Abnormal uterine bleeding can cause emotional and physical stress. A menstrual flow that occurs every 21 to 35 days is considered normal. If you are bleeding outside of that time frame, your flow is considered abnormal. If you are bleeding within that time frame but soaking more than one pad every hour for several consecutive hours, you have abnormal uterine bleeding.
Following are seven of the most common reasons for abnormal uterine bleeding:
1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to become enlarged, and small cysts to form on the edges. Besides having irregular bleeding, women with this condition may be overweight, have acne, experience fertility problems and have excessive hair growth on the face and body.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
Other types of hormonal imbalances, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, can cause abnormal bleeding. When the body is producing too much of the thyroid hormone (hyper) or too little (hypo), studies have shown it can disrupt the menstrual cycle.
3. Problem Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and experiencing any type of spotting, this is considered abnormal uterine bleeding and you should be evaluated by your physician right away. It can indicate an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
4. Medication Side Effect
Oral contraceptives can interfere with regular menstrual cycles, especially within the first three months of starting the prescription, and can alter your normal flow or cause bleeding in between periods.
5. IUD Side Effect
Women with an intrauterine device (IUD) are more likely to experience abnormal bleeding. Often it causes a heavier flow during their period, especially as their body adjusts within the first three months of insertion.
6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that can affect your uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix or ovaries. It typically is generated from a previous bacterial infection like gonorrhea. It must be treated immediately in order to prevent scar tissue from developing, otherwise infertility may result.
7. Polyps, Fibroids, Growths
Uterine fibroids or polyps on your cervix could cause changes in your menstrual flow or bleeding in between cycles. While most women fear that this means they have cancer, many uterine growths are noncancerous. If they are causing infertility issues or any other health problems, they may be able to be removed.
Talk to Your Doctor
When you visit your doctor, they will conduct a full physical examination of your whole-body health and your pelvic organs. Share your concerns with them, communicate your symptoms in detail and trust their professional medical advice. Abnormal uterine bleeding shouldn’t be ignored, and you shouldn’t have to handle it alone. Call Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center today to set up an appointment.