Abnormal vaginal bleeding can be concerning at any age. Some vaginal bleeding is normal and not cause for alarm. However, uterine bleeding during your period or pregnancy can lead to a number of serious, even life-threatening issues.
So, how do you identify the difference, and when should you consult a doctor?
The Difference Between Abnormal Uterine Bleeding & Breakthrough Bleeding
If you've been keeping track of your period, you may have noticed some unexpected bleeding, such as bleeding when you least expect it. You may notice that your flow has gotten heavier than usual or that the color has changed. This is abnormal uterine bleeding. For those who are on “the pill”, breakthrough bleeding usually refers to bleeding in between periods.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Symptoms Include
- Heavy periods (menorrhagia)
- Bleeding between cycles, after intercourse, or during menopause
- Inconsistent or long (more than 7 days) periods
- Bleeding while pregnant or suspecting you are pregnant
- Unexpected bleeding accompanied by cramping
- Bleeding following a recent abortion
What Causes Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding can occur when the body does not produce enough of a hormone, as a result of issues with birth control methods such as intrauterine devices or oral contractive tablets, as a result of pregnancy-related causes, as a result of uterine tumors, or as a result of cancer.
So, regardless of the source, you should seek medical attention if you encounter unusual bleeding.
Treating Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
1)Birth control tablets are frequently used to manage uterine bleeding caused by hormonal changes or abnormalities. Birth control tablets can be used to establish regular bleeding cycles and prevent excessive endometrial growth in women who do not ovulate on a regular basis.
2)Progesterone is an ovarian hormone that is beneficial in preventing or treating heavy bleeding in women who do not ovulate on a regular basis.
3) Progestin, a synthetic version of progesterone, may be prescribed to treat irregular bleeding. Progestin-releasing IUDs reduce menstrual blood loss by more than half and alleviate period pain.
4)To eliminate abnormal uterine growths such as fibroids & polyps, surgery may be required. Women who are done having children and are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding may benefit from a surgical therapy such as endometrial ablation.
Keep a record of your menstrual cycle and how and when you are bleeding. Tracking applications like Clue can make it easier, and they can also generate a report with variations in your cycle that you may not have noticed. Taking this to your doctor will be quite beneficial.
When you use a menstruation cup, you will be able to check how if you are flow is unexpectedly heavy.