You would be right in assuming that belly button bleeding is something that must be taken seriously and is not common. Navel bleeding, as it is also known, can have many different causes. The most common is infection, but fungal growth can be the source too. Sometimes belly button bleeding is a result of injury. Whatever the cause may be, there is significant risk to your health if you let the issue go untreated. Your doctor will examine you and may order tests to determine the cause of your bleeding. Once the cause of belly button discharge or even bleeding is known, then the proper course of treatment can be followed to heal the problem.
What Causes Belly Button Bleeding?
The official name of the belly button is the umbilicus. It is what is left of the umbilical cord that we are all born with that delivered our nutrients while in the womb.
1. Infection of Skin in Belly Button
Having an infection of the belly button is the most common cause of bleeding or discharge. Getting an infection in your belly button is surprisingly easy as it can become an ideal host for bacteria by providing a warm, moist and dark place for it to grow.
Symptoms of infection:
An infection can be spotted early on. If you see that the area around the belly button has become swollen and colored, that is one of the first symptoms. The next stage will bring an odorous discharge. This is then followed by bleeding. The amount of bleeding can vary from spotting to an actual flow. The key thing to remember is that any bleeding is too much and you should see your doctor.
Treatment depends on the type and extent of the infection or fungal growth. You could be prescribed medicated topicals, or be prescribed appropriate oral medications too.
2. Growing Cyst
A rare, but not unheard of, cause of belly button bleeding may be from the presence of a cyst. This cyst, which is more accurately called a duct, is a urachal remnant. That means we needed a connection to our abdominal wall from our umbilicus when we were in the womb, but sometimes it doesn’t close over as we grow outside of the womb and occasional bleeding will result. While this is a more normative cause of bleeding, it is still at a high risk for serious infection.
3. Injury to the Belly Button Area
When there is a trauma that creates a wound or abrasion in the belly button it may not be immediately noticed. The wound may be nothing more than severe bruising in the area. That can compromise tissue so much that there begins to be seepage of blood through the skin. Many times those who have had abdominal surgery, recently given birth or were involved in accidents where there was impact to the abdominal area suffer this.
4. Surgical Procedure
Many surgical procedures will cause belly button bleeding. Especially those who used the area as an entrance for laparoscopic surgical tools.
5. Piercing in Belly Button
One cause of belly button bleeding that is becoming more and more common is the result of navel piercings. If not done correctly, or taken care of correctly after the procedure this area is prone to infection. It is very important to remember that a belly button infection can be passed to other persons. This is why following the aftercare instructions to help your piercings heal is so important.
6. More Serious Causes
Sometimes it could be serious conditions in the abdomen or even in the reproductive system, which you can learn from what others have experienced below.
What Should You Do About It?
If you begin to experience belly button bleeding you should seek immediate care from a doctor. There is a risk of infection that could lead to serious complications. Left untreated, the infection can also spread to cause abdominal problems and other issues.An examination by a doctor, and appropriate tests, can determine whether or not you have a fungal infection or bacterial infection. If so, there are medicated anti-fungal creams and antibiotic medications that can be prescribed.
If you notice bleeding, but don’t notice any other symptoms, see your doctor. If you wait for symptoms such as diarrhea, discharge or fever you may have let the infection grow enough to cause serious risk to your health. The rule of thumb is that any bleeding from the navel area must be taken seriously.
Do’s and Don’ts to Maintain Belly Button Hygiene
- Do make sure that you wash the area every day. Use an antibacterial soap and make sure you dry it completely. This will help prevent infections, especially if you have a pierced navel.
- Do let the belly button scab over completely. The scab is an important part of the healing process, so leave it alone and don’t pick or scratch at the area.
- Don’t use creams and powders, even the ones labeled “antiseptic”. They can aggravate the area if it is already infected. You are better off using warm water with salt dissolved in it. Gently cleanse the area with the water and then dry it.
What Others Have Experienced
“My doctor kept telling me it was a yeast infection but nothing he gave me for it worked. I basically resigned myself to just keeping baby wipes with me all the time to try and keep it clean. It was my gyno who told me there was a possibility it was endometriosis. I hadn’t thought to mention to her before but it was happening when I went for my last annual. It took one simple test to find out she was right. It was easy to clear up after that. If you have the insurance, get your doctor to order the tests for this. “
“My first thought was that it was a blood blister I somehow managed to get on my abdomen. There was some bleeding, but then there was a kind of soft and mushy discharge. A couple of days ago I started to have a problem with diarrhea and I am just hoping it isn’t related to what is going on with the bleeding and discharge. I have an appointment tomorrow with the doctor. In the meantime I am cleaning everything with a peroxide water mix. I am hoping the doctor has some kind of cream they can prescribe me.”
“In my case it didn’t take much to figure out that it was probably a fungus. Just make sure your belly button was clean and dry. The belly button became itchy, dry, cracked that bled and had a discharge that just smells awful. I didn’t know what to do so I went and got some OTC foot fungus sprays and powders. It cleared right up. I just had another small bout with it again, but it wasn’t as severe and went away quickly because now I know what to do.