- What’s normal—what’s not?
- Causes of abnormal bleeding
- Treatment options
- What to expect at your visit
Some of the most common things we hear related to abnormal menstrual bleeding are ‘my periods come and go,’ or ‘don’t happen on time’—or they are very heavy, sometimes with sharp stabbing pain or dull aching pain. Let us help you figure out what’s going on so you can get back to your life.
The average length of a menstrual cycle is usually between 25 and 38 days from the start of one period to the start of the next. Day 1 of your cycle is the day you start your period bleeding, which can last up to a week. We consider any of the following to be abnormal bleeding:
Irregular bleeding can happen at any time during a woman’s reproductive life, but is most common during puberty and as a woman nears menopause.
Sometimes we’re able to figure out what’s causing your abnormal bleeding—but not always. The most common causes include:
First, know that not all abnormal bleeding needs to be addressed urgently. If you are having any kind of bleeding during pregnancy or following menopause—or are bleeding so heavily that you’re completely soaking through a maxi pad or super tampon every hour—then our scheduling team will probably have you talk to one of our advice nurses to assess your situation and figure out next steps, which may include an urgent visit. If your abnormal bleeding doesn’t fall into one of these categories, then we’ll probably look for the next available appointment with a provider who has skill and experience addressing your concern.
The provider you see will want to talk about your health history and your menstrual cycle. Keep track of your cycle before your visit, noting when you start your period, how long it lasts and how heavy it is—plus any spotting you have between periods or after sex. Your visit will most likely include a physical exam and your provider may also recommend blood tests, a pregnancy test and/or tests to screen for sexually transmitted diseases. Your provider may also talk to you about having an ultrasound to fully evaluation your uterus and ovaries.
Okay, so we have periods. Whether you refer to it as a…Read More
Painful periods (dysmenorrhea) may be very disruptive to your health and well-being.…Read More
One of the most common questions we hear from patients is whether…Read More
On online resource and forum for women having bleeding issues, fibroids, pelvic pain, etc.
Articles, fact sheets, resources and infographics on staying healthy throughout your life from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Excellent breastfeeding information!