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Abnormal Bleeding

Many issues can cause abnormal bleeding, defined as bleeding more than normal during a period, a period that lasts longer than normal, or bleeding between periods. In all instances, it’s important that abnormal bleeding is evaluated. At Today's Woman located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, board certified OB/GYN Dr. Sharan Abdul-Rahman, diagnoses and treats the wide array of causes of abnormal bleeding.

How do I know my bleeding is abnormal?

  • You bleed for more than 7 days
  • You need to change every hour
  • You need to "double up" on the heavy days
  • You spot or bleed between cycles
  • You refuse to wear white or carry extra clothing "just in case"
  • When is uterine bleeding abnormal?

    Normally, the uterus will shed a limited quantity of blood during menstruation. Abnormal bleeding occurs when:

  • Periods last longer than normal: More than three to five days
  • Menstrual bleeding is heavier than normal, requiring quite frequent tampon or sanitary napkin changes
  • Bleeding occurs in between menstrual periods: Also known as spotting
  • Bleeding occurs after menopause
  • Why does abnormal bleeding happen?

    There are several possible causes of abnormal bleeding, including:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis: Uterine tissue growing outside of the uterus
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): When used during menopause
  • Uterine cancer
  • How is the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding determined?

    There are several different diagnostic tools that may be used in determining the cause of abnormal bleeding.

    Dr. Rahman will first perform a complete pelvic exam and will discuss your medical history with you in detail.

    After that, laboratory tests may be performed. This usually involves a simple blood draw that can be done right in the Today's Woman office.

    Ovulation tests may be performed to determine whether hormone problems are the cause of your abnormal bleeding.

    Other tests, including transvaginal ultrasounds, may be needed to allow Dr. Rahman to get a more detailed view of the uterus and other reproductive organs.

    A biopsy may need to be done in some cases, as well.

    What is the treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding?

    Treatment for abnormal bleeding is prescribed according to the cause and the symptoms.

    With hormone imbalances, hormone supplementation with estrogen or progesterone can be helpful. Patients who are already taking hormone supplements may need to adjust their dosage to alleviate abnormal bleeding.

    Uterine fibroids causing abnormal bleeding may be helped with hormone therapy.

    In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove excessive endometrial growth (endometriosis) or uterine fibroids.

    In most cases, the abnormal bleeding can be resolved without resorting to surgery. Dr. Rahman will work with you closely to determine what solution will be best for your particular situation.