What is abnormal bleeding?
Abnormal bleeding occurs when uterine bleeding falls outside of what’s considered normal menstruation. Examples of abnormal bleeding include:
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Menstrual cycles lasting more than 38 days
- Menstrual cycles shorter than 24 days
- Heavy uterine bleeding
- Bleeding after menopause
- Irregular periods
About 3-35% of women may experience some form of abnormal uterine bleeding. Finding the cause is important to detect or rule out serious complications.
What causes abnormal bleeding?
Numerous OB/GYN conditions are associated with abnormal uterine bleeding. Examples include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine or cervical cancer
- Some medications or bleeding disorders
- Early pregnancy, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy
- Ovulation problems
- Hormone changes or menopause
- Some forms of birth control
Because some causes of abnormal bleeding require immediate medical attention, seeing your Pure OBGYN specialist right away for an evaluation is important.
How is abnormal bleeding diagnosed?
To determine the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding, your practitioner reviews your medical history and asks questions about your symptoms.
They complete a pelvic exam, including a Pap test to screen for signs of cervical cancer. Your practitioner inserts a special instrument into your vagina to take a sample of cells from your cervix so a lab can analyze them.
They might have you take a pregnancy test and complete diagnostic tests including blood tests, thyroid tests, hormone tests, pelvic ultrasound, or endometrial biopsy.
Your Pure OBGYN specialist may recommend a hysteroscopic exam to view the inside of your uterus and look for polyps, fibroids, and signs of cancer.
How is abnormal bleeding treated?
Your personalized treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause of bleeding irregularities. Your practitioner might recommend one or more of the following:
- Birth control pills
- Other hormone treatments
- Progestin shots
- Progestin implants
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Minimally invasive surgery
Surgical procedures your provider might recommend include removing polyps, fibroids, uterine lining, or your entire uterus. If you have cancer, radiation therapy or chemotherapy might be necessary after your provider removes cancerous tissues.
Don’t let the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding go undiagnosed and untreated. Schedule an appointment with Pure OBGYN by phone or online today.