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Causes of Irregular Bleeding

A normal menstrual cycle is 24-38 days, with bleeding that lasts no more than eight days. 

However, 14% of women experience irregular, abnormal, or even painful periods. While it’s absolutely normal for your cycle to change over time — and even month to month — abnormal bleeding can signal that something’s wrong.

At the office of board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Hany H Ahmed, we understand how disconcerting abnormal bleeding can be. If you’re suddenly experiencing longer periods, heavy bleeding, and/or painful cramps, you should make an appointment with us. 

Dr. Ahmed conducts comprehensive evaluations to identify the cause of your irregular bleeding and develops a treatment plan personalized to your needs.

What is considered abnormal bleeding?

You get a sense of what your monthly cycle and symptoms are with time, and if you deviate from it for one month, it’s probably nothing to worry about. It’s only if your symptoms rapidly shift or change substantially over the course of a few months that you should consider coming in.

General examples of irregular bleeding may include:

Causes of abnormal bleeding 

Abnormal bleeding doesn’t always mean you have a serious issue. But it can be an early symptom of many dangerous conditions, so you’re advised to have Dr. Ahmed check it out.

Common conditions that lead to abnormal bleeding include: 

Early pregnancy or postpartum complications can also result in abnormal bleeding.

Diagnosing your irregular bleeding

When you come in for an evaluation, Dr. Ahmed asks you detailed questions about your symptoms, your gynecological and medical history, and your sexual history. He performs a physical exam and a pelvic exam, and he may request diagnostic tests such as:

In addition, he may perform a diagnostic laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery that uses a tiny camera inserted through a small abdominal incision to evaluate your reproductive organs. 

If he discovers any abnormalities, he may perform the necessary procedure to correct the underlying cause of your irregular bleeding.

Treating your irregular bleeding

The treatment Dr. Ahmed uses is based on the reason for your irregular bleeding. He reviews the details of his findings with you and provides you with treatment options so you can make the most informed decision about how to proceed. 

Treatment for irregular bleeding may include:

Medications

Medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce mild blood loss, iron supplements for anemia, and hormone replacement injections. Oral contraceptives such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist can regulate your cycle.

Dilation and curettage (D&C)

In this common procedure, your doctor dilates your cervix and scrapes tissue from the uterine lining. It generally cuts down on menstrual bleeding.

Surgery

In some cases, Dr. Ahmed suggests surgery as a treatment. It’s the most common treatment for cancerous tumors, and a minimally invasive procedure is an option to treat fibroids if they need to be removed.

Endometrial ablation can help women who haven’t had success with medications to control heavy bleeding and related symptoms. Dr. Ahmed destroys the uterine lining, leaving little to no menstrual flow.

If you’re noticing signs of abnormal menstrual bleeding, it’s time to seek medical help. Give Dr. Ahmed’s office a call to schedule an evaluation, or book your appointment online today.

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