Abnormal Bleeding

Abnormal bleeding is one of the most common reasons that women see their doctors. It can occur in women of any age and it has many potential causes. Some of these causes can be treated easily while others require more extensive treatment.

When to be concerned about abnormal bleeding

For most women after puberty and before menopause, menstrual periods last for about five days, during which an average of four ounces (about eight tablespoons) of blood is lost. Significantly heavier bleeding or bleeding at other times of the month may be a symptom of a more serious condition, especially in the following cases:

  • if you are pregnant
  • prior to puberty
  • during or after menopause
  • if your menstrual cycles are irregular
  • if you suspect your bleeding is unrelated to your period
  • if you are experiencing consistently heavy bleeding, cramping, clots, and soaking your sanitary protection once an hour or more
    In these cases, you should contact our office.

Causes of abnormal uterine bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding can be the result of many conditions, including:

  • a hormone imbalance, including one caused by birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • a blood clotting problem
  • chronic medical conditions such as thyroid problems or diabetes
  • severe vaginal or uterine irritation or infection
  • pregnancy
  • complications during pregnancy
  • miscarriage
  • adenomyosis
  • problems with an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • uterine fibroids, polyps, cysts or tumors
  • cancer

Diagnosing abnormal uterine bleeding

If you are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding, we may do the following:

  • ask you about your medical history, including medications and birth control use
  • determine your weight, eating and exercise habits
  • evaluate your recent stress levels
  • get details of your typical menstrual cycle (you can help prepare by tracking dates, length, and other details, such as “light”, “medium”, “heavy”, or “spotting” on a calendar)
  • conduct a physical exam
  • order or conduct blood tests
  • conduct a pregnancy test
  • use ultrasound technology, hysterosalpingography (an X-ray with dye) or a minimally invasive procedure to view the inside of your abdomen
  • collect a small sample of your uterine lining
  • suggest that you keep a menstrual calendar

Treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding

Once a full workup is completed, we can help address your best options to help you.

Most of these procedures can be performed in our office.