The Major Difference Between Vaginal Infection and Vaginal Bleeding

Are you concerned that the vaginal bleeding you are currently experiencing could actually be a type of vaginal infection bleeding, as opposed to the bleeding you experience from your normal menstrual cycle?

The term vaginal infection, which can include infections that are bacterial, fungal and even parasitical in nature, can cause a number of troublesome vaginal symptoms, including vaginal infection bleeding.

But how do you differentiate between normal menstrual bleeding and the type caused by infection?

This is not always an easy proposition; however, when the bleeding is caused by infection there will usually be other signs and symptoms that are fairly easy to recognize.

In this article, we will take a closer look at this topic by providing a comprehensive definition of vaginal infection bleeding, explaining its characteristics and outlining some of the more common infectious causes for this awkward and embarrassing problem.

Vaginal Health

Source: PointFinder

What Is Vaginal Infection Bleeding?

As the name suggests, vaginal infection bleeding is blood that flows from the vagina as the result of some type of infection.

This blood can originate in the vagina, cervix or uterus, but in the case of infection-related bleeding, the origin point is most typically the vagina.

When a woman experiences unexpected vaginal bleeding, a typical bleeding that occurs outside of the normal menstrual cycle, it can point to a number of underlying conditions, some more serious than others. 

For example, vaginal bleeding can often be caused by irritation, due to vaginal dryness or sex, or it may be a side effect of certain medications.

Pregnancy complications can also cause vaginal bleeding, and in more serious cases, uterine cancer or pelvic inflammatory disease may be to blame. 

Only a doctor can say for certain what the root of your bleeding is, however, in the majority of vaginal bleeding cases, when the bleeding occurs outside of the normal menstrual cycle – the root cause is normally some type of vaginal infection.

Vaginal Infections and Vaginal Bleeding

There are many different types of vaginal infections, each with a different cause, but regardless of the specific origin of the infection, it will almost always lead to a condition called vaginitis.

Vaginitis can best be defined as an irritation and/or inflammation of the vagina, with characteristics that may include redness, soreness, itching and burning, and in some cases, vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding.

Healthy vs Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

Source: Healthline

While vaginal infection bleeding can potentially occur at any time during the infection cycle, most cases of vaginal infection bleeding are the result of direct contact with the affected area, which is why vaginal bleeding is so prevalent during and after sexual intercourse.

The amount of bleeding women experience varies, and can range from mere spotting in the less serious cases, to a very heavy flow when the infection and irritation are more profound.

There are several types/classifications of vaginal infections that can eventually lead to vaginal infection bleeding.

These infections can be caused by bacteria, fungus, viruses and even parasites and include:

  • Vaginal Yeast Infection. A very common type of infection among women, vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungus which can leave the vagina area very dry and irritated.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis. BV is caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and can also lead to vaginitis.
  • Gonorr​hea. While not technically an infection, Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause vaginal infection bleeding.
  • Chlamydia. Also sexually transmitted, Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection that, when left untreated, can lead to many serious complications, including vaginal infection bleeding.
  • Trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is caused by a tiny protozoan, a parasite that causes infection and potential bleeding.
Types of Vaginal Discharge

Source: Unity Point

Vaginal bleeding is a normal, monthly menstrual function, but when that bleeding is abnormal, such as bleeding that is very heavy or occurring at unexpected times, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying cause.

In many cases, the root of the problem may be one of the treatable vaginal infections listed above, but to be on the safe side, and to rule out a more serious condition such as uterine or cervical cancer, it’s extremely vital that you meet with your doctor at the first sign of symptoms.