What Is Normal and What Is Abnormal Vaginal and Uterine Bleeding?
Every woman’s body is different. There are all kinds of heights, shapes, hair colors, and shoe sizes. Menstrual cycles are no different. What seems normal for one woman could be completely out of the ordinary for another. The normal length of the menstrual cycle is typically between 24 days and 38 days. A normal menstrual period generally lasts up to 8 days. There are very wide variations within that norm.
The key to good health involves knowing your body and what’s normal for you. You can keep a journal recording the days you notice bleeding and how much blood is flowing. The best way to find out what is causing an unusual bleeding is consulting with the top OB/GYN in Forest Hills, NYC, who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team. Many abnormal bleeding problems can be diagnosed early through something as simple as a physical exam or an ultrasound.
Symptoms of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
While every woman’s body is different, the best gynecologist in Queens can tell you there are some basic guidelines for determining whether the flow you are experiencing should be considered abnormal or not. Symptoms of abnormal bleeding — such as endometrial bleeding or an even more serious medical condition — include:
- Bleeding after periods have ended
- Menstrual flow that is lighter or heavier than normal for you
- Prolonged menstrual bleeding
- A flow when you don’t expect it — such as during pregnancy or after menopause
- Noticeable bleeding after intercourse, which is not related to the start or end of your period
- Significant and unusual pain that accompanies your vaginal bleeding
Any abnormal vaginal bleeding may be a symptom of a medical condition that needs treatment. Since bleeding can be an especially serious issue during pregnancy, seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing bleeding and you know or suspect you are pregnant.
Conditions That Lead to Abnormal Bleeding
Several different scenarios can lead to occasional abnormal bleeding, including:
- Mid-cycle bleeding can occur with ovulation.
- Stress and exercise.Excessive stress and exercise can either increase — or more commonly decrease — your natural flow.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This hormone imbalance interferes with normal ovulation.
- Birth control medication, especially if you are just starting it or you’re not taking it at the same time times every day, can cause abnormal uterine bleeding as your body adjusts.
- Intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD, especially at initial insertion, sometimes causes spotting or heavy bleeding.
- Pelvic organ infections and urinary tract infections can cause bleeding. These infections are sometimes the result of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is another cause of inflammation or infection that can result in bleeding.
- Abnormal uterus. Conditions such as uterine fibroids or endometrial polyps can result in vaginal bleeding outside the norm.
- Diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Systemic conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism may result in occasional bleeding.
- Vaginal bleeding in a young child or after a trauma could be indicative of abuse.
- Cervical cancer symptoms sometimes present as unusual bleeding.
There are also a number of reasons you might experience bleeding after intercourse. Even if you are heathy, normal friction or mild trauma can cause slight bleeding. Some harmless inflammations also might present with noticeable spotting. Postmenopausal vaginal dryness sometimes causes discomfort and spotting. STDs, polyps or severe trauma may also be causes if you notice bleeding after periods or following intercourse.
When to Consult a Forest Hills, Queens Gynecologist
Anytime you notice a change in your flow, especially if significant pain or fever is involved, contact your OB/GYN in Queens. Additionally, you should immediately consult a local medical professional if:
- Your period is so heavy, you’re soaking through pads and tampons every hour for more than two hours
- You feel faint, lightheaded or dizzy during your period
- You develop a fever while menstruating
- You are concerned you might be pregnant
- You’ve lost consciousness during your flow
After menopause — which means you haven’t had a period for at least twelve months — consult a top OB/GYN in Queens, NYC if you see vaginal bleeding. Bleeding after menopause may be a symptom of:
- Endometrial bleeding and polyps
- Endometrial atrophy, thinning of your uterine lining
- Endometrial hyperplasia, thickening of your uterine lining
- Vaginal atrophy, which is bleeding after intercourse
- Medications for hormone therapy or blood thinning
Recommended Diagnostic Tests
Your gynecologist in Queens, NYC works to determine the underlying cause of your abnormal bleeding. To determine or rule out causes, your doctor may administer or request any combination of the following tests:
- Pelvic exam
- OB/GYN exam
- Pregnancy test
- STD tests
- Blood tests for anemia
- Thyroid function levels
- Ultrasound of your abdomen
- Endometrial biopsy
Each of these procedures helps your doctor focus on the correct treatment options for you. The goal is always to alleviate the bleeding and any accompanying discomfort. Most of these tests are only slightly uncomfortable. Your OB/GYN in Queens, NY helps you understand the steps, how to prepare, and what to do to make sure you’re as pain-free as possible.
Treatments for Abnormal Bleeding
Your treatment depends on the results of the diagnostic tests. The best gynecologists in Queens that are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services can address thyroid function issues, treat an STD or remove any cervical, vaginal or uterine polyps discovered. You may need new contraceptive pills or synthetic progestogens. Or perhaps bed-rest with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs) is all you need.
Your OB/GYN may administer clotting medications or advise you to discontinue blood thinner medication. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove lesions or growths inside your uterus or to address an abnormal uterus lining. You and your doctor may decide a hysterectomy is the most viable option. We will, however, only recommend it if no other treatments seem appropriate.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. We believe that how you are treated at our office is just as important as the medical care you receive. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs. We do our best to make a positive, long-term impact on our patients’ lives through preventive care and education.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in diagnosing and treating abnormal vaginal and uterine bleeding. We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331