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Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding

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Irregular menstrual cycles can be a sign of an underlying gynecological issue, such as fibroids. At Total Women’s Health & Wellness Center in Decatur and Lithonia, Georgia, board-certified gynecologists Stephanie Carmichael, MD, and Andrea Johnson, MD, diagnose and treat the full range of menstrual problems. If your periods are unusually heavy, painful, or irregular, call the office or book an appointment online today.

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Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding Q & A

When are menstrual cycles considered irregular?

Most women have menstrual periods that last 4-7 days. The average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, but anything between 21 and 35 days is normal. Your menstrual cycle is considered abnormal if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Periods that occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart

  • Menstrual bleeding that’s much heavier or lighter than usual

  • Bleeding or spotting in between periods, after menopause, or after sex

  • Periods that cause severe pelvic pain, nausea, or vomiting

  • Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than seven days

You might also have an irregular menstrual cycle if you miss your period for 90 days or more without being pregnant, breastfeeding, or going through menopause.

What causes irregular menstrual cycles?

Irregular menstrual cycles can be due to a wide variety of factors, ranging from stress to serious underlying conditions, including cancer. Conditions that cause menstrual irregularities include:

  • Taking hormonal contraceptives

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • Premature ovarian insufficiency

  • Cervical or uterine cancer

  • Endometriosis

  • Uterine fibroids

Stress and lifestyle factors such as gaining or losing weight, dieting, or traveling can also affect your menstrual cycle.

How are menstrual problems diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Carmichael or Dr. Johnson thoroughly review your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical and pelvic exam. It’s helpful to keep track of your menstrual cycle and any symptoms in a notebook or phone app and bring this information to your appointment. Dr. Carmichael or Dr. Johnson can use these notes to help pinpoint the cause of your irregular periods.

They usually perform tests, including:

  • Pap smear

  • Blood test

  • Pregnancy test

  • Hysteroscopy

  • Pelvic ultrasound

Once they determine the cause of your irregular periods, Dr. Carmichael or Dr. Johnson creates a personalized treatment plan. Depending on your specific condition, treatment can include:

  • Birth control pills or an IUD to control heavy bleeding

  • Hormone replacement therapy to treat a hormone imbalance

  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers

  • Hysteroscopy to remove or treat abnormal growths

To find relief from irregular menstrual cycles, call Total Women’s Health & Wellness Center or book an appointment online today.

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