What Causes Irregular Bleeding?

As a woman of child-bearing age, you know every month you're going to have at least a few days of menstrual bleeding. However, if you start to bleed in between menstrual cycles, it's considered irregular in nature. Irregular bleeding is sometimes harmless, but in other cases it could be a sign of something serious.

Dr. John Paul Roberts is a board-certified OB/GYN who is an expert in the causes of irregular bleeding. He can determine the cause of your bleeding and the best treatment options for you.

What is considered irregular?

Although menstrual cycles aren’t something you look forward to every month, they’re necessary not only for getting pregnant, but also for the health of your uterus. With a normal menstrual cycle, you usually bleed for several days to a week, and then the bleeding stops. However, in some cases, your bleeding may be sporadic or last longer than a week. This may be a sign of abnormal bleeding.

If your menstrual cycle is relatively normal, meaning you get it every month around the same time, your cycle length is about the same month to month. Irregular bleeding is either bleeding outside of your normal cycle, or abnormally heavy bleeding during your cycle.

However, not all irregular bleeding is a bad thing. In early pregnancy, for example, you might have some spotting, which is normal. However, if your bleeding is similar to your normal menstrual cycle, you could be having a miscarriage.

The many causes of abnormal bleeding

Many of the causes of irregular bleeding are benign, meaning they aren’t life-threatening. This type of bleeding is normally a sign from your body that something is wrong. 

Some of the more common reasons for abnormal bleeding include:

Uterine fibroids

Fibroids sound scary, but they’re just benign tumors in your uterus. However, they can become problematic and lead to irregular bleeding.

Endometriosis

This condition is caused by abnormal growth of your uterine lining outside of your uterus. This often leads to pain, and sometimes heavy blood flow during your menstrual cycle, along with bleeding between periods.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

STDs are diseases that are passed from partner to partner during sexual intercourse. Some of these conditions cause reproductive problems, including abnormal bleeding.

Hormonal irregularities

When your body goes through hormonal changes, it sometimes leads to irregular bleeding patterns. This happens in the years leading up to menopause, which is the end of your reproductive years, and often results in sporadic bleeding during the transition.

Medications

Certain medications have side effects that could interfere with your normal period. This could include bleeding between your cycles or missing a period all together.

Stress

Stress also does a number on your body, and sometimes leads to problems with your normal cycle. It may make you miss your period or could lead to more bleeding than normal. 

Whatever the cause of your bleeding, make sure to see Dr. Roberts as soon as possible to rule out serious conditions.

Treatments for irregular bleeding

Dr. Roberts recommends treatment based on the cause of your irregular bleeding. For example, if it’s due to hormonal problems during menopause, he prescribes hormone therapy to help ease your symptoms.

The same goes for sexually transmitted diseases. If an STD is causing bleeding, Dr. Roberts treats you for the infection, to help you get rid of the problem. 

However, if your irregular bleeding is caused by certain other issues, Dr. Roberts may recommend a procedure known as endometrial ablation. This procedure is minimally invasive, and is done using a medical laser. Dr. Roberts carefully removes the lining of your uterus to help stop irregular bleeding in its tracks.

This procedure is done in our office, and you’re able to go home that same day. Ablation often helps decrease abnormal bleeding for good. Getting pregnant after an endometrial ablation is unlikely, so it’s a treatment typically reserved for women who have completed their families.

Don't continue to deal with irregular bleeding. Contact our office in Plano, Texas, to make an appointment. Just give us a call or use our online booking tool.

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