Irregular Bleeding FAQS
It is common for women to experience menstrual problems, including missed periods and painful periods. By understanding your menstrual cycle, you will be able to notice any complications that might occur. The menstrual cycle is the monthly series of changes in a woman’s body in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. Some of the problems associated with menstrual cycles include:
Before or during your menstruation, you might experience pain or discomfort due to cramps, which is normal. Cramps typically reside after a couple hours, but might last longer. When the pain and discomfort is severe enough to interrupt your daily schedule, you might have premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or dysmenorrhea. Symptoms include lower abdominal cramps, intermittent sharp pain in the abdominal region, and lower back pain, as well as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, sleep problems, and mood swings. PMS often occurs in otherwise healthy women and is not related to underlying problems in the uterus or other pelvic organs.
Also known as heavy menstrual bleedings, menorrhagia occurs when you experience enough blood loss and cramping that it interferes with your usual activities. Some of the signs and symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour
- Needing to use double sanitary protection
- Bleeding for a week or longer
- Passing large blood clots
- Restricting daily activities
- Symptoms of anemia
If you suffer from heavy bleeding that makes you dread your period, your OBGYN will work with you to find the most effective treatment for menorrhagia.
Women sometimes feel an immense amount of pain during menstruation that can be due to endometriosis, which is when a type of tissue that lines your uterus is growing outside of your uterus. If you have endometriosis, your primary symptom is pelvic pain, which is commonly associated with your menstrual period. Although many women will experience cramping during their menstrual period, women with endometriosis typically describe their menstrual pain as far worse than usual and tend to report that the pain has increased over time. Treatment will vary from patient to patient, and typically begins with medications. Your gynecologist will be able to properly diagnose and treat your symptoms.
Bleeding between Menstrual Periods
This is another common type of menstrual problem in which abnormal uterine bleeding can be a symptom of another medical condition, which can vary from minor to serious. If you experience bleeding between menstrual periods it is important to contact your OBGYN for further diagnosis and treatment. Conditions that may cause abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Blood clotting disorders
- Cancer of the cervix, vagina or uterus
- Chronic medical conditions
- Complications caused by birth control pills, an IUD, or pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Uterine fibroids or uterine polyps
Visiting your OBGYN every year will help to ensure that you are healthy and your period is normal. When abnormalities occur, your OBGYN can offer proper diagnosis and treatment options.
If you have more questions on irregular bleeding, give Eric Bentolila MD, PA in Ridgewood, NJ a call at 201-447-1700.