Abnormal Bleeding

Gynecology & Women's Health located in Napa, CA

Abnormal Bleeding

While every menstrual cycle is unique, heavy blood loss, severe cramping, and other uncomfortable symptoms can be signs of an underlying issue. John Armstrong Jr., MD, MS, uses advanced diagnostic tools and treatments to target the root cause of abnormal bleeding and protect your reproductive health. Call John T. Armstrong Jr. MD Inc. in Napa, California, or schedule an appointment online to learn more. The practice proudly offers telehealth visits for patient convenience.

Abnormal Bleeding Q & A

What qualifies as abnormal bleeding?

Abnormal bleeding is any type of uterine bleeding outside of your normal menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding, spotting in between periods, and prolonged periods are common examples of abnormal bleeding that can affect your quality of life and indicate an underlying health issue.

While the amount of blood a woman loses during her menstrual cycle can vary, abnormal bleeding that interferes with your daily activities requires a thorough women’s health exam from Dr. Armstrong. 

Why do I have abnormal bleeding?

Many factors and health conditions can increase your risk of abnormal bleeding, including:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polyps
  • Irregular ovulation
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Hormonal birth control
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pregnancy, especially an ectopic pregnancy (which develops outside the uterus), can also cause heavy or prolonged bleeding.

What are the signs of abnormal bleeding?

Abnormal uterine bleeding isn’t always obvious. That’s why it’s important to stay in tune with your body and look out for changes to your regular menstrual cycle. Common signs of abnormal bleeding include:

  • Bleeding for longer than eight days
  • Shorter periods (less than 24 days)
  • Longer periods (more than 35 days)
  • Bleeding between cycles
  • Blood clots as big as a quarter or larger
  • Needing to change your pad or tampon less than every two hours

Abnormal bleeding can also cause other symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath if it’s heavier than usual.

I have abnormal bleeding. What are my treatment options?

The best treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause. With onsite ultrasounds, your gynecologist can perform your scan and interpret the results during your appointment. Along with imaging scans, your provider conducts a pelvic exam and medical history review and may order lab tests.

You may also need a hysteroscopy, which involves inserting a lighted scope into the cervix for a clear view of your uterus, and a Pap smear (cervical cancer screening). 

Once your gynecologist issues a diagnosis, they can deliver the appropriate treatment. Treatments for abnormal bleeding can include:

  • Hormonal birth control pills
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Oral progesterone
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Endometrial ablation

Your gynecologist may also recommend iron supplements to replenish your levels after heavy blood loss. Call John T. Armstrong Jr. MD Inc. today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.