While many women count on predictable periods, others have menstrual cycles that, while irregular, still fall within the realm of normal. However, abnormal menstrual bleeding, whether significantly heavy or noticeably scant, can be challenging to deal with and can potentially signify underlying health problems. Because there are so many potential causes, it is important to seek medical attention if your periods have changed dramatically. At the Georgia Center for Female Health, we diagnose and treat abnormal menstrual bleeding to help maintain your feminine wellness.
Heavy Vaginal Bleeding
Heavier than normal vaginal bleeding might occur if you have an intrauterine device, or IUD. It could also be caused by health conditions such as uterine fibroids or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Certain medications may also be responsible, like anti-inflammatory medications and anticoagulants. Hormone imbalance, lack of ovulation, and endometriosis are also linked to excessive menstrual bleeding. In rare cases, this symptom could be caused by cancer of the reproductive organs. If you’re pregnant, heavy vaginal bleeding before 12 weeks gestation is often a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, while bleeding of this kind after 12 weeks may be caused by a serious but treatable condition known as placenta previa.
If spotting occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, it could be a signal that you’re currently ovulating. This is also a common symptom if you’ve recently gone on birth control pills or started taking a new type of contraceptive pill, or if you have an IUD. While these causes are normal, you should see your doctor if unexpected bleeding between cycles persists. This is often a symptom of sexually transmitted infection or other infection of the pelvic organs.
Absence of Periods
The absence of periods is typically natural and healthy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. And if your menstrual periods occur less frequently or cease altogether, it’s often a sign that menopause is approaching. If you’re younger than age 45, though, this condition (also known as amenorrhea) is often linked to excessive exercise and severe emotional stress. Amenorrhea can also be caused by certain medications (including antipsychotics, antidepressants, chemotherapy, allergy medications, and blood pressure drugs), by a lower than average body weight, or by a hormone imbalance such as thyroid malfunction, pituitary tumor, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Proper Diagnosis is Important
Because there are so many potential causes of abnormal menstrual bleeding, the best course of action is to call our office today and schedule a consultation. We will evaluate your symptoms and diagnose the underlying cause of the abnormality to determine the best treatment strategy.
Contact the Georgia Center for Female Health, serving Peachtree Corners, today to schedule a consultation and find out more about what causes abnormal menstrual bleeding.