Abnormal uterine bleeding is any type of bleeding that occurs outside your normal menstrual period, including spotting between periods or periods that are unusually long, short, heavy, or light. A normal period lasts 4-7 days and occurs about every 28 days. Periods that regularly occur outside those normal ranges (for instance, less than every three weeks or more than every five weeks) typically are considered abnormal.
Occasional changes in menstruation can be caused by chronic stress or some illnesses, and usually, they’re nothing to worry about. But when abnormal bleeding occurs routinely or if you bleed between periods, you should see Dr. Tureanu for an evaluation to look for possible causes.
Abnormal menstrual bleeding often occurs during menopause as your body’s production of estrogen and progesterone naturally decline, and it can occur in puberty as well. Outside of these natural changes, other causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
Determining the cause of your abnormal uterine bleeding is critical for ensuring you receive proper treatment.
Dr. Tureanu begins your diagnosis with a physical exam including a pelvic exam and a Pap smear, as well as a review of your symptoms and your medical history. He also often orders additional tests like blood tests and evaluations, ultrasound, or other diagnostic imaging, and sometimes he performs a simple exam called a colposcopy that uses a lighted magnifying device to evaluate your cervix. In some cases, he uses another exam called a hysteroscopy that relies on a special scope to look inside your uterus and your fallopian tubes.
That really depends on what’s causing your abnormal bleeding. For instance, abnormal bleeding caused by PCOS may be treated with hormone therapy to help rebalance normal hormone levels and support normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. When an underlying issues like fibroids, endometriosis, or polyps are causing problems with menstrual bleeding, you may need a minimally invasive procedure to remove abnormal tissue. In other cases, lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, managing your activity levels, or changing your birth control method can help. Dr. Tureanu will develop a treatment plan that’s optimized for your needs.