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.