Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding is when you bleed between your monthly menstrual cycle, if you have prolonged bleeding, or if you have extremely heavy menstrual bleeding. It can be caused by hormone level changes, fibroids, cancer, polyps, or even early pregnancy.
Sometimes bleeding from the uterus can have obvious causes, but in most cases, your doctor will need to perform some tests to get a better idea of what could be going on. If you have any questions about your symptoms, always give us a call. We’ll give you a direct answer on whether or not you should be concerned, and make sure that you understand what is happening with your body and overall health.
Causes of abnormal uterine bleeding?
Blood loss and bleeding from the uterus can have many different causes. As mentioned above, it’s sometimes the result of changes in your hormone levels. It can also be caused by blood clots or other issues that can be easily diagnosed and treated.
In some cases, it could be a sign of more significant problems. Your doctor will conduct blood tests to check for blood count and to make sure there are no significant issues at play. Pregnancy tests may be used to rule out pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy as well. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormones may cause you to release an egg out of cycle, which could also be the cause of abnormal bleeding.
Women who are experiencing menopause are generally more prone to have changes in hormones. These changes can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken, which can cause bleeding or abnormal menstrual cycles. Bleeding for women who are in menopause should be evaluated by a doctor.
How do you diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding?
When our providers are checking for causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, they will ask you questions to learn what usually brings on the bleeding, if you are experiencing any other symptoms, or if you may be pregnant.
An in-person appointment will usually consist of a pelvic exam, an evaluation of your cervix, and a pap smear. An endometrial biopsy will help rule out endometrial cancer, and other tests will be used to make sure everything is functioning as it should. These tests could include blood tests, ultrasounds, and a urine test.
How do you treat abnormal uterine bleeding?
Treatment will depend on the cause, with some designed to return your menstrual cycle to normal, while others are meant to reduce bleeding or stop your monthly periods altogether.
Hormones, like a daily birth control pill or progestin, are used to help keep your menstrual cycle regular and reduce cramping and bleeding, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) can be used to release hormones into your uterus.
If the cause is polyps or fibroids, the proper treatment may be a hysteroscopy. Surgery may be required if less invasive treatments are found to be ineffective. When cervical cancer is the cause, the treatment prescribed will be determined by the stage of cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend a hysterectomy to treat the early stages of this cancer.
Contact Our Office If You Have Any Concerns
While in the majority of cases abnormal uterine bleeding has a simple cause and is easy to treat, it could also be the sign of something more critical. We’ll take the time to talk with you and understand your symptoms. If there is a need for further testing we’ll walk you through the process and make sure you know what’s going on every step of the way.
At OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster, we are committed to whole-person care and look forward to helping you get on the path to a lifetime of positive well-being. If you have any questions feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.