Have you noticed that you’re bleeding between your periods, or have extremely heavy blood loss during periods? It might be time to have your reproductive system checked out by a professional.
According to the National Institutes of Health, abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) and heavy menstrual bleeding affect 14%-25% of women of reproductive age. Don’t ignore heavy, painful periods or breakthrough bleeding — you could have a serious condition and not realize it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, tracking your period can be helpful for revealing issues with your flow patterns. If your menstrual cycle is short (less than 24 days) or long (more than 38 days), or you bleed between periods, you may be experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding. Other types of abnormal uterine bleeding include bleeding after sex, or after you’ve experienced menopause.
Some women routinely bleed a small amount between periods, which can be connected to use of hormonal birth control, or ovulation. However, erratic or heavy bleeding can also be a sign of several serious medical conditions, including:
Even if you don’t have pain, abnormal uterine bleeding should be a sign that it’s time to consult a medical professional. Dr. Kelly Morales routinely sees women in our San Antonio OB/GYN office to diagnose and treat underlying causes for abnormal uterine bleeding.
Dr. Morales begins an AUB consultation with a review of your medical history and a complete physical and pelvic exam. Blood and urine tests can also be performed to rule out hormonal imbalances or pregnancy, and an ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or biopsy may be ordered to look for polyps, masses, or other issues.
In many cases, erratic bleeding or heavy flow during periods can be controlled and managed with hormonal birth control methods and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. For women who are menopausal, hormone therapy may be prescribed.
If surgery is required, Dr. Morales can offer several options, including use of minimally invasive surgical techniques. These can shorten recovery time and minimize discomfort. Dr. Morales also is trained in the treatment of reproductive issues using da Vinci® robotic surgery.
Medical conditions that cause abnormal uterine bleeding are easier to treat when caught early. If you notice bleeding you think may be abnormal, call our office right away.