Menstrual disorders are the main reason for most visits to the gynecologist. Excessively long, heavy or frequent periods can disrupt a woman’s life. This ailment can interfere with a woman’s normal activities and become more than just a nuisance. Excessive blood loss can produce anemia—leading to fatigue and other problems. Menstrual irregularities can also be linked to miscarriage and infertility.
The most common causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding are:
• Pregnancy related.
• Uterine fibroids which are the most common benign (non-cancerous) tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids are formed of muscle and tissue from the uterine wall. They only require treatment when they cause problems such as heavy bleeding, pain, recurrent miscarriage, infertility, constipation or frequent urination.
• Cancer which especially sends a signal if the vaginal bleeding occurs after menopause. These cancers include:
o Endometrial cancer which can cause extremely long, heavy or frequent periods after age 40, with bleeding in between. In women who’ve gone through menopause—it may cause spotting.
o Cervical cancer which can cause vaginal bleeding after intercourse or between periods. Menstrual flow may be heavier and last longer than usual, as well. This cancer tends to occur between ages 35 and 55, and can develop after menopause.
o Leukemia which is a cancer of the blood cells. It can prolong menstrual periods.
• Sexually transmitted diseases such as Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can cause bleeding between periods. Chlamydia can also produce painful menstrual periods. STDs are typically found in younger women.
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is when many cysts develop on the ovaries. PCOS can produce irregular periods, infertility, increased facial hair and acne.
• Inherited susceptibility to bleeding—meaning a tendency to bleed excessively has been passed down through families through the gene pool. Examples include Hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disease. In both cases, women may hemorrhage when they have periods.
When a woman receives proper care for a menstrual disorder—it will help pinpoint the reason for the bleeding problems.
Call Dr. Simhaee to schedule your appointment today and don't forget to bring your menstural calendar with you!