Heavy periods or bleeding between periods may be an early indication that you have an underlying medical condition. Learn what causes abnormal uterine bleeding and what treatment options are available.
If you are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding outside of your regular period, pay attention. Abnormal bleeding may occur for several harmless reasons, but it can also indicate that something is wrong.
At Alpha OBGYN, Sowmya Reddy, MD, knows it can be frightening to notice any changes in your period, especially heavy bleeding or longer-than-usual periods. To protect your reproductive and overall health, Dr. Reddy recommends a diagnostic evaluation whenever you experience abnormal uterine bleeding.
What’s at the heart of your abnormal bleeding
Long, heavy periods occur for a variety of reasons. Your bleeding issues may result from a change in birth control pills or an intrauterine device (IUD). Abnormal bleeding may also be caused by being overweight.
Many older women experience changes in their period as they transition to menopause. As early as your 40s, you may notice your periods become heavier, lighter, or don’t occur at all as you head towards menopause, the time when your periods stop for good.
Underlying medical conditions can also cause abnormal uterine bleeding. Some of the most common causes of abnormal bleeding include:
- Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
Reproductive cancers, including ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer, can also lead to abnormal bleeding.
Abnormal bleeding can be a warning sign of cancer and other serious conditions, so it is important that you don’t ignore it. Dr. Reddy offers comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment services to resolve bleeding and protect your reproductive health.
Identifying the root cause of abnormal bleeding
To determine why your periods have changed, or why you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding between your periods, Dr. Reddy offers several in-office diagnostic tests.
During a pelvic exam, Dr. Reddy can identify structural abnormalities and large fibroids or polyps that may be affecting your periods. Ultrasound technology is also available to locate smaller growths she can’t see or feel.
A hysteroscopy is another tool to evaluate the health of your uterus. This minimally invasive test, performed in the hospital as an outpatient procedure, uses a lighted scope to get a close-up view of your uterus.
To determine if the cause of abnormal bleeding is an underlying infection, we perform a simple vaginal swab.
Treatment options for abnormal bleeding
The team at Alpha OBGYN customizes a care plan for abnormal bleeding. If your birth control is to blame, Dr. Reddy can recommend other options for preventing pregnancy.
If you have an underlying hormone imbalance, you may be a candidate for hormone therapy using synthetic hormones, also known as birth control pills, to rebalance your natural hormone levels.
When polyps or fibroids are large enough to interfere with your periods, you may need a minimally invasive surgery to remove them. If you are done having children, Dr. Reddy may suggest an endometrial ablation, a minimally invasive procedure to remove the lining of your uterus and treat heavy bleeding. These procedures are performed in the hospital under sedation.
For women who have severe uterine bleeding that’s not treatable with other therapies, Dr. Reddy may recommend a total or partial hysterectomy to remove your uterus and possibly your ovaries and fallopian tubes.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for heavy bleeding or other changes with your period, call Alpha OBGYN or request an appointment online today.