Women of any age can experience abnormal bleeding, vaginal bleeding that is heavy, lasts long periods of time, or occurs outside of regular menstrual cycles.
The textbooks define abnormal bleeding as blood loss from the uterus in excess of 80 ml 0r 2.8 ounces. But frankly, does anyone have the where with all to carry out such measurements? Not really. If the uterine bleeding interferes with regular activities and disrupts your routine, or is painful or very heavy, it can be considered as abnormal and warrants a visit to your gynecologist.
Many women also have irregular periods, which come so seldom that they feel like they’re bleeding all the time or come so infrequently that they only bleed once every three to four months. Though from the women’s perspective, fewer periods may be desirable, it needs to be evaluated as this will directly affect chances of conceiving.
Abnormal bleeding or spotting often happens after active sex, between periods, or after menopause.
Abnormal bleeding can make everyday activities such as household working, attending to the duties exercising or socializing stressful and difficult. Some women even have to wear a pad as well as a tampon for protection, carry them always, yet remain under the stressful thought of bleeding all the time. They have been programmed to ‘bear it’ and so perceive the situation as ‘Heavy periods’ to be put up with.
You don’t have to live with abnormal bleeding because it’s not “normal.” Whether you’re a teen who is just starting to cope with abnormal bleeding or a woman in perimenopause who has been struggling for years, help is available. Let’s discuss the primary causes of abnormal bleeding, some common treatment options, and understand which associated conditions can exist.
To figure out what’s causing the bleeding, we need to figure out where it’s coming from. Is it coming from your uterus, cervix, or vaginal area? Bleeding that appears to be coming from the vaginal area may instead be coming from the bladder or bowels. The patient’s symptoms are often the indication of trouble, so after physical examination, which will generally include a pelvic exam to check the cervix and vagina as well as all potential sources of bleeding.
Cervicitis, a sexually transmitted illness, is one of the most prevalent causes of bleeding and discharge. The cervix, which is positioned at the lower end of the uterus, becomes inflamed and irritated. Often evaluation of the cervix for cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions is done.
However, abnormal bleeding can be the result of many conditions, mainly of the uterus (or the womb). Let’s identify primary conditions of the uterus that lead to abnormal bleeding:
- Polyps: growths, or small clumps of cells, that form when cells in the lining of the uterus overgrow
- Adenomyosis: Adenomyosis is a condition in which the tissue that borders the uterus grows into the uterine wall.
- Leiomyoma: Fibroids are benign tumours in the uterus termed leiomyoma.
- Hyperplasia and malignancy: when the uterine lining (endometrium) gets overly thick.
- Coagulopathy is a condition in which the body’s ability to clot is harmed, generally as a result of low levels or the lack of blood-clotting proteins.
- Ovulatory dysfunction occurs when ovulation is abnormal, irregular, or absent, and is a common cause of abnormal bleeding.
- Endometrial: abnormal functioning of endometrial tissue
- Iatrogenic bleeding: When bleeding is caused by birth control, other hormone medicines, or other pharmaceuticals, it is called iatrogenic bleeding.
- Not otherwise classified: When doctors are unable to identify a specific cause for bleeding problems, they are labeled as “not otherwise classified.”
- Following a physical examination, we may use ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, and other tests to assist us to identify the problem, which may include an infection examination. Finally, we go over the various treatment alternatives.
- Bleeding that interferes with daily routine is not “normal,” and you don’t have to live with it. Whether you’re a teen who is just starting to cope with abnormal bleeding or a woman in perimenopause who has been struggling for years, help is available.
Many conditions can be treated with medication. If there is an infection, Simple antibiotics will relieve the problem soon. For many of the uterine sources of bleeding, hormone treatments such as birth control pills, progesterone pills, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) that help regulate and lighten periods, can be prescribed.
Patients may need minimally invasive surgery to remove abnormal tissue if conservative therapy fails or if they have uterine growth diseases like polyps or leiomyoma. The doctor may recommend a hysterectomy to remove the uterus in severe cases, and usually only after women are done with fertility. However, women should never feel pressured into hysterectomy as their only option since many treatment options are available today.
Excessive blood loss causes some women to develop iron-deficiency anaemia. When the blood is low of healthy red blood cells, this occurs. This condition can cause dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath, which impacts overall work efficiency.
Untreated abnormal bleeding caused by ovulatory dysfunction, which causes irregular periods in women, can put them at risk for precancerous endometrial disorders including hyperplasia, which occurs when the uterine lining swells and can lead to uterine cancer. Even if you like just three to four periods a year, this is abnormal and should be investigated.
Women who merely have a “lack of energy,” and when we get to talking about her period, we discover she’s had abnormal bleeding her whole life and never realised it was “abnormal.”
With simple evaluation & treatments available, it’s amazing to see women get their life and energy back.
Women should seek treatment for abnormal bleeding in time as her gynaecologist will help to enhance the quality of life and offer her much-needed respite from abnormal bleeding.
We can also secure a healthy future by addressing underlying issues. Make an appointment by calling or filling out our online form.
In addition to working with a doctor, some home remedies and supportive tools can help reduce symptoms and make an abnormal period easier to manage.
Try a heating pad: Heating pads can help reduce common period symptoms, as the warmth of the heating pad can relax the muscles involved.
Wear period panties to bed: Period panties are absorbent underwear that works like a pad to absorb blood.
Sleeping in these panties may be more pleasant than sleeping with a pad, and people may wake up less frequently at night.
Diet, supplements like Vit C, D, iron help in easing the burden of abnormal bleeding.
Nevertheless, it is to be taken under the guidance of a registered medical gynaecologists’ as, just easing the symptoms doesn’t mean the underlying problems are been taken care of.
A good old wise saying is apt for this; a stitch in time saves nine.