Abnormal bleeding impacts more women than you might realize. Upwards of 35% of women struggle with the condition, but most don't report their symptoms or seek a medical professional for evaluation or treatment.
If you’re one of the millions of women who experience abnormal bleeding, it’s important you see our experts discover the cause of your bleeding and receive the appropriate care and guidance.
Dr. Patricia Brougher along with our experienced staff at Bluebonnet OB/GYN recognizes the emotional and physical impact of abnormal bleeding and makes addressing this problem a priority in our gynecological care.
What is abnormal bleeding?
You can anticipate your regular periods. You might even have an app tracking your cycles. But what happens when you’re a week past your last period and you see blood in your underwear?
Any bleeding that lasts past your typical period is heavier than usual, or occurs in between your periods can be classified as abnormal bleeding. Not only is this frustrating, but it could also be a sign of an underlying condition.
There are a few reasons why you’re noticing changes in your flow. Here are the five most common causes of abnormal bleeding.
#1 Hormonal changes
Some of the most turbulent times for a woman are right at the beginning of her periods and right at the end. Teenagers and women approaching menopause experience violent hormonal changes that can impact ovulation and menstruation.
When you go through ovulation, your ovaries release an egg. If this doesn’t occur, your hormones levels are disrupted. The irregular levels of estrogen make the lining of your uterus too thick or cause your body not to know when to shed the lining.
This hormonal imbalance can make your period much heavier than normal or causes irregular bleeding and spotting between your periods. Talk to Dr. Brougher about what to expect from your new periods or your menopause journey and how to handle the ups and downs of your hormones.
Many women notice spotting as a side effect of pregnancy, especially in the first twelve weeks. This irregular bleeding can be a sign a fertilized egg has implanted itself in the lining of your uterus. Although very rare, bleeding in the first trimester could mean a possible miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy.
Bleeding can be a normal occurrence in a pregnancy, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Contact Dr. Brougher if you have concerns with abnormal bleeding while pregnant.
#3 Uterine fibroids
In some cases, you could have fibroids in your uterus that are causing your bleeding. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that cause bleeding, pelvic pain, low back pain, and urinary problems.
Depending on your age and the severity of your fibroids, you can get rid of these fibroids conservatively with birth control pills, IUDs, and hormone injections. Some common surgical interventions are effective in getting rid of the growths and restoring normalcy to your cycles.
#4 Birth control
If your bleeding is caused by birth control, chances are it’ll go away on its own. Your body needs a solid six months to adjust itself to this new influx of hormones and might react with irregular bleeding.
This is likely due to the fact that your pill has increased your progestin levels and changed the lining of your uterus to make it impossible to get pregnant. A thicker uterine lining can result in heavier or irregular bleeding.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that impacts your body’s ability to regularly release eggs. Without regular ovulation, the lining of your uterus thickens from an excess of estrogen, making your periods heavy and irregular.
Some hormone therapies, lifestyle adjustments, and medications can help regulate your hormones and stop the abnormal bleeding.
There’s no reason to ignore abnormal bleeding and hope it’s not a sign of something more serious. Dr. Brouhger specializes in helping you find normalcy in your monthly cycles so you can get back to your normal life confidently.
If you have concerns about abnormal bleeding, schedule an appointment online today.