Premenopausal women bleed each month as part of their menstrual cycle. On average, periods last up to about eight days and occur every 24-38 days, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Some women experience abnormal bleeding. This can occur when you have bleeding or spotting between periods, after sex, after you’ve gone through menopause, or when you are pregnant.
Bleeding is also considered abnormal when you have exceptionally heavy menstrual bleeding, when your periods are unusually short or unusually long, or if your periods occur very irregularly.
Abnormal bleeding can have various causes. Here at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, our women’s health care providers have extensive expertise identifying the causes of abnormal bleeding. We’d like to tell you about some of the more common causes of abnormal bleeding.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in your ovaries. Although most cysts don’t cause symptoms, they can occasionally cause abnormal bleeding, as well as pain, bloating, fever, nausea, and other symptoms.
Cysts may go away on their own. When they don’t, we can remove them surgically.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue from within your uterus grows where it doesn’t belong, such as in or on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, rectum, or intestines. In addition to pain, nausea, trouble getting pregnant, and some other symptoms, endometriosis can cause abnormal bleeding during and between menstrual periods.
Treatment options for endometriosis include medication, hormonal therapy, and surgery.
Fibroids are tumors that develop in the uterus. They are very common and are rarely cancerous. Ranging in size from tiny (the size of a pea) to large (the size of a grapefruit), uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding as well as spotting between periods.
Treatment for uterine fibroids includes medication, hormonal therapy, surgery, and a procedure known as radiofrequency ablation, which uses radio waves to shrink fibroids.
Uterine polyps are growths in the inner lining of the uterus. Although they are usually not cancerous, they may cause irregular periods, heavy menstrual bleeding during periods, unusually long periods, or spotting between periods.
Treatment options for uterine polyps include medication, hormonal therapy, and surgery.
If you are pregnant, abnormal bleeding may be a sign of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other pregnancy complications. Seek medical care immediately if you experience bleeding while you’re pregnant.
Less commonly, abnormal bleeding can result from infections, bleeding disorders, or several types of cancer.
If you’re coping with abnormal uterine bleeding, heavy periods, or any other women’s health concern, we can help. Here at Virtuosa GYN, our highly professional and thoughtfully compassionate providers work with you to diagnose gynecological conditions and create a personalized treatment plan for you. Call us to schedule a consultation with one of our care providers.