Bleeding Problems - Oakdale ObGyn
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Abnormal Bleeding

What’s Considered Abnormal Bleeding?

Many women experience abnormal bleeding at some point in their life and it can occur at any age. So when is it important to see a medical professional? See your provider when abnormal bleeding:

  • Is a lot heavier than you’ve experience for more days than you normally do
  • Occurs between your periods
  • Occurs outside of your period, or your period is longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days (you get your period more often)
  • Is during pregnancy
  • Is after menopause
  • Occurs after sex

Abnormal bleeding also applies to women who haven’t had a period for 3 to 6 months.

Causes of Abnormal Bleeding

There are many causes of abnormal bleeding. They can include:

  • Use of some types of birth control, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills
  • Uterine fibroids or polyps
  • Adenomyosis, where the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the wall of your uterus
  • Endometrial hyperplasia, where the lining of your uterus grows too thickly
  • Some types of cancer
  • Infections of your uterus or cervix
  • Problems with a pregnancy

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms that can occur with abnormal bleeding can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia, or low iron
  • Low back pain
  • Frequent bathroom use
  • Pelvic pain, or
  • Pain during sex

Risk Factors for Abnormal Bleeding

Many causes of abnormal bleeding can be linked to something organic, such as a fibroid or polyp. However, research shows that lifestyle and genetics also plays a role. Women who are overweight or obese, or who have a family history may be at increased risk.

Once we’ve taken a thorough medical history and performed a physical exam, we need to determine the cause of your abnormal bleeding. Tests can include:

  • Ultrasound: we use state-of-the-art 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging at our clinics to “make a picture” of the inside of your uterus.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): we use radio waves to produce images of the inside of your uterus. MRI studies are performed at Maple Grove Hospital.
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): we use a dye that is injected into the uterus while using ultrasound to take pictures. These studies are performed at Maple Grove Hospital.
  • Hysteroscopy: we insert a tiny, thin endoscopic camera into your vagina and cervix so that your provider can see what is happening inside your uterus
  • Biopsy: we take an endometrial tissue sample from the lining of your uterus

Treatment

Treatment for abnormal bleeding varies woman to woman depending on medical history. Some women will not require treatment while others may require options that include medication or surgery. Your provider will discuss your options based on:

  • Your age
  • Your symptoms
  • Cause of bleeding
  • Whether or not you want to become pregnant

Non Surgical Treatment for Abnormal Bleeding

Medications are a common non-surgical treatment for abnormal bleeding. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen or aspirin is often used to manage pain. Some women who experience heavy bleeding many need to take an iron supplement to prevent or treat anemia (low iron counts).

Prescription medications include a low-dose birth control, and others that are useful in keeping hormone levels consistent throughout the month. An intrauterine device (IUD) is also helpful in managing abnormal bleeding through a slow release of hormones.

Surgical Treatments

If surgery is necessary, there are a number of surgical options. Your medical history and plans for children in the future will influence the type of surgery you may have.

Hysteroscopy: If small fibroids or polyps are contributing to abnormal bleeding, hysteroscopy can be used to remove the fibroids or polyps.

Endometrial Ablation: If heavy bleeding is impacting your lifestyle, an ablation may be recommended to permanently control bleeding. This is an option for women who have completed their family and requires an endometrial biopsy prior to the procedure.

Myomectomy: If uterine fibroids are the cause of abnormal bleeding, your provider might recommend a myomectomy, pronounced “my-o-MEK-to-me”, is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids from your uterus. The goal is to remove only the fibroids while keeping the uterus intact. Learn more.

Hysterectomy: For some women, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus is a better surgical option to control bleeding. Your gynecologic surgeon will discuss hysterectomy options with you. Learn more.

Treatment for abnormal bleeding may include medications and/or surgery. Each brings unique risks. Talk with your provider about your questions and concerns.

Initially, your provider will see you at one our clinics in Maple Grove, Blaine, Plymouth, or Crystal for evaluation.

If surgery is necessary, our gynecologic surgeons perform surgery at the North Memorial Outpatient Surgery Center at Maple Grove Hospital and at North Memorial Medical Center.

Your provider may first recommend hormone therapies (medications). Low-dose birth control or an IUD may help to control bleeding. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can help with pain management.

If you have surgery, you will receive pain medication and receive detailed self-care instructions. You may need to avoid sex, heavy lifting, vigorous physical activity and tampons up to several days or weeks, depending on your surgery.

  • How common is abnormal bleeding?
  • What is the definition of abnormal bleeding?
  • Every one is different: how do you determine if bleeding is abnormal?
  • Are some women more at risk for abnormal bleeding?
  • Are there associated symptoms with abnormal bleeding?
  • Is abnormal bleeding associated with any particular conditions?
  • How do you diagnose the cause of abnormal bleeding?
  • Treatment options?
  • When do you recommend women see their provider if having abnormal bleeding?
Causes, Risk Factors, Other Symptoms

Causes of Abnormal Bleeding

There are many causes of abnormal bleeding. They can include:

  • Use of some types of birth control, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills
  • Uterine fibroids or polyps
  • Adenomyosis, where the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the wall of your uterus
  • Endometrial hyperplasia, where the lining of your uterus grows too thickly
  • Some types of cancer
  • Infections of your uterus or cervix
  • Problems with a pregnancy

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms that can occur with abnormal bleeding can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia, or low iron
  • Low back pain
  • Frequent bathroom use
  • Pelvic pain, or
  • Pain during sex

Risk Factors for Abnormal Bleeding

Many causes of abnormal bleeding can be linked to something organic, such as a fibroid or polyp. However, research shows that lifestyle and genetics also plays a role. Women who are overweight or obese, or who have a family history may be at increased risk.

Tests You Can Expect

Once we’ve taken a thorough medical history and performed a physical exam, we need to determine the cause of your abnormal bleeding. Tests can include:

  • Ultrasound: we use state-of-the-art 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging at our clinics to “make a picture” of the inside of your uterus.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): we use radio waves to produce images of the inside of your uterus. MRI studies are performed at Maple Grove Hospital.
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): we use a dye that is injected into the uterus while using ultrasound to take pictures. These studies are performed at Maple Grove Hospital.
  • Hysteroscopy: we insert a tiny, thin endoscopic camera into your vagina and cervix so that your provider can see what is happening inside your uterus
  • Biopsy: we take an endometrial tissue sample from the lining of your uterus
Treatment for Abnormal Bleeding

Treatment

Treatment for abnormal bleeding varies woman to woman depending on medical history. Some women will not require treatment while others may require options that include medication or surgery. Your provider will discuss your options based on:

  • Your age
  • Your symptoms
  • Cause of bleeding
  • Whether or not you want to become pregnant

Non Surgical Treatment for Abnormal Bleeding

Medications are a common non-surgical treatment for abnormal bleeding. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen or aspirin is often used to manage pain. Some women who experience heavy bleeding many need to take an iron supplement to prevent or treat anemia (low iron counts).

Prescription medications include a low-dose birth control, and others that are useful in keeping hormone levels consistent throughout the month. An intrauterine device (IUD) is also helpful in managing abnormal bleeding through a slow release of hormones.

Surgical Treatments

If surgery is necessary, there are a number of surgical options. Your medical history and plans for children in the future will influence the type of surgery you may have.

Hysteroscopy: If small fibroids or polyps are contributing to abnormal bleeding, hysteroscopy can be used to remove the fibroids or polyps.

Endometrial Ablation: If heavy bleeding is impacting your lifestyle, an ablation may be recommended to permanently control bleeding. This is an option for women who have completed their family and requires an endometrial biopsy prior to the procedure.

Myomectomy: If uterine fibroids are the cause of abnormal bleeding, your provider might recommend a myomectomy, pronounced “my-o-MEK-to-me”, is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids from your uterus. The goal is to remove only the fibroids while keeping the uterus intact. Learn more.

Hysterectomy: For some women, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus is a better surgical option to control bleeding. Your gynecologic surgeon will discuss hysterectomy options with you. Learn more.

Understanding Risks

Treatment for abnormal bleeding may include medications and/or surgery. Each brings unique risks. Talk with your provider about your questions and concerns.

Where We Treat Abnormal Bleeding

Initially, your provider will see you at one our clinics in Maple Grove, Blaine, Plymouth, or Crystal for evaluation.

If surgery is necessary, our gynecologic surgeons perform surgery at the North Memorial Outpatient Surgery Center at Maple Grove Hospital and at North Memorial Medical Center.

What to Expect

Your provider may first recommend hormone therapies (medications). Low-dose birth control or an IUD may help to control bleeding. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can help with pain management.

If you have surgery, you will receive pain medication and receive detailed self-care instructions. You may need to avoid sex, heavy lifting, vigorous physical activity and tampons up to several days or weeks, depending on your surgery.

Questions to Ask Your Provider
  • How common is abnormal bleeding?
  • What is the definition of abnormal bleeding?
  • Every one is different: how do you determine if bleeding is abnormal?
  • Are some women more at risk for abnormal bleeding?
  • Are there associated symptoms with abnormal bleeding?
  • Is abnormal bleeding associated with any particular conditions?
  • How do you diagnose the cause of abnormal bleeding?
  • Treatment options?
  • When do you recommend women see their provider if having abnormal bleeding?
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