Abnormal uterine bleeding is classified as any bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods. In some cases, abnormal uterine bleeding occurs after intercourse, or in women who are postmenopausal. Heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than seven days is considered abnormal uterine bleeding.
Abnormal uterine bleeding has many possible causes. In some cases, birth control methods, including birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs), can cause spotting or heavy periods. Additional causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include the following:
- Abnormal growths
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine fibroids
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
Abnormal uterine bleeding can also be caused by abnormal hormone levels. Often the result of high estrogen levels that are not balanced by an appropriate level of progesterone, they can prevent an egg from being released, or thicken the uterine lining and cause it to shed irregularly. Chronic medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders and diabetes, can also lead to abnormal uterine bleeding.
Abnormal uterine bleeding is diagnosed through a physical examination and an evaluation of the patient's medical history, including the frequency and length of menstrual periods. A pregnancy test may also be administered. Additional tests may include the following:
- Blood tests
- Endometrial biopsy
An ultrasound or MRI scan, which will provide images of the uterus and internal organs, may also be performed.
Treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding varies, depending on its cause. Treatment methods may include the following:
- Hormone supplements
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Removal of an IUD
- Birth control pills to regulate periods
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
Surgery may be necessary to remove growths such as polyps or fibroids that can cause bleeding. Several other types of surgery may be performed to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.
From blood work to sonographic evaluation, we test for causes of abnormal bleeding in order to recommend the treatment that’s right for you.
A woman's breasts may change over time due to different levels of hormones in the body caused by menstruation, pregnancy, breast feeding and menopause. There are a number of benign, or non-cancerous, conditions that may develop within the breasts. Because there are many conditions, benign and malignant, that may be associated with the breast, patients are advised to perform breast self-exams in addition to scheduling routine exams with a physician.
Breast exams are physical and visual inspections of the breasts that can help identify unusual lumps or suspicious growths around the breasts. Breast exams are useful for the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
During a breast exam, a doctor may ask the patient to place her arm in several positions to view and examine the breast from various angles. For the physical portion of the exam, the doctor will rotate his or her fingers around the entire breast, applying changing levels of pressure to feel areas near the surface as well as deeper within the breast.
In addition, a doctor can teach a patient how to perform these exams at home every month in order to recognize any changes in her own breasts. By becoming familiar with the feel of her breasts, a woman will be better able to identify a change that may indicate an abnormality.
After providing a thorough breast exam, we recommend diagnostic evaluation (both blood work and radiology testing) to determine the cause of any problem that might exist.
Contraception is any method used to prevent pregnancy. Choosing the method of contraception to use is an important decision that will impact a woman's daily life. Speaking with your doctor about which method to use will provide you and your partner with protection. We will supply you with information about the different types of contraception available and the respective advantages and disadvantages of these methods.
Birth control methods have many different variable factors including frequency, convenience, permanence and effectiveness. It is important to take into consideration your lifestyle, age, health and previous experiences. The decision is yours to make, but with our knowledge and our experience we can help you make the right choice.
We offer oral contraceptives, injectable (Depo Provera©) and implantable (Implanon©) contraceptives, contraceptive patches and rings, intrauterine devices, diaphragm fitting and permanent sterilization (tubal ligations).