A normal menstrual cycle should last anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Day 1 is considered to be the first day of your period with 21-35 days between each “Day 1”. Any bleeding that happens outside of that regular menstrual cycle is considered abnormal and can have a variety of causes and treatments.
Uterine bleeding is considered abnormal if it happens between periods, after sex, anytime in the menstrual cycle outside of a normal period, after menopause, bleeding heavier than normal, or bleeding longer than 7 days. Many women experience irregular periods for the first few years after menarche (beginning her period for the first time) or in the years leading up to menopause. However, abnormal uterine bleeding can occur at any time.
Physical or mental stress, travel, over-exercising, lifestyle change, an infection or other illness are common causes for the occasional abnormal period. If the abnormal bleeding continues, often other causes need to be investigated.
Abnormal periods can be caused by structural problems such as polyps, adenomyosis, fibroids or uterine cancer or pre-cancer. Non structural causes for abnormal periods include bleeding disorders, lack of ovulation, intrinsic issues with the lining of the uterus, drug induced, or can even be unexplained.
It is important to consult with Dr. Sodhi to determine the root cause of your abnormal bleeding pattern. She will work with you to educate you on your condition and then consider your needs and lifestyle as she suggests treatment options that work best for you. It is very important to track your periods (preferably on an app) so that Dr. Sodhi is able to review the dates, length and type of bleeding you are having at your visit.
After a thorough physical exam, Dr. Sodhi’s staff may draw your blood to check pregnancy, hormone levels, and blood counts. Dr. Sodhi may perform an in-office pelvic ultrasound to check for structural causes before treatment can begin. Depending on your physical condition, weight loss may be advised to address what is often the root cause of hormonal irregularities leading to abnormal bleeding patterns. In many cases, hormonal medications are given to control abnormal uterine bleeding. We also offer specialized vitamins and supplements as well as ayurvedic offerings to assist in control of the abnormal bleeding. Uterine curettage, uterine ablation, and hysterectomy may be indicated in some cases, but often not until medication has failed.