A normal menstrual cycle should last anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Day 1 is considered to be the first day of your period with 21-35 days between each “Day 1”. Any bleeding that happens outside of that regular menstrual cycle is considered abnormal and can have a variety of causes and treatments.
Uterine bleeding is considered abnormal if it happens between periods, after sex, anytime in the menstrual cycle outside of a normal period, after menopause, bleeding heavier than normal, or bleeding longer than 7 days. Many women experience irregular periods for the first few years after menarche (beginning her period for the first time) or in the years leading up to menopause. However, abnormal uterine bleeding can occur at any time.
There are several causes for abnormal uterine bleeding. The most common of which are pregnancy, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, IUD use, birth control pills, infection, fibroids, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In rare cases, abnormal uterine bleeding may be an indication of uterine or cervical cancer.
The doctors at Newport Beach OB/GYN will ask about a patient’s family history as well as her menstrual cycle. It is especially helpful to the track menstruation before a visit noting the dates, length, and type of bleeding. After a physical exam, a patient may have blood tests to check pregnancy, hormone levels, and blood counts. Further diagnostic testing may be required before treatment can begin. In many cases, hormonal medications are given to control abnormal uterine bleeding. Uterine curettage, uterine ablation, and hysterectomy may be indicated in some cases, but often not until medication has failed.
For more information on abnormal uterine bleeding or to schedule an appointment, contact Newport Beach OB/GYN Medical Group, Inc.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!