Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No
Skip to main content

How Your Provider Can Help with Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

How Your Provider Can Help with Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Knowing what’s “normal” in terms of menstrual bleeding and what’s not is one of the more challenging aspects of gynecology. While having consistently heavier menstrual flow can indicate problems such as fibroids, the truth is that there’s a wide range of what’s considered normal.

The average period is 3-5 days and the amount of blood you lose equals only 2-5 tablespoons. However, that still leaves a lot of room for variation and that makes your cycle normal for youDr. Alan Patterson explains more about what’s normal and what definitely warrants that you call him.

The range of normal

It’s a myth that every woman gets her cycle every 28 days. In fact, a large study found that only 16% of women had a 28-day cycle. 

What we look at is whether or not your cycles are more or less consistent. If you have a 30-day cycle but your periods always start by day 30, then we can assume that’s most likely your body’s natural way of functioning. Your cycles can range anywhere from 21 to 45 days long and still fall under the definition of “normal.”

What’s not normal is for your periods to vary wildly in length without a known cause. If your cycles vary in length, you may have difficulty when you want to conceive. Make an appointment with Dr. Patterson to rule out such causes of abnormal periods as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS.)

When your cycles aren’t normal

If your periods don’t fit the definition of normal in terms of length, you will need further evaluation. Sometimes, medications for treating insulin resistance can help those who have PCOS to ovulate and get regular periods again.

Other signs of abnormal periods that should be checked out:

Sometimes, these have simple hormonal causes and may be easily treated.

Further tests we may order

If you come into Dr. Patterson with abnormal uterine bleeding, he will likely order some tests, after asking about the details of your cycle.

He may order a simple blood test to see how well your blood clots, a thyroid test, and hormone level tests. If you’re deficient in a hormone (such as thyroid hormone), that can indeed affect your menstrual cycle; getting on replacement medication will help. 

He will almost certainly recommend doing a pelvic exam and order a pelvic ultrasound that he does in office. These can reveal if you have growths on the lining of your uterus, or abnormalities on the outside of the uterus or cysts of the ovaries that can cause abnormal bleeding. He will then proceed from there based on the findings. Sometimes you may need a simple in office procedure called hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy to make sure the inner lining of your uterus does not have any abnormalities, such as infection, pre-cancer and not too often endometrial cancer. Many OBGYNs do not have the equipment or expertise to do this procedure in the office and will make their patients go to an outpatient surgery center, will almost always be much more expensive for the patient and more time consuming!

If you have abnormal uterine bleeding, you should make an appointment for a consultation. Dr Patterson can do the entire workup, from start to finish to diagnose and treat your specific problem. Contact Dr. Alan Patterson today or request an appointment online. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Know About the STD?

What to Know About the STD?

If you feel itching or burning in your most sensitive areas, you may suspect you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD.) Here’s what you should do.