When Should You Be Concerned With Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Health & Medical Blog

Irregularities in your menstrual cycle can make life difficult. They can also be signs of a health problem. Most women experience occasional irregularities in their cycle. A longer than usual period or skipping an occasional period is not usually a problem. Bleeding too often, too heavily, or too long can completely disrupt your life. If you have concerns about your bleeding, keep reading to learn more about abnormal uterine bleeding and its causes.

What Is Abnormal Uterine Bleeding? 

Abnormal uterine bleeding is a term that describes bleeding outside the normal menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycles vary widely between women. However, most doctors consider a normal cycle to be between two and seven days of menstrual bleeding with at least three to five weeks between bleeding.

If you are a teen or young adult, skipped periods are not uncommon outside pregnancy. However, as you get older, your periods should remain fairly predictable and uniform. Once you enter perimenopause, your periods may become lighter and more irregular. You may also have longer or shorter periods at this time.

What Are the Signs of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Many women don't realize they have abnormal uterine bleeding until the condition becomes severe. Below is a list of common symptoms that indicate a possible problem:

  • Sudden occurrence of more frequent or longer-lasting periods
  • Heavy bleeding that requires frequent tampon or pad changes
  • Noticeable and frequent bleeding after sex
  • Sudden onset of post-menopausal bleeding

What Are Some Causes of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Abnormal uterine bleeding can have many causes. While some causes are not serious, many need a doctor's intervention. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:

  • Stress
  • Hormone changes (like thyroid problems or polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Fibroids or polyps
  • Vaginal or uterine infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (like chlamydia)
  • Medications (including hormone therapies and birth control)
  • An inter-uterine device (IUD)
  • Cancer

How Can a Gynecologist Help With Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Your gynecologist can give you a thorough examination. First, they rule out any pregnancy-related problems. Then, you will need a blood test. The blood test gives the doctor a readout of your hormones. You may also need a hysteroscopy, ultrasound, and MRI to look for polyps and other abnormalities. Treatments can include hormone therapy as well as surgery. A hysterectomy is also an option for debilitating problems, but usually only as a last resort.

You can't always prevent the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding. However, you can live with the condition. Your doctor may have treatments to help regulate your period and other associated problems. If you suspect you have abnormal uterine bleeding, visit your gynecologist for an examination.


27 June 2023

introducing your daughter to the gynecologist

Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.