The Definition of Normal and Abnormal Can Vary
Every woman’s body is different. What seems normal for one woman could be completely out of the ordinary for another.
The normal length of the menstrual cycle is typically between 24 days and 38 days. A normal menstrual period generally lasts up to 8 days. There are very wide variations within that norm.
When should I see the doctor about abnormal bleeding?
Here are some symptoms that may mean that you need a checkup:
Bleeding after periods have ended
Menstrual flow that is lighter or heavier than normal for you.
Prolonged menstrual bleeding.
A flow when you don’t expect it — such as during pregnancy or after menopause.
Noticeable bleeding after intercourse, which is not related to the start or end of your period.
Significant and unusual pain that accompanies your vaginal bleeding.
The Causes for Abnormal Bleeding Can Vary Widely
Several different scenarios can lead to occasional abnormal bleeding.
It May Include:
- Mid-cycle bleeding can occur with ovulation.
- Excessive stress and exercise can either increase — or more commonly decrease — your natural flow.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This hormone imbalance interferes with normal ovulation.
- Birth control medication, especially if you are just starting it or you’re not taking it at the same time times every day, can cause abnormal uterine bleeding as your body adjusts.
- Intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD, especially at initial insertion, sometimes causes spotting or heavy bleeding.
- Pelvic organ infections and urinary tract infections can cause bleeding. These infections are sometimes the result of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is another cause of inflammation or infection that can result in bleeding.
- Conditions such as uterine fibroids or endometrial polyps can result in vaginal bleeding outside the norm.
- Diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Systemic conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism may result in occasional bleeding.
- Vaginal bleeding in a young child or after trauma could be indicative of abuse.
- Cervical cancer symptoms sometimes present as unusual bleeding.
- Post-intercourse slight vaginal bleeding can be caused by normal friction or mild trauma.
In order to get to get to the underlying cause of your abnormal bleeding your Viva Eve gynecologist might recommend or administer any combination of diagnostic tests.
The results of the examinations below will help your Viva Eve doctor focus on the correct diagnosis for your abnormal bleeding.
- Pelvic exam
- Ob/Gyn exam
- Pregnancy test
- STD tests
- Blood tests for anemia
- Thyroid function levels
- Ultrasound of your abdomen
- Endometrial biopsy
Your gynecologist’s main goal is to alleviate the bleeding and any accompanying discomfort. Most of these tests are very quick and minimally uncomfortable. Your Viva Eve Ob/Gyn will help you understand the steps, tell you how to prepare, and what to do to make sure these tests are as painless as possible.
What are the Treatment Options for Abnormal Bleeding?
Your abnormal vaginal bleeding treatment depends on the results of the diagnostic tests. Your Viva Eve gynecologist will keep you informed every step of the way and together you will come up with the treatment option that world for you and your unique circumstances.
Your treatment options may include the following:
- Thyroid function medication
- Adjustment in your blood thinner medication regimen
- STD and infection medication
- Surgery to remove cervical, vaginal, or uterine polyps
- Adjustment for contraception medication or a different contraception recommendation
- Minimally invasive non-surgical procedures for fibroids, like Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Fibroid surgery or a hysterectomy
- Bed-rest with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs)