Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding can have many different causes, and identifying the cause is the first step in determining the best approach to care. As a leading provider of gynecological care for women, Advantia OB-GYN Shady Grove offers women the latest techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of bleeding issues.

What is abnormal uterine bleeding?

Abnormal uterine bleeding is any bleeding that occurs outside of normal menstruation. It can include very heavy bleeding, periods that are very brief or much longer than normal, the absence of periods, periods that occur on an irregular schedule, and bleeding or spotting between periods. Most periods occur every 28 days and last from four to seven days. Bleeding that does not conform to those “standards” may be considered abnormal.

Why does abnormal uterine bleeding occur?

The most common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include the hormonal changes that occur during puberty and the time leading up to menopause, as well as hormonal changes that follow pregnancy. Other causes include thyroid dysfunction, birth control pills, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polyps, and adhesions (scars). Extreme amounts of strenuous exercise and significant changes in weight can also cause abnormal bleeding.

How are the causes of abnormal bleeding diagnosed?

Before any treatment is administered, the cause of abnormal bleeding needs to be determined. To diagnose the cause, a detailed medical history will be taken, and symptoms will be carefully reviewed. A pelvic exam and Pap test will be performed, and blood tests may also be recommended to assess hormone levels. Minimally invasive diagnostic procedures like colposcopy or hysteroscopy may also be performed. In a few cases, ultrasound or other diagnostic imaging may be recommended.

How is abnormal uterine bleeding treated?

Once the cause of abnormal bleeding is determined, and menopause and puberty are ruled out, treatment options may focus on treating underlying conditions like thyroid disease or PCOS, or procedures may be needed to remove fibroids, polyps, or other abnormal tissue. Lifestyle changes may also be recommended. Each treatment plan will be carefully developed based on the unique needs of the patient to ensure the most appropriate treatment is used.