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If you have bleeding that lasts longer than eight days, or your bleeding is so heavy that you need a fresh pad or tampon every hour, you may suffer from abnormal bleeding or menorrhagia. At Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago, Adeeb Alshahrour, MD, FACOG, diagnoses the many issues that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding and offers treatments to help your condition. To find out whether you have abnormal bleeding, call us or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment today.
What is abnormal bleeding?
Menstrual periods generally last up to eight days, with entire menstrual cycles taking between 24 and 38 days. However, if you experience any of the following, it may indicate that you have abnormal bleeding.
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Bleeding or spotting after sex
- Menstrual cycles longer than 38 days
- Menstrual cycles shorter than 24 days
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Extremely heavy menstrual periods
- Bleeding after menopause
Abnormal bleeding can happen at any age and at certain times during your life, it’s common to have irregular periods, like when you first start to get them or after your mid-40s, during perimenopause.
What causes abnormal bleeding?
Some of the causes of abnormal bleeding include:
Some birth control devices like IUDs can cause heavy or irregular bleeding a few months after insertion.
Uterine polyps or fibroids
Noncancerous tissue growths or tumors can cause heavy bleeding and painful periods.
Endometriosis is when the endometrial lining grows outside your uterine wall and can cause abnormal bleeding, cramps, and painful intercourse.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
PCOScan cause small cysts in your ovaries and cause irregular periods and prevent eggs from maturing.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Bacterial infections that affect your reproductive system can cause irregular periods along with heavy vaginal discharge.
Some cases of abnormal bleeding are easy to detect and treat, but others are not. Whatever the cause of your condition, you should get checked by a professional at Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago.
What is the treatment for abnormal bleeding?
Your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago performs a physical and pelvic exam to confirm that you’re bleeding from your uterus and not another area.
In addition to a physical and pelvic exam that includes a Pap smear, your provider may also order additional blood tests to check your thyroid, kidney, and liver function, take a cervical culture, or order a pregnancy test.
Your specialist may also do an endometrial assessment, which can include:
These allow them to confirm a suspected diagnosis and develop a treatment plan accordingly.
If your bleeding is due to hormonal changes and you don’t respond to other treatments like birth control, your specialist can perform a minor surgical dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, which removes excessive uterine lining that may be the cause of your excessive bleeding.
D&C procedures are usually combined with a hysteroscopy for the best possible outcome. During a hysteroscopy, your specialist inserts a tiny tube with a fiber-optic camera and light at the end, to visually examine the inside of your cervix and uterus. Hysteroscopies are used as diagnostic tools as well as a treatment for abnormal bleeding.
If your bleeding is due to a condition like endometriosis or fibroids that don’t respond to more conservative approaches, your specialist can discuss various surgical options to treat your condition.
To learn more about the various treatments that can help with your abnormal bleeding, call Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.