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Causes of Light Vaginal Bleeding With Clots

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: BStone • updated: 2/24/2011

Blood clots during a menstrual period are normal, as this is a natural part of the menstrual cycle. In some cases, however, the presence of blood clots during vaginal bleeding may be caused by gynecological and systemic disorders. Learn more about the causes of light vaginal bleeding with clots.

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    During a menstrual period, blood clots are likely to appear, particularly if the blood flow is heavy. This happens during excessive bleeding, when the mechanism of the anticoagulant (secreted by the body to allow blood flow) fails to function efficiently. This results to blood clots to form, along with heavy bleeding. This is a normal phenomenon, as this happens as part of the menstrual cycle.

    Vaginal bleeding with clots can be an indication of some gynecological and systemic disorders. In such instances, the blood clots are formed with an abnormal or normal flow. Among the factors that contribute to blood clots during vaginal bleeding are the use of Intra Uterine Devices (IUD's) and oral contraceptives, polyps, tumors of some areas in the reproductive system (uterus, cervix, vagina), thrombophilia, adenomyosis, and endometriosis. Here are the most common causes of light vaginal bleeding with clots, and an explanation on why this condition occurs.

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    Vaginal bleeding with blood clots: What are the common causes?

    In a normal vaginal bleeding, a heavy flow is normally accompanied by clots, because of the anticoagulant's failure to efficiently function. An abnormal vaginal bleeding, whether normal or light blood flow, with blood clots can be an indication of a gynecological or systemic disorder such as the following:

    • Hormonal changes

    An imbalance in the progesterone and estrogen can cause the uterine lining to become thicker than usual. This same lining is shed, and it results to a light to heavy blood flow with abnormal blood clots. Women who are in the peri-menopause stage, those who suddenly quit birth control or have recently taken other forms of hormone methods of birth control, and even those who take drugs such as antibiotics and liver medication are likely to experience hormonal changes or imbalance.

    • Polyps

    Polyps, or benign growths that commonly form in the uterine walls, results to vaginal bleeding with blood clots. They are small bulb-shaped masses that are attached to the endometrial tissue. These growths are usually found in women that are in the perimenopause or menopause stage, obese, and are taking an anti-estrogen drug. Those who have polyps experience vaginal bleeding with or without blood clots.

    • Clotting disorders

    Thrombophilia, a clotting disorder that allows an increased tendency to form clots, is more common in men than in women. However, pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases a woman's risk in having this disorder. Women that suffer from thrombophilia have blood clots passing through vaginal bleeding.

    • Adenomyosis or Endometriosis

    These medical conditions are related, as they pertain to a misplaced formation of tissue in the endometrium. If the tissue develops outside the uterus, this condition is called endometriosis. A formation of tissue in the muscle that makes up the uterine walls is called adenomyosis. Both of these disorders can result to an abnormal vaginal bleeding with clots or thickness of blood.

    • Miscarriage

    Miscarriage is often caused by several factors such as hormonal problems, infections, disorders or problems in the reproductive organs, uncontrolled diabetes, and other diseases. Abdominal pains, cramps, light or heavy vaginal bleeding with passing clots are the common symptoms of miscarriage.

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    Vaginal bleeding with clots often occur as a result of heavy bleeding during the menstruation period. However, some gynecological and systemic disorders can also result to abnormal vaginal bleeding with passing clots. If the cause of the bleeding is accompanied with other symptoms like cramps, abdominal pains, nausea or vomiting or weakness, the patient must seek medical advice promptly.