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Was My Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Caused By a Miscarriage?

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Updated June 29, 2009

Question: Was My Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Caused By a Miscarriage?

I've been reading a lot of articles about miscarriage, and it struck me that I had a really weird thing happen several months ago. I had a very heavy period that wasn't quite at the right time and came along with vaginal bleeding that lasted for several days. Did I have a miscarriage? Should I go to the doctor?

Answer:

While it is certainly possible that you had a miscarriage, unless you know for sure that you were pregnant it is impossible to say in retrospect whether a miscarriage caused the vaginal bleeding. There are several other potential explanations for unusual vaginal bleeding, ranging from thyroid concerns to polyps and fibroids.

As for seeing the doctor, definitely call if you having vaginal bleeding right now and suspect you could be pregnant. If the incident was in the past, it can't hurt to mention it next time you go in. But unless you have other concerning symptoms right now, there's no need to hurry. There isn't any way for your doctor to investigate in retrospect whether bleeding that occurred several months ago was caused by a miscarriage. Remember, too, that even if the past bleeding was a miscarriage, it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you that needs treating. Most miscarriages are random, and having one miscarriage does not necessarily mean you have a higher risk of having another one.

Source:

Vaginal Bleeding. The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. Accessed: 26 June 2009. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec18/ch242/ch242e.html

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