HomeAnswersObstetrics and Gynecologyvaginal disordersCan reproductive cancer cause abnormal vaginal bleeding?

Is abnormal vaginal bleeding a sign of reproductive cancer?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Sameer Kumar

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 6, 2016
Reviewed AtJanuary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have been bleeding heavily from my vagina for past five days. It only happens when I either open my bowel or while urinating. I put in a tampon to confirm that the bleeding is coming from my vagina and not from rectum. When I am not using the bathroom there is no bleeding and no blood on underwear. But, as soon as I urinate and have a bowel movement I start to bleed. It is not just spotting. It is a heavy bright blood to sometimes dark heavy blood. It reminds me of my heavy days on my periods. I am nowhere close to my periods now. I am taking birth control and have been getting my periods correctly each month. This bleeding is not a consistent flow. It only happens when I use the bathroom. It is like I have blood pool above my vagina and the minute I push a little to pee or have a bowel movement it spills out. I do not have period cramping. But, the pain will be like a dull, achy to sometimes sharp pain, especially when the blood comes out. It radiates all over my pelvis, ovaries, stomach and back sometimes to my kidneys.

I did consult a gynecologist earlier today. He pressed on my stomach in which I had some discomfort. He also did a vaginal exam and said there was a lot of mucus with blood. When pressed inside, I felt little discomfort. He did a swab and sent it out to be checked for infection and prescribed me some antibiotics just in case it was an infection. He also scheduled me an ultrasound for next week and wants me back in two weeks. He told me to come back sooner if it gets worse. He seemed quite concerned. This evening, I have started to become more dizzy and lightheaded. Could this be just an infection or something else? I do not have itchy or burning vaginal symptoms that you get when you have an infection. I am really worried about this. I am scared of cancer now as I knew that the abnormal bleeding and pain are signs of reproductive cancer. So, I need a second opinion from another doctor while I am waiting for the results.

Answered by Dr. Sameer Kumar


Welcome to icliniq.com

I believe this is the first episode of heavy intermenstrual bleeding or polymenorrhagia for you and during the mid cycle.

The most likely cause for the same can be irregular shedding which can occur in case of ER estrogen excess or progesterone deficiency where endometrial proliferation is unopposed by deficient in progesterone. The fact that you are on birth control should not be presenting in this manner. But, in cases of high dose oral contraceptive pills with higher estrogen content such as irregular shedding has been commonly seen. I would like you to let me know the name of the birth control which you are presently using and since how many months? Secondly, as there was ample mucous discharge mixed with blood on per vaginal examination it is better to rule out any local vaginal infection but invariably it will not cause uterine bleeding or endometrial shedding.

So, the possibility can be either an endometrial polyp or submucosal fibroid which may have developed over the last few months and are likely to be the cause or there is progesterone imbalance which is a likely cause. Hence, ideally antifibrinolytics should have been advised to control and reduce the bleeding and follow it up with an ultrasound pelvis to look for any polyps, submucosal fibroid or ovarian cysts indicating endometriotic cause. As the pain is diffuse in the lower abdomen and per vaginal examination was painful on deeper examination, endometriosis or PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) should also be ruled out by USG and swab test. You should start yourself on antibiotics empirical treatment which shall take care of PID or any bacterial vaginosis as well.

If the bleeding is not controlled and remains heavy causing anemia and dizziness as manifestation then to stop the bleed the best way would be to undertake a dilatation and curettage procedure. Through which can remove the endometrium and subject sample for histopathological exam to rule out any endometrial hyperplasia and accompanied atypia, which may indicate towards an endometrial cancer depending on the reports. At present, wait and watch for excessive bleeding for few more days and if it does not reduce then review with ER and get the ultrasound done sooner and further evaluation. Keep yourself well hydrated to maintain the blood volume and avoid dizziness episodes.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Sameer Kumar
Dr. Sameer Kumar

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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