The first scar in every human is located right at the center of balance of the body. The belly button, also known as the navel, is effectively scar tissue that forms at the place where the umbilical cord was attached. A sizeable percentage of individuals experience bleeding from belly button which is attributed to multiple reasons. While in most cases, the extent of bleeding is not excessive, in some cases, bleeding is accompanied by swelling or infection. There are clear reasons behind the bleeding, and awareness of the reasons will help to effectively treat and stop further bleeding/infection. Before we look at the reasons, let us first understand about more about the belly button.

Placental mammals and the scar of separation

As placental mammals, the human fetus receives nourishment through the umbilical cord that joins the mother with the womb. An important channel of nourishment, oxygen and waste disposal, the cord is severed during childbirth and the scar tissue develops into the belly button. Depending on the manner in which the scar tissue forms, individuals end up with either the regular belly button – the innie, or the protruded type – the outie. Another reason for outie navels are umbilical hernias which result in the formation of the protrusion. The belly button effectively serves it purpose prior to the formation of the scar tissue, and does not essentially serve any new purpose. However, it is used in a limited number of medical procedures, including transfusion for newborns, and in traditional medicine for treating various conditions. With that information, let us now look at the reasons for bleeding from belly button.

What are the typical conditions when bleeding from belly button is experienced?

There are essentially four different reasons for bleeding from the belly button. Out of the four conditions, there are effective treatment options for three of the reasons, while the fourth reason that causes bleeding from belly button does not have treatment options presently. However, it is possible to manage the condition and prevent it from aggravating further. Here is a look at the four different reasons for the bleeding and the effective methods used for either managing or treating the condition.

#1 Bleeding from belly button during pregnancy

Women experience changes during various stages of pregnancy and this includes changes in the abdomen when the muscles stretch with the expanding uterus. Consequently, the skin also stretches and this could result in a possible tear around the navel. The probability of bleeding from belly button is higher among individuals with outie belly buttons. This is because the chances of the protruded navel being scratched in this state is higher than the chances of scratching an innie navel. The best method to handle this is prevention, which includes removal of all piercings in the navel, wearing of the right kind of clothes that do not get snagged. Soft fabric that does not causes irritation to the skin is to be worn, with care being taken to ensure that there are no button in the clothes around the abdominal area. In the event of a tear of discomfort, the best option is to treat the superficial tear naturally. If the tear is on the surface without any signs of infection, then aloe vera gel can be used to soothe and treat the condition.

#2 Bleeding from belly button due to cysts

Another reason for bleeding from belly button is the formation of cysts. This outgrowth of tissue can occur anyplace in the body and is attributed to multiple conditions – exposure to sunlight, infections, trapped hair follicle or injury to the skin. The formation of cysts that are attributed to any of these conditions can also result in pus formation or bleeding, when the cyst is infected. The above conditions are the more common types of cysts that can be expected. There is another category of cysts that are rare in occurrence which can cause bleeding. Known as urachal cysts, this refers to the cysts that form in the urachal tubes which drains the discharge from the fetus through the bladder. This tube typically closes all along its length prior to childbirth, but in a small number of people, this closure does not take place. Resultantly, individuals are likely to experience discharge of blood from the belly button when this tube is infected. Bleeding as a result of cyst formation is also likely to be accompanied by other symptoms, including swelling, pain when passing urine and reddish skin. The treatment options depend on the type of cysts – for instance, smaller cysts do not typically require special treatment measures, while large cysts need to be drained or removed surgically. This is determined on the basis of visual examination and CT/ultrasound imaging.

#3 Bleeding from belly button from infections

Infections are another cause for bleeding from belly button and are the easiest to treat among all conditions. The navel is an anatomical location for literally thousands of types of bacteria, mostly harmless. Good bacteria help to support the body’s immune system by warding off pathogens that can cause health complications. This delicate natural balance is often disturbed due to one of many reasons, which results in infections from growth of either bacteria or fungi. Consequently, infections such as streptococcus, staphylococcus or yeast infections are likely to occur. This can result in bleeding from the navel, and is typically accompanied by other symptoms that include fever, pruritus, reddish skin around the infected area, and possible discharge. Treatment depends on the diagnosis of samples collected for determining the type of bacteria or fungi. If the infections have not manifested to discharge of pus, then simple cleaning, antifungal powders will effectively treat the condition. In the event that the infection is severe, the use of topical antibiotics and ointments are prescribed for treating the condition.


#4 Bleeding from belly button from primary umbilical endometriosis

Primary umbilical endometriosis is one of the reasons for bleeding from belly button – this refers to the condition when tissue that is found on the uterus lining spreads to locations outside the uterus. This is a rare disorder, classified as a benign condition, where the tissue that spreads to the belly button causes a discharge in the navel which is both painful and discolored. The reddish brown discharge is often accompanied by other symptoms that include growth beneath the skin, formation of nodules, and pain in the pelvic region. Other symptoms include discomfort during sexual activity, pain and possible bleeding during ablutions, and abnormal menstrual cramps. The condition is diagnosed through a thorough pelvic examination, and tests that include ultrasound imaging and MRI scans, apart from laparoscopy to look for the presence of growth. This is typically followed up by a biopsy of the tissue. Presently, there are no treatment options for the condition, and the best available options include management through supplements. The final option is surgical removal of the tissue, which is the last resort when none of the other options deliver desired results.

Is bleeding from belly button serious, and does it warrant a visit to the doctor always?

Whenever bleeding from belly button is attributed to external causes such as a tear or stretched muscle/skin, the condition is not serious and does not require a visit to the doctor if it resolves quickly. However, if the condition persists, then it is necessary to visit a doctor. In the case of bleeding from causes that are not external in nature, it is essential to visit a specialist at the earliest to ensure that the infection is not serious in nature. Symptoms that merit urgent attention include reddish skin, tenderness around the area, fever, and pain that is persistent in nature. Simple precautions will help cut down the risk of experiencing bleeding/pain, and this includes proper hygiene and wearing of the right kind of material that covers the abdomen area.

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