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Terms Used to Describe Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding


Vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal if it is not caused by pelvic disease, medicine, pregnancy, or another disease process. The following terms are used to describe abnormal vaginal bleeding:

Terms for vaginal bleeding
Term Definition
Menorrhagia Prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding at regular intervals
Metrorrhagia Irregular, frequent menstrual bleeding that is not prolonged or excessive
Menometrorrhagia Prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding at irregular intervals
Polymenorrhea Regular menstrual bleeding at intervals of less than 21 days
Oligomenorrhea Menstrual bleeding at intervals of more than 45 days
Amenorrhea No menstrual bleeding for at least 3 usual cycle lengths
Intermenstrual Menstrual bleeding between regular menstrual cycles


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised June 20, 2011

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