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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Gynecologic bleeding disorders, or abnormal uterine bleeding, are common as women age. Most women begin menstruating between ages 9 and 16. At first it is not unusual to have irregular or heavy cycles. This may happen again later in your life, especially after age 40 as you begin to transition towards menopause. So experiencing abnormal bleeding occasionally isn’t uncommon. However, if you have to change your pads or tampons more often than every one or two hours or have a period that lasts more than seven days, you should discuss this with a gynecology provider. Bleeding becomes abnormal, when it differs from what you think is ‘your’ normal cycle and when it begins affecting your quality of life. Certain types of bleeding are more worrisome, such as:

  • Bleeding after sex or between periods
  • Spotting occurs during the menstrual cycle or in between cycles
  • Bleeding that is heavier than normal or lasts more days than usual
  • Bleeding after menopause

Abnormal uterine bleeding can have many causes. In adolescents who have begun to have their period or women who are approaching menopause, a hormone imbalance and or lack of ovulation could be at fault. Other causes of abnormal bleeding include: pregnancy, certain medications, problems with your thyroid or pituitary glands, uterine tumors, ovarian cysts or tumors, infection, or certain types of pelvic cancers.

Finally, you could have platelet disorders, such as von Willebrand’s disease. If you have frequent nosebleeds, bruise easily or have blood in your stool, you may want to tell your doctor about these as well if you’re being examined for abnormal bleeding.

When you are evaluated for abnormal bleeding, your doctor will likely perform a pelvic examination, order some blood tests and obtain some imaging of the pelvis such as a pelvic ultrasound. Your doctor may even need to do a biopsy of the uterus, a saline infusion ultrasound or a hysteroscopy.

If you think you are experiencing abnormal bleeding or have a bleeding disorder, contact our practice at 407.303.2780 to schedule an appointment.