Three Weeks Of Heavy Vaginal Bleeding Very Worried
I am 46 years old. Last year I went for a bladder scan and they found that the lining of the womb was abnormally thick . I had a biopsy which was normal but nothing else was done. My periods returned with no problems until May of this year when I had another two month gap. I came on again on the 29th July which was light for a few days but turned into 2-3 inch clots and very heavy. The clots seem to have gone but the bleeding is still heavy three weeks later. It was so bad last weekend that I went to A and E but typically it slowed down while I was there so no scan was done. I have been referred for a scan on the 3rd September but I am so worried I have booked a private one next week. The bleeding is heavy and bright red and I have pain in my right leg. I have previously suffered from ovarian cysts but it never affected my cycle. I only have one ovary now as one was removed due to a cyst. My doctor has fond blood work which was normal and included thyroid and menopause tests which came back normal and not menopausal. He prescribed Tranexamic acid to stop the bleeding but I havent taken it yet as I want the bleeding to stop on its own.
sorry about all the information. I sm meant to be starting my first teaching job in three weeks and a PhD. I am very worried that my symptoms point to something sinister. I hope it is ok to post on here. I would appreciate any advice or if anyone has had similar and it had been ok.
What Is Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding is the name doctors use to describe when something isn’t quite right with a girl’s periods. Doctors also sometimes call AUB “dysfunctional uterine bleeding” . Like lots of medical names, it can sound worse than it is. Most of the time, AUB isn’t something to worry about.
Abnormal uterine bleeding means that periods may be heavier or last longer than normal or not come at all. Bleeding between periods is also a sign of AUB. AUB isn’t usually a major problem, but it can lead some girls to develop anemia .
If a girl has AUB, it might mean her periods last longer or have more bleeding than normal. Or, it might mean the opposite that her bleeding is light and her periods aren’t coming as often as they should.
Because AUB isn’t usually a problem, doctors often don’t do anything about it. But sometimes they take action if a medical condition is causing AUB. Doctors also might treat AUB if it is causing another problem. For example, doctors may worry that a girl could get if she is bleeding more than she should.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: What Girls Need To Know
Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common problem during adolescence. In fact, almost 50% of women report having heavy periods at some point during their reproductive years. Heavy menstrual bleeding can negatively impact quality of life, school attendance, and participation in after-school sports and activities.
However, just because it is a common problem doesnt make it an easy topic for young women to discuss with parents or health care providers. Girls and parents often have difficulty assessing what constitutes normal menstrual cycles or patterns of bleeding.
Patients and health care providers should consider a diagnosis of heavy menstrual bleeding when any of the following symptoms occur:
- Menses last more than seven days
- Bleeding is heavy enough to soak through a pad or tampon in 1-2 hours. School attendance or sports/activity participation is impacted by the challenges of menstrual hygiene
- Patient alters her social schedule or plan events according to her menstrual cycle
- Patient has experienced flooding, with unexpected onset of flow like turning on a faucet or which includes the passage of blood clots larger than 1 inch in diameter
- Menses associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia
Hematologists have an interest in heavy menstrual bleeding because it is the most common symptom reported by women with underlying bleeding disorders. And when heavy periods run in the family teens may perceive their heavy menstrual bleeding to be normal.
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What Causes Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Most of the time, AUB happens because of changes in the body’s hormone levels.
For teen girls, one of the most common causes of hormone changes is when the body doesn’t release an egg from one of the ovaries. This is called .
The release of an egg is part of the menstrual cycle. If a girl’s body doesn’t release an egg, the hormone changes can lead to less frequent or heavy periods.
Anovulation is most likely to happen after a girl first starts getting her period. That’s because the signals from the brain to the ovaries aren’t fully developed yet. It can last for several years until a girl’s periods become regular.
Other things can lead a girl to develop AUB. Some illnesses can mess with the body’s hormones. Problems like compulsive exercise, not eating healthy foods, or too much stress can cause hormone changes. Some severe cases of AUB are caused by bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease.
What Is A Pelvic Exam
A pelvic exam is a way for healthcare providers to look for signs of illness or disease in a woman’s body. The word “pelvic” refers to the organs in the pelvis. The exam is used to look at a woman’s:
- Uterus .
- Cervix .
- Vagina .
- Fallopian tubes .
- Ovaries .
- Bladder .
- Rectum .
Often, a pelvic exam is performed by healthcare providers to assess female reproductive health and gynecological health.
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Pregnancy And Abnormal Periods
If your period is late or you skip a period, pregnancy might be at the top of your mind as a reason. While it’s certainly a possibility, it’s not always the most likely explanation.
For example, a woman who has taken her birth control pills regularly and has not missed any dose and has not had any medication change that would alter her birth control status could still have a period that is lighter or shorter.
In this example, having an abnormal period is more likely a result of less build-up in the endometrium . Pregnancy could still be a cause of the change to her period, but it is not the only cause in this situation.
What Is Considered Normal Menstrual Bleeding
Most woman have a definition of what normal looks like for them. Many women already know that on average, menstrual periods last four to seven days, with a normal cycle occurring every 21 to 35 days. But did you know this interesting fact? Blood loss during a period averages about 40 ccs, or the equivalent of only three tablespoons.
You Took A Morning After Pill
That night of fun ended with you popping a Plan B on your way home the next morning. You thought all was good in your uterus but now youre spotting. Dont mistake this as a sign of pregnancy or your period. The hormones present in emergency contraceptiveestrogen and progesteronecan cause light spotting. It should go away pretty quickly so put on a pantyliner and go celebrate not being pregnant with a mimosa .
Does A Pelvic Exam Hurt
You can expect to feel a little discomfort, but you should not feel pain during a pelvic exam. Take slow, deep breaths and urinate before the exam to help with any discomfort. If you feel pain or discomfort during your exam, tell your doctor.
It can also help to talk to your provider about your worries or concerns that the pelvic exam might be painful before your exam starts. They can walk you through the process and address your concerns.
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Other Causes Of Bleeding Irregularities
Stress and lifestyle changes Stress and lifestyle changes, such as gaining or losing weight, dieting, changing exercise routines, traveling, illness and other disruptions to your normal daily routine can impact your menstrual cycle and cause irregularities.
Birth control Going on or off birth control pills can affect your menstruation. Some women may experience irregular periods or miss periods for up to six months after stopping birth control pills. Other forms of birth control, such as IUDs, can cause period irregularities or cause your period to stop. Birth control pills that only contain progestin may cause bleeding between periods.
Medications Some anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants , hormone medications or steroids can affect menstrual bleeding.
Hormone imbalances An excess of estrogen and progesterone can cause heavy bleeding. This is most common for girls in the first year or so of having her first period and for women nearing menopause.
Uterine polyps or fibroids Uterine polyps are small growths in the lining of the uterus, while fibroids are tumors that attach to the wall of the uterus. Both are usually benign but can cause heavy bleeding and pain during periods.
Endometriosis Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus begins to grow outside the uterus, sometimes growing on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines or other digestive organs. This condition can cause painful bleeding, cramps and painful intercourse.
You Had An Early Miscarriage
Early miscarriages are much more common than you may realize. Up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, often before the woman even realizes she was pregnant, according to the .
Sometimes the only sign is an extra-heavy or long period. Your menstrual cycle length should return to normal within one to two cycles if it stays abnormally long after three cycles, call your doctor, Dr. Toth says.
About one in 100 women suffer from repeat miscarriages, so it’s important to rule out a condition that affects fertility, like endometriosis.
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The Effects Of Birth Control And Menopause
Variousforms of birth control can affect the frequency and duration of your period.The birth control pill tends to produce a regular period that occurs everymonth and lasts for three to five days. A hormonal IUD usually results in alighter period or noperiod at all. Most women experience spotting for the first fewmonths after getting the IUD.
A copper IUD may have no effect on bleeding patterns or may cause heavier and longer periods for some women. Progestin-only methods like the injection, medroxyprogesterone acetate , and the implant, etonogestrel are associated with irregular spotting as well, but most women report lighter and shorter periods.
Periods can become longer and more irregular as women approach menopause. Its important to discuss cycle characteristics with your doctor, especially women over the age of 45, as the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer increases with age.
What Is The Normal Duration For A Menstrual Period
Women vary greatly in the range of their cycles. This includes how long they go between periods .
It also includes how long a period lasts. Generally, a period should last six days or less and start heavier and get lighter. But every woman is different, Dr. Thielen says.
Whats more important is whether the length of your period has changed, she stresses. If you regularly bleed for eight or nine days, thats not concerning. But if you previously had a five-day flow and now youre going eight or nine, that should be evaluated, she says. Even women in perimenopause, whose periods may be all over the place, are wise to get examined.
Depending on the circumstances, long menstruation might be a mild condition that can be easily controlled, or one that indicates a more serious underlying health issue.
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You Just Started Stopped Or Switched Birth Control
Though men cant seem to handle the side effects as well as women can, birth control is still such a great invention. Especially for those of us who dont want children , dealing with the side effects is well worth it if it means preventing pregnancy. One of those side effects is spotting.
If you just got an IUD, spotting is a normal symptom that can last several months. Thankfully, many IUD users eventually have lighter periods or no periods at all. Similarly, starting, stopping, or missing a dose of an oral contraceptive can cause pink or brown spotting. This is due to your estrogen, which keeps the lining of your uterus in place. Doing anything that alters your estrogen levels can cause spotting.
What Is A Normal Period
There is a range of normal bleeding some women have short, light periods and others have longer, heavy periods.
Normal menstrual bleeding has the following features:
- Your period lasts for 3-8 days
- Your period comes every 21-35 days
- The total blood loss over the course of the period is around 2-3 tablespoons
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Forget Normal Whats A Regular Period
When it comes to menstrual cycles, theres no single definition of normal. You can even have two periods in a single month! Instead of considering specific numbers to be normal , think of ranges instead.
Whats normal for one persons period might not be for another and that can change throughout your lifetime. The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but yours is considered regular if its between 21 and 45 days long.
Day 1 of your period is the first day you bleed your next cycle starts the next time you bleed. And, if your period isnt aligned with the moon and predictable down to the day and hour, youre not the only one.
Between 5 and 35 percent of periods are irregular lets call them free-spirited and vary in length and duration from month to month.
Bleeding for 5 days is the average, but anything from 2 to 8 days is within the normal range.
Do People In Postmenopause Lose Interest In Sex
No, not all people lose interest in sex after menopause. Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex can make sex less pleasurable. Using a vaginal lubricant can help with dryness. Some people are less interested in sex because of other symptoms like depression or feeling tired. If your feelings about sex have changed, ask your healthcare provider for help.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Postmenopausal Symptoms
Hormone therapy could be an option, although healthcare providers often recommend using it for a short amount of time and in people under the age of 60. There are health risks associated with hormone therapy like blood clots and stroke. Some healthcare providers do not recommend using hormone therapy after menopause has ended or if you have certain medical conditions.
Some medications your healthcare provider may consider helping with postmenopausal symptoms are:
- Antidepressants for mood swings or depression.
- Vaginal creams for pain related to sexual intercourse and vaginal dryness.
- Gabapentin to relieve hot flashes.
Oftentimes your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.