Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, but bleeding that’s abnormally heavy or prolonged can signal a problem. Board-certified OB/GYN Paul Heimbecker, MD, FACOG, at Advanced Care for Women diagnoses and treats abnormal uterine bleeding for women in Sanford, North Carolina. If you have symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online.
A normal menstrual cycle ranges from 24-38 days, with periods lasting up to eight days. Bleeding in one or more of the following situations is considered abnormal:
If the length of your menstrual cycle varies by more than 7-9 days, that’s considered an irregular period. Irregular periods are common among young women who are just beginning their menstrual cycles and women in their 40s who are starting the transition to menopause.
Hormone imbalance, such as in the years leading up to menopause, is a common cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Other conditions that may cause abnormal bleeding include:
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common women’s health condition that often causes irregular periods.
Dr. Heimbecker begins with a physical exam and a review of your medical history. It’s helpful to provide information about the dates, length, and flow type of your periods for him to reference. You can log your periods on a calendar or use an app on your phone designed for this purpose.
In addition to an exam, Dr. Heimbecker may use certain tests to determine the cause of your abnormal bleeding, such as:
He may also perform a hysteroscopy test, which involves inserting a thin, lighted instrument called a hysteroscope into your vagina and through the opening of your cervix. This allows Dr. Heimbecker to see the inside of your uterus.
Then, he recommends the best treatment for your particular condition. Depending on the cause and severity of your bleeding, Dr. Heimbecker may recommend medication management to control your symptoms, such as hormonal birth control or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Heimbecker may recommend surgery.
If you suspect you have abnormal uterine bleeding, call Advanced Care for Women or book an appointment online today.