What’s Considered Abnormal Bleeding?

What’s Considered Abnormal Bleeding?

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a lot more common than you might think, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to ignore it. Whether you have abnormally heavy or light periods, unusually long or short periods, or you skip your periods entirely, it could be a sign of a serious underlying medical problem.

Early treatment is the best way to prevent more serious problems associated with abnormal bleeding. But how can you tell if what you’re experiencing is really abnormal and not just a temporary change in your usual monthly schedule?

At his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, which serves the Evansville area, experienced obstetrician and gynecologist Paul W. Morrison, M.D., often deals with cases of abnormal bleeding. In this blog, he explains what constitutes abnormal bleeding, what can cause it, and some of the treatment options that are available.

Normal vs. abnormal vaginal bleeding

Periods are a natural part of the menstrual cycle. During your cycle, your body releases hormones that cause the uterine lining to thicken in preparation for pregnancy (egg implantation). 

If pregnancy doesn’t happen, those hormone levels decline, triggering menstruation. Now, your body sheds the thickened uterine lining, causing vaginal bleeding (your period).

Normal vaginal bleeding

Most women of child-bearing age have monthly periods, and on average, those periods last about 3-5 days. Typically, a period happens once every 28 days, but the total cycle can vary from 21-35 days. Generally, bleeding that meets these parameters falls within normal ranges. 

Abnormal vaginal bleeding

An abnormal period is a period that deviates from those averages, or a period that’s heavier or lighter than usual. Specifically, abnormal bleeding includes:

Some women with abnormal bleeding have nausea, vomiting, or severe cramps, as well.

Furthermore, many women experience menorrhagia, which is a type of heavy menstrual bleeding that happens a lot during perimenopause. Perimenopause is the time before your period stops. Women with menorrhagia:

In addition to interfering with your sleep and your normal daily activities, menorrhagia can lead to anemia and other health problems.

Diagnosing and treating abnormal bleeding

Lots of issues can cause abnormal bleeding, including:

Even stress, significant changes in weight, or strenuous physical exertion can cause changes in your menstrual cycle.

Diagnosis begins with a review of your symptoms and your personal and family health histories, followed by a pelvic exam. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, Dr. Morrison might recommend an MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, or a hysteroscopy to get a clearer look at what’s going on inside your body.

Your treatment will depend on what’s causing your abnormal bleeding. Dr. Morrison is skilled in multiple treatment options, including:

Dr. Morrison customizes every treatment plan to ensure each woman gets the care she needs to relieve her symptoms and improve her overall health and wellness.

Get treatment for abnormal bleeding

Abnormal bleeding is your body’s way of telling you that something’s not right, and it should never be ignored. Early evaluation is essential for preventing more serious complications. To learn what’s causing your abnormal bleeding and to find out how it can be treated, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today.

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