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Vaginal bleeding self care

Controlling your bleeding

If you are bleeding, you may want to use a pad. Don’t use a tampon if you have a vaginal injury or a foreign body is in place.

Make sure you change your pad at regular intervals at least every three to four hours.

If you are changing your towel every one to two hours due to heavy blood loss, you should visit your doctor for advice if:

  • the bleeding is not contained with a pad/tampon
  • you are changing a pad/tampon every hour or less, or overnight
  • you're passing clots greater than a 50 cent piece
  • your bleeding lasts for more than 7-8 days.

If you are bleeding very heavily or you feel faint or as if you might pass out call triple zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.

Advice for vaginal bleeding

There are other things you can do to look after yourself including:

  • Getting plenty of rest may help ease any discomfort caused by your bleeding.
  • Drink water unless you have an existing medical condition which means this is not possible.
  • If the vaginal area is painful and swollen, a cold compress or covered ice pack may be used to relieve the pain and swelling. Do not keep the ice pack on the area for more than 30 minutes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water then dry thoroughly before touching or cleaning the area.
  • Do not apply any creams or lotions to the irritated area without discussing your problem with a pharmacist first.
  • If you are in pain, get advice on medicines you can take. You could try using a heat pack or hot water bottle on your tummy, doing some gentle exercise or relaxing to relieve pain.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about vaginal bleeding, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: September 2017

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