Abnormal uterine bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding can significantly impact your quality of life. It can be related to a number of conditions including problems with the uterus, hormone problems, or other conditions.
A normal menstrual cycle is typically between 24 and 38 days, with the average menstrual cycle lasting 28 days. The cycle starts with the first day of one period and ends with the first day of the next period. When you are experiencing excessive bleeding or menstrual cycles that last longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days, it can take an emotional and physical toll and be a cause for concern.
When abnormal uterine bleeding interferes in
your life and health, the experts at The Christ Hospital Health Network have
the experience and skill to diagnose and treat you so you can get back to good health.
Although abnormal uterine bleeding can occur at any age, it is most common when you are young, 9 to 14 years of age, or during perimenopause—usually beginning in your mid-40s.
Abnormal uterine bleeding can be caused by many different factors. At your appointment, your doctor will take a family history and a history of your menstrual cycles to help pinpoint the cause of your bleeding.
Although sometimes there is no identifiable cause for abnormal bleeding, common causes, include:
Bleeding disorders—that impair blood clotting and may lead to heavy bleeding and longer periods
Certain medications—especially anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting and anti-inflammatories
Certain types of cancer—although rarely the cause, reproductive cancers like uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer can cause irregular uterine bleeding
Hormone imbalance—like estrogen and progesterone and PCOS
Ectopic pregnancy—when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus
Fibroids—tumors that grow in or around the uterus
Infection of the uterus or cervix
Miscarriage—the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks
Polyps—uterine growths that cause heavier, longer or irregular periods
Problems with ovulation—when the ovaries don’t produce, mature or release eggs
Abnormal uterine bleeding risk
are just a few factors that can increase your risk for having abnormal uterine
Abnormal uterine bleeding symptoms
When you visit your doctor to discuss your abnormal bleeding, know your detailed menstrual cycle history and any family history of abnormal bleeding.
Common symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
Bleeding after menopause
Bleeding or spotting after sex
Bleeding or spotting between periods
Heavy bleeding during your period
Menstrual periods shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days
When to see a doctor
women question if what they are experiencing is considered normal and may put
off seeing a doctor about symptoms.
If you have noticed any of these changes, it is time to make an appointment with your doctor:
Changing sanitary protection at night or soaking protection every one-to-two hours during the day
Constant pain or cramping in the lower abdomen during a menstrual period
Heavy menstrual flow that interferes with regular lifestyle
Menstrual flow that has large blood clots
Need to use double sanitary protection
you think you have abnormal uterine bleeding? Discuss your concerns with your gynecologist or make an appointment with one of our Women’s Health experts.
Do you have more questions about abnormal bleeding but not yet ready to make an appointment with a doctor? Contact our ezCare Concierge nurse navigator, a free, confidential service designed to help you navigate the best next steps for you and your health.