Is This What's Causing Your Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Is This What's Causing Your Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Uterine bleeding is a normal part of a woman’s life. During your monthly periods, as the lining of your uterus sloughs off, you lose about two ounces of blood.

However, if you’re bleeding more than that, or if you’re bleeding at other times of the month when you aren’t having a menstrual period, you could be experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding.

Abnormal uterine bleeding can have a variety of causes. That’s why it’s important to have your abnormal bleeding evaluated by a highly skilled care provider. 

At Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, our experienced care providers have extensive expertise evaluating, diagnosing, and treating abnormal bleeding.

Here, we outline several of the more common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding. Read on to learn more about these conditions.

Heavy menstrual periods

Unusually heavy periods can last a long time (more than seven days), can result in very heavy bleeding (needing to change a pad or tampon more often than every two hours for several hours in a row), or the passing of clots that are the size of a quarter or bigger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heavy periods have several potential causes, including hormone imbalances, thyroid disorders, ovulation problems, growths in the uterus, and bleeding disorders. If you’re experiencing heavy or irregular periods, don’t assume that you just have to put up with them or that they’re normal. It’s important to understand what’s causing them and to receive treatment, if needed.

Growths in your uterus

Various types of growths can cause extra bleeding in your uterus. These growths include:

Uterine fibroids: These muscular growths in the walls of your uterus can cause pain as well as heavy bleeding. They are hardly ever cancerous.

Uterine polyps: These are overgrowths of endometrial tissue, which is the tissue that lines the uterus. They can cause heavy periods and are rarely cancerous.  

Cancer: Several types of cancer can develop in the uterus. If cancer is diagnosed early, it’s typically easier to treat.  

Endometriosis or PCOS

Endometriosis occurs when tissue from within the uterus grows in places where it shouldn’t, such as outside your uterus, your Fallopian tubes, your ovaries, your bladder, or your intestines. Because it’s uterine tissue, it bleeds during menstruation despite its location outside the uterus.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which causes cysts to develop in the ovaries, can also lead to abnormal bleeding, as well as acne, problems getting pregnant, and excessive hair growth on the face and arms.

Birth control

Changes in bleeding patterns can occur with some types of hormonal birth control or with an IUD, especially if it becomes displaced. Be sure to contact your provider right away if you experience unusual bleeding with an IUD.   

Menopause

Bleeding and periods may become disrupted during the years leading up to menopause. But don’t assume that bleeding changes in your 40s or 50s are the result of menopause, because other health conditions that require treatment can arise during this time.

Don’t wait to schedule an evaluation

Abnormal uterine bleeding should always be checked. If you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding or any other gynecological health symptoms, our providers look forward to providing you with a full evaluation. To schedule a visit, call our office at 513-794-1500, or request an appointment via our online portal today.

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