Bleeding heavily, irregularly, or between periods could be a sign of an underlying gynecological problem. If you're experiencing abnormal bleeding, experienced OB/GYNs Jhonathan Duarte, MD, and Vicente Gari, MD, of Miami Women's Health Associates in Miami, Florida, can help. They can find the cause of your symptoms and provide the most effective treatments to resolve the problem. To schedule a consultation, call their Coconut Grove office or book an appointment online today.
Abnormal bleeding refers to menstruation that's irregular, lasts longer than usual, or is significantly heavier than your normal periods. If you bleed when you're not menstruating, that's also abnormal bleeding.
There are many potential causes of abnormal bleeding. It may be a result of changes in hormone levels, a blood-clotting condition, or growths in your uterus, such as fibroids or polyps. Sometimes it's not clear what's causing the abnormal bleeding.
Bleeding during pregnancy is abnormal but is an obstetrical issue rather than a gynecological one. If you're pregnant and start bleeding, you should contact your obstetrician at Miami Women's Health Associates immediately.
There are certain criteria that define abnormal bleeding:
If you're menstruating for seven or more days, that's significantly over the average of 4-6 days.
As an adolescent or teen, your cycle could last up to 45 days, while adult women's menstrual cycles generally take between 21 and 35 days to complete. A diagnosis of abnormal bleeding would apply if your cycle takes longer to complete or you're menstruating more frequently.
Heavy menstrual bleeding would cause your tampons or sanitary pads to soak through in an hour or less, with the bleeding continuing for over two hours.
You know your body best, so if you feel you're experiencing bleeding that's abnormal for you, contact Miami Women's Health Associates for advice.
Treatments for abnormal bleeding vary according to what's causing your condition. Potential treatments include:
Taking birth control pills is an effective way of regulating your menstrual cycle and reducing pain and cramping as well as controlling abnormal bleeding. Your gynecologist might recommend a progestin-only pill (mini pill) or combined progestin and estrogen pill.
Other hormonal forms of birth control, such as an implant or intrauterine device (IUD), can have similar effects.
Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure in which your gynecologist can remove uterine fibroids or polyps that may be responsible for your abnormal bleeding.
Endometrial ablation removes the lining of your uterus (endometrium). While endometrial ablation is an effective method of reducing abnormal bleeding, it's only suitable if you definitely do not want to get pregnant.
If you have severe abnormal bleeding and no other treatments are helping, removing your uterus (hysterectomy) stops bleeding permanently. However, you would not be able to conceive after the procedure.
To find out why you have abnormal bleeding and get the treatment you need, call Miami Women's Health Associates or book an appointment online today.