Sudden changes to your menstrual cycle or abnormal bleeding may be a sign of gynecological problems. Because every woman's cycle is unique, and some fluctuation is common, many women are unsure of when to seek help. The safest answer is to see your gynecologist if you are unsure. No harm can come from an extra checkup if you are healthy, but if there is a problem, delaying treatments can lead to further damage.
What is abnormal?
Uterine bleeding is, of course, normal during the first days of your menstrual cycle. However, it is considered abnormal when:
- You are bleeding, or even spotting, between periods.
- Bleeding occurs during or after sexual intercourse.
- Your period lasts longer than usual, or the bleeding is heavier than usual.
- You are experiencing post-menopausal bleeding.
Unusually short or long menstrual cycles can also be a sign of problems. The cycle is timed beginning on the first day of your period (when bleeding begins). The full cycle ends when the next period starts. The cycle lasts an average of 28 days, although anywhere from 21 to 35 days in within the range of normal. If your cycle falls outside of this timeframe, or it is more than a week shorter or longer than usual, it is considered abnormal.
It is important to remember that abnormal periods may be “normal” at certain stages of a woman's life. Girls under 16 often have longer cycles, or variations in the length of cycles. Mature women over the age of 50 typically experience light periods, and skipped months, as they approach menopause.
There are several possible reasons that women have abnormal bleeding. A few of these include:
- Excess or lack of menstruation-regulating hormones, which can be caused by certain medications
- Ectopic pregnancy, also known as a tubal pregnancy
- Reaction to birth control
- Some cancers, such as cervix, uterus, or vaginal
- Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid problems
If you have any abnormal menstrual symptoms, don't keep wondering what could be wrong. For your health and peace of mind, call 855-346-8610 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jenkins today.
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