When Should You Worry About Abnormal Bleeding?
Many women experience changes in their menstrual cycle throughout their life. So, when is it time to worry about abnormal bleeding?
You should schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN anytime you have abnormal bleeding, like spotting between your periods, heavy bleeding during your period, or going months without your period.
Dr. Chadi Haddad in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, takes an individualized approach to women’s health. Dr. Chadi Haddad, DO understands that no two women have the same health experiences. There’s no wrong time to schedule a visit when you have concerns about your health.
Here, we want to tell you about abnormal bleeding, some of the common causes, when to worry, and how we help.
Signs of abnormal bleeding
A typical menstrual cycle runs between 21-35 days with a period that lasts up to 7 days. If your cycle is shorter or longer than what’s typical, or you have bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days, you have abnormal bleeding.
Other signs and symptoms of abnormal bleeding include:
- Bleeding between your periods
- Bleeding after sex
- Not having a period for more than three months
- Bleeding after menopause
Heavy bleeding during your menstrual period is also a concern because it affects your physical and social well-being. If you bleed through pads or tampons every hour or pass quarter-sized blood clots, you may have heavy menstrual bleeding.
In addition to the constant worry about bleeding through your pad or tampon, heavy bleeding during your period puts you at risk of anemia.
You should worry about abnormal bleeding if it’s chronic, meaning it’s been happening for six or more months.
If you have sudden, unexpected heavy bleeding during your period and experience chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Causes of abnormal bleeding
It’s not unusual for women to experience abnormal bleeding when they first start their period or when transitioning to menopause. Abnormal bleeding outside of these stages of life may indicate an underlying health condition.
Common gynecological conditions that cause abnormal bleeding include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Gynecological cancers (ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer)
You can also develop abnormal bleeding when taking medications like blood thinners. Certain birth control methods, like intrauterine devices (IUDs), may also change your normal menstrual cycle.
It’s also possible to have abnormal bleeding from unknown causes.
When to get help for abnormal bleeding
We recommend scheduling an appointment anytime you experience a change in your normal menstrual cycle, even during those times it’s expected. We can confirm or rule out a cause, ease your mind, and provide treatment to regulate your menstrual cycle.
Treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause and may include over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, hormonal birth control, or surgery (for fibroids, endometriosis, or gynecological cancer).
For women with heavy menstrual bleeding who have no plans for pregnancy, we may recommend endometrial ablation, a minimally invasive surgical procedure that ablates (heats and destroys) the endometrial lining to reduce excessive bleeding.
Though not always a sign of a serious health issue, you should never ignore abnormal bleeding. We can find the cause and provide personalized care to improve it.
Abnormal Bleeding | OBGYN Dearborn Heights: 313.724.3759
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