Abnormal Bleeding Definition
What is abnormal or irregular bleeding in females? Abnormal bleeding includes bleeding that occurs in between your menses (period). Menstrual bleeding that is prolonged or heavy enough to result in anemia or to interfere with your normal activities is also abnormal.
Abnormal bleeding in women also includes bleeding in young girls before they begin their menstrual periods and is frequently due to hormonal problems. Bleeding after the menopause or change is not normal.
Abnormal bleeding in women may come from sites (places) other than the uterus including the vagina, bladder, vulva (external female parts), or rectum.
After menarche (the first menstrual cycle or period), most women have a menstrual cycle every 21-35 days that lasts 3-7 days. If you bleed less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days from the first day of bleeding to the first day of the next, discuss this with your physician.
As a woman approaches the menopause, it is normal to occasionally skip a menstrual period and finally have her last menses – hence the term meno- pause. Once a woman has not had a period for one year she is considered to be postmenopausal. Unless cyclic menses are being induced by hormonal replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone), any bleeding after the menopause is abnormal bleeding, even if it is just a single brown spot.
Causes for Abnormal Bleeding
What are some of the causes for abnormal uterine bleeding? Abnormal uterine bleeding may be associated with any of the following conditions.
- Problems with a pregnancy such as threatened miscarriage, a tubal pregnancy, or placenta previa when the after-birth blocks the cervical canal
- Infection involving the lining of the uterus
- An IUD (intrauterine device for birth control)
- A primary bleeding disorder when a patient does not clot her blood properly (bleeds excessively when she gets a cut, etc.)
- Scar tissue or blockage within the uterus (womb)
- Benign (not cancer) growths such as fibroids, polyps, or simple overgrowth of the lining of the uterus
- Pre-cancer or cancerous conditions (tumors) of the lining of the uterus
- Hormonal treatment or even lack of hormones.
Amount of Bleeding
The PAP Smear and Finding the Source of Bleeding
Diagnosing the Cause of Bleeding
Treatment of Abnormal Bleeding
How is abnormal uterine bleeding treated? The treatment depends on the specific cause of the bleeding and whether or not there are other conditions that need to be treated at the same time. If the only condition that needs to be treated is bleeding, hysterectomy is rarely indicated.
The information provided by Advanced Healthcare for Women and E. Daniel Biggerstaff, III, M.D. is for informational purposes only. As each woman is unique, do not rely on this information for diagnosis and treatment. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content and advise that you see a qualified Health Care Professional for individual needs and care.Advanced Healthcare for Women 5354 Reynolds Street, Suite 518 Candler Professional Building Savannah, Georgia 31405 Telephone 912-355-7717 Fax 912-355-0979 firstname.lastname@example.org