Vaginal Bleeding in Non-Pregnant Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Female pelvic organs

Many teens have bleeding or spotting between periods. A number of things can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, including hormone problems, stress, ovulation, changes in weight, strenuous exercise, and some kinds of birth control. In these cases, if the bleeding is not heavy and occurs only now and then, there is probably no cause for concern. Rarely, infection, cancer, or other serious conditions can cause bleeding. You may need to have more tests to find the cause of your bleeding.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine. Do not take aspirin, which may make bleeding worse.
  • If your doctor has prescribed birth control pills to help control your bleeding, take them as directed.
  • You may be low in iron because of blood loss. Eat a balanced diet that is high in iron and vitamin C. Foods rich in iron include red meat, shellfish, eggs, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take iron pills or a multivitamin.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. You are soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have new belly or pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have vaginal discharge that smells bad.
  • You feel weak and tired.
  • Your bleeding gets worse.
  • You think you may be pregnant.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: October 13, 2016