Paying Attention to Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Most women have experienced some type of abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting in their lives. In fact, many of us don’t take these instances seriously enough because we’ve had them before. Vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal if it occurs when you aren’t expecting your period, if your flow is either lighter or heavier than normal, or when it’s not expected such as when you’re pregnant or after menopause. Don’t assume these instances are just part of “being a woman,” call the team at Women’s Health Medical Group if you encounter any cases of abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Various causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Ovulation can cause mid-cycle bleeding.
- An IUD can increase your chances of spotting or heavy periods.
- Medicines such as birth control pills can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially if you have only recently gone on the pill. Also if you don’t take your pills at a consistent time each day you may have some bleeding.
- Problems with pregnancy — Any bleeding during pregnancy needs to be checked. This can be anything from spotting to minimal bleeding. Heavy vaginal bleeding or bleeding that occurs before 12 weeks could indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Heavy bleeding that occurs after 12 weeks could point to serious problems such as placenta previa.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease causes inflammation or infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries and can lead to abnormal bleeding.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance that disrupts ovulation and can cause abnormal bleeding.
- Abnormal growths such as fibroids or polyps can cause bleeding.
- Infection of pelvic organs may cause bleeding, especially after intercourse. These infections can stem from sexually transmitted diseases.
- Various cancers— cervical, uterine, or vaginal — will involve abnormal bleeding.
Diagnosing what’s behind the bleeding
We will perform a physical exam and evaluate your medical history (including the frequency and length of your menstrual periods) when diagnosing the cause of your abnormal bleeding. We may also perform blood tests, a sonohysterography, a hysteroscopy, or an endometrial biopsy.
Treatment, of course, depends on the cause of your abnormal bleeding. Treatments may include:
- Birth control pills to regulate your periods
- Removal of an IUD
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Hormone supplements
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Surgery to remove abnormal growths
If you have any abnormal bleeding, we need to see you at Women’s Health Medical Group. Call us at (817) 346-5336 for an appointment.