Understanding abnormal uterine bleeding
What exactly is abnormal uterine bleeding? It turns out that it refers to several different situations. It can mean that you begin bleeding or spotting between your menstrual cycles or after sex. It can also mean that you experience very heavy bleeding while you’re on your period. Several issues can cause this problem, including hormonal imbalances, ovulatory problems, uterine fibroids and polyps. Thankfully, you don’t just have to live with problematic menstrual bleeding. Our Austin OBGYNs can diagnose and treat the issues that cause irregular bleeding.
What is a normal menstrual cycle?
A normal menstrual cycle varies to some extent. However, the definition of a normal period is one that lasts up to seven days and occurs every 21 to 35 days. Here are some abnormal things that may occur during your period.
- Heavy bleeding that soaks through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour.
- Bleeding for more than seven days.
- Cycles that are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35.
- Not menstruating for three to six months.
In addition to these abnormalities, bleeding or spotting between periods or after sex or bleeding after menopause are all signs of abnormal uterine bleeding.
What causes abnormal uterine bleeding?
Several things can cause menstrual bleeding that’s outside of the norm, including problems with birth control options and physical issues.
- Physical problems, including uterine fibroids, polyps, endometriosis and adenomyosis
- Ovulation problems like polycystic ovary syndrome
- Problems caused by birth control pills, IUDs or other contraceptives
- Certain types of cancers
- Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
Our Austin OBGYNs can diagnose and treat the causes
Our skilled physicians have the training and experience to diagnose and treat abnormal bleeding concerns. The fact-finding process begins with a physical exam and bloodwork. Sometimes, other tests may be needed to make a diagnosis. Common diagnostic procedures include ultrasound exams, hysteroscopies, MRIs and CT scans.
There are a wide range of treatment options to address bleeding issues. Women with hormonal imbalances often respond well to hormonal birth control pills. Other women may require gynecologic surgery, ranging from endometrial ablation to hysterectomy in some cases.
Women who have conditions that cause abnormal uterine bleeding or problems with their menstrual cycle can reach out to our Austin OBGYNs for help. Contact us for an appointment.