Under normal circumstances, your period comes on time and your bleeding is perfectly manageable. Unfortunately, many women experience abnormal uterine bleeding, which can encompass everything from prolonged bleeding to bleeding outside of your menstrual cycles.
At Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Fernando Otero and Dr. Norma Garcia can diagnose and treat many of the problems that lead to abnormal bleeding.
To give you an idea about what we’re up against, here’s a look at what constitutes abnormal bleeding and five of the more common conditions that lead to this issue.
Defining abnormal bleeding
The definition of abnormal bleeding is broad, as there are many ways in which your bleeding may be considered abnormal. Normal menstrual cycles occur every 24-38 days and usually last 7-9 days with an average blood loss of 5-80 milliliters.
Any deviation from these parameters can be considered abnormal, such as:
- Periods that last longer than nine days
- Menstrual cycles that exceed 38 days or are shorter than 24 days
- Bleeding between periods
- Spotting after sex
- Heavy bleeding during your periods
- Bleeding after menopause
- Irregular menstrual cycles (no discernible schedule)
Now that we better understand what constitutes abnormal bleeding, let’s take a look at some of the culprits of the problem.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which your endometrium (the lining of your uterus) grows into the wall of your uterus, which can cause heavy bleeding for longer periods during your menstrual cycles.
2. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that form in your uterus. This condition is fairly common and resolves itself in most women. Some women, however, have fibroids that are large or numerous enough that complications develop, such as heavy and long periods.
Polyps are also noncancerous growths that can develop in your uterus or on your cervix. While not necessarily dangerous, they can lead to abnormal uterine bleeding.
4. Polycystic ovary syndrome
With polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), your ovaries develop cysts due to a hormonal imbalance. Unlike the conditions we've outlined above, PCOS typically leads to lighter-than-normal periods, or you may even skip periods altogether.
5. Reproductive cancer
Cancers that develop in your reproductive organs, such as your uterus or cervix, can lead to abnormal bleeding, especially spotting in between periods. As well, these cancers can cause spotting after you transition through menopause.
Resolving your abnormal bleeding
Due to the wide range of issues that can lead to abnormal bleeding, it’s impossible for us to outline here how we would go about treating the problem. First, we need to accurately diagnose the cause of your abnormal bleeding so that we can design an appropriate treatment plan that addresses the underlying condition, as well as your menstrual problems.
To find out what’s causing your abnormal uterine bleeding, contact one of our two offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up an appointment.