Posts for tag: Irregular Bleeding
Dealing with abnormal or unusual bleeding
If you notice that your period has changed dramatically from one month to the next, your period has stopped, or you’re bleeding between cycles, we understand that you may be concerned (and rightfully so). Since irregular bleeding can be a sign of an underlying problem, it’s important that you turn to an OBGYN if you notice irregular bleeding.
What Causes Irregular Bleeding?
Some of the most common causes of irregular bleeding include,
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Complications related to pregnancy (e.g., ectopic pregnancy)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Premature ovarian insufficiency
What Is Bleeding Considered Irregular or Abnormal?
Since women are usually pretty familiar with their cycles, they know how heavy they get, when they should arrive and how long they typically last. While this can fluctuate a bit if you notice any significant changes, this could be considered an irregular bleed. Here’s when bleeding is considered irregular,
- Your period lasts more than seven days
- Your period is incredibly heavy (you have to change a tampon or pad every hour)
- Your period is barely there, light or disappears
- Your periods stop showing up
- You notice bleeding between periods
- You experience bleeding, and you are post-menopausal
- You experience severe pain, cramping or vomiting with your periods
- Your cycle is longer than 35 days or less than 21 days
When Should I See a Gynecologist?
If you stop having a period or have two periods in a month, it’s time to turn to your OBGYN to find out what’s going on. If you find yourself experiencing lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting upon standing, this should also be evaluated by a medical professional. If bleeding occurs during pregnancy or after menopause, you should also see your OBGYN as soon as possible to find out what’s happening.
You should also turn to your OBYGN if,
- You experience bleeding after sex
- You develop very heavy bleeding
- You notice any abnormal vaginal discharge along with bleeding
- Your bleeding is accompanied by severe abdominal pain
Don’t ignore your symptoms. If you develop any of these problems, an OBGYN can provide you with the information, diagnosis, support and treatment needed to control abnormal bleeding.
Your OBGYN treats a number of common gynecological conditions, including irregular vaginal bleeding. It’s a concern that can be related to anything from stress, chronic conditions, or reproductive problems. Learn the common causes of irregular bleeding in gynecology, and how you can get your menstrual cycle back to normal.
Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
In their reproductive years, women menstruate about every 28 days as the uterine lining sheds itself. The bleeding is often moderate to heavy during the first couple of days, then tapers off during the next few days. A normal menstrual cycle lasts up to a week. If the process does not repeat every 28 days or so, or a cycle is missed, or the flow of blood is too heavy or too light, that is considered irregular bleeding. Additional symptoms may include poor mood, problems sleeping, and sharp abdominal pains.
You should talk to your OBGYN if your menstrual cycle starts to change or becomes irregular. Irregular bleeding can be caused by one or more of the following factors:
Certain medications (including birth control pills).
Endometriosis (tissue that’s supposed to be inside of the uterus grows on the outside).
Stress and lifestyle.
Blood clotting disorders.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (a hormonal problem).
Pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection usually caused by an STD).
Uterine fibroids (benign growths in the uterus).
Cervical or uterine cancer.
Chronic medical conditions (not necessarily related to the reproductive system).
Treatments for Irregular Bleeding
In some cases, irregular bleeding resolves on its own. For instance, if the irregularity is related to stress, de-stressing activities may help, like light exercise, dietary changes, or bed rest. If the problem is your birth control, your gynecologist will discuss other birth control options. If it’s related to another gynecological condition, the treatment may require an ultrasound and further testing. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
See Your OBGYN
Schedule a visit to your OBGYN if you’re experiencing irregular bleeding. It could an easily treatable issue that your gynecologist can resolve with medications or a minor procedure.
If you are dealing with unusual or unexplained uterine bleeding you aren’t alone. This is a common problem for women of all ages and it has many different causes. While women can experience a menstrual cycle that lasts up to 8 days, bleeding is considered abnormal if it occurs after sex, between periods, or after menopause. If your menstrual cycles are shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days this is also worth discussing with your gynecologist, especially if it’s accompanied by irregular bleeding.
It’s important that you do not ignore abnormal bleeding. A simple visit to the gynecologist can provide you with the answers and care you need. Common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Fibroids and polyps
- Bleeding disorders
- Ovulation issues
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Certain cancers (rare)
Most of the time the problem isn’t serious and can be simple to treat; however, other causes of abnormal bleeding can be serious and require immediate medical attention. This is why it’s important to see your OBGYN if you notice unusual bleeding.
During your appointment, your gynecologist will ask questions about your medical history, personal history and menstruation. Expect to answer questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and how long you’ve experienced them. A physical examination will also be performed, as well as blood tests to rule out certain disorders and infections. In some cases, a pregnancy test is also performed to rule out an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
Based on your symptoms and medical history your gynecologist will then perform one or more tests before reaching a diagnosis. These tests may include an ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, MRI, or CT scan.
Treating Abnormal Bleeding
In many cases, medication is usually the first course of action against handling excessively heavy or irregular menstrual cycles. These medications usually include hormonal birth control, as well as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and tranexamic acid.
If medication does not work, then surgery may be necessary. The type of surgery performed will be based on certain factors including the patient’s age and the cause of their bleeding. Common surgeries to treat abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Endometrial ablation
- Uterine artery embolization
If you are dealing with unusual bleeding between periods it’s important that you talk with your gynecologist right away to find out what might be going on. Schedule your appointment today.