeding


As is known, the loss of blood even in small quantities affects the state of human health. The main cause of blood loss in women is uterine bleeding. By natural (normal) uterine bleeding include monthly (or menstruation), that is, monthly bleeding, which occur, as a rule, after the same period of time. In all other cases, bleeding from the vagina requires a specialist examination and, if necessary, treatment.

The main thing is to recognize in time the onset of bleeding and seek medical help. And for this you need to be aware of the causes of blood loss and be able to distinguish them from menstruation.

Causes provoking abnormal vaginal bleeding

Causes provoking abnormal vaginal bleeding

In the absolute majority of cases, the appearance of bleeding in the middle of the cycle provokes various diseases or pathological conditions.

In medicine, all uterine blood loss is divided into the following groups:

  • dysfunctional;
  • organic.

Dysfunctional bleeding is abnormal discharge of blood from the genitals (often occurring, very abundant or prolonged). Because of the transferred nervous shocks, artificial abortions, taking certain medications or excessive overworking, the woman's hormonal regulation of the monthly cycle is disturbed, causing insufficient or, alternatively, excessive formation of female hormones - estrogen. They, in turn, affect the state of the uterine organ and the processes that occur in it.

It should be noted that such bleeding is not associated with diseases of the female genital organs (uterus, ovaries). Depending on age, all dysfunctional blood loss is divided into three types:

  • juvenile - 12-18 years old;
  • bleeding of the reproductive period - 18-45 years;
  • menopausal bleeding - 45-55 years.

Causes of bleeding in the juvenile period:

  • overwork;
  • physical or mental trauma;
  • disruption of the adrenal glands or thyroid gland;
  • insufficient or unhealthy diet.

Causes of blood loss in the reproductive period:

  • stress;
  • overwork;
  • drug intoxication;
  • abortions;
  • changing of the climate.

Causes of Organic Bleeding

Bleeding in menopause is associated with the preparation of the body for menopause.

The main causes of organic bleeding are different in the degree of complexity of the disease of the female genital organs and pathological conditions:

  • uterine organ fibroids;
  • ectopic pregnancy;
  • endometritis and endometriosis;
  • endometrial polyps;
  • miscarriage, etc.

How to distinguish bleeding from menstruation?

Determining uterine bleeding is much easier if it occurs between menstruations. But it may happen that the bleeding that has opened will coincide with the monthly bleeding. Every woman should know a number of signs that will help her distinguish between these two states.

The main differences between menstruation and bleeding:

  • a significant increase in the amount of blood secreted from the vagina (more than 80 ml);
  • the duration of the month more than 7 days;
  • irregularity of the monthly cycle (less than 21 days or more than 34-35 days);
  • bleeding after intercourse;
  • bleeding during pregnancy;
  • discharge after menopause;
  • the presence of unpleasant odor;
  • changes in the general health of a woman: fever, weakness, dizziness, that is, those signs that occur with anemia.

All of the above symptoms are a reason for the urgent request for help in a health facility, especially if the bleeding is abundant (that is, two pads of maximum size are completely soaked with blood for an hour).

However, there is a type of uterine blood loss, which is not pathological in nature - it is implantational bleeding.

The main differences between menstruation and bleeding

Why do implantation bleeding occur?

About such a phenomenon as implantation bleeding, many women probably do not even suspect, although they have similar symptoms with menstruation and are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.

How long does implantation bleeding last and how does it differ from menstruation? This kind of bleeding occurs as a result of the attachment of an egg in the uterus and has the following symptoms:

  • the relative scarcity of discharge (sometimes it is just a few drops of bleeding);
  • short duration - often such discharge goes through a day or two;
  • the color of the discharge may be different (from almost transparent with several blood streaks to light pink);
  • the presence of not very intense pain, as with menstruation.

Plus, implantation bleeding can be accompanied by the first signs of a successful conception:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • drowsiness and general malaise.

In general, it is easy to distinguish menstruation from implant bleeding: you need to pay attention to the color and duration of vaginal discharge.

How to distinguish menstruation from bleeding during pregnancy?

Bleeding during pregnancy (in comparison with the implantation described above) is always a very disturbing sign, requiring the adoption of appropriate measures. Such blood loss may be due to placental abruption, ectopic pregnancy, or rupture of the walls of the uterus, and is not only the threat of interruption of the childbearing, but also the life of the woman.

From the above, only one conclusion can be made: for any bleeding during pregnancy, an urgent need to consult a doctor. This will help to preserve the health of the woman and carry out the baby before the due date.

Lochia - the norm or pathology?

Another type of bleeding - lochia - occurs in the postpartum period. If the mother is breastfeeding the baby, then a special hormone is produced in her body - prolactin. It also prevents the maturation of the eggs, which is the reason for the lack of menstruation during the entire period of breastfeeding.

If for some reason a woman is forced to abandon breastfeeding, then her period may well begin.

How to distinguish lochia from menstruation?

To distinguish lochia from menstruation, you need to pay attention to their following signs:

  • duration - postpartum hemorrhage usually lasts about 6 to 8 weeks;
  • the color of the discharge and profusion - the first 4 days there are bright, abundant secretions, then gradually brighten, and their intensity decreases.

Despite the duration of this kind of discharge, they do not represent a threat to the life of a woman, since during the period of pregnancy her blood volume increases significantly. Unlike menstruation, they last longer (sometimes they can last 6-8 weeks).

First aid for bleeding

First aid for bleeding

Uterine bleeding is a serious signal of a violation in the female body, especially if it is abundant and lasts a long time. That is why you should not postpone the call of the ambulance or a visit to the doctor.

If the bleeding is very intense and is accompanied by pain, before the ambulance arrives, you can give the woman first aid. Here are some recommendations:

  1. You need to put the patient on the bed, putting a pillow under your feet.
  2. You can use a hot-water bottle with ice, after wrapping it with a towel.
  3. Give plenty of drink (water, tea) in order to compensate for the loss of fluid.

When bleeding is strictly prohibited:

  • douche;
  • take a hot bath;
  • warm the lower abdomen.

Folk remedies for bleeding

As an addition to the main treatment, which was prescribed by the doctor, you can use the popular recipes. It has long been popularly believed that water pepper, nettle, shepherd's purse, yarrow, and viburnum bark have hemostatic properties.

Recipe for making peppermint tincture:

  1. Take 1 tbsp. l cut grass and pour 200 ml of boiling water.
  2. Let it brew for 60 minutes.
  3. Take 3 times a day and 1 tbsp. l

But remember that folk remedies, painkillers and hemostatic pills will help temporarily relieve pain, but will not eliminate the cause of its pain. Therefore, it is not necessary to engage in self-treatment and put your own health at risk, but it is better to seek help from a specialist in time.