Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding

A mom with her baby


What is Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding?

Abnormal or heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia. With menorrhagia, you may find it difficult to maintain your normal activities and lifestyle due to the large amount of blood loss and cramping. There are several causes for abnormal menstrual bleeding including: 

  • Fibroids or polyps
  • An infection
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Cancer 
  • Medications
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)

If you experience menorrhagia, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your St. John’s Physician Partners gynecologist to find out the cause and develop a treatment plan. 


Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of menorrhagia may look like other conditions, which is why seeing your gynecologist is important. Signs and symptoms include: 

  • Changing your pad or tampon every hour or two for several consecutive hours
  • Having to double your sanitary napkins or tampons to absorb the flow
  • Bleeding longer than a week
  • Needing to wake up to change your pad or tampon during the night
  • Passing blood clots
  • Symptoms of anemia such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath


Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding Diagnosis

Accurately diagnosing the cause of your menorrhagia begins with taking a thorough history about your periods.  Your gynecologist may ask you to keep a diary to track your periods and how many pads or tampons you use for a few months.  Your gynecologist may order the following diagnostic tests: 

Blood tests

to check for anemia and how fast your blood clots 

Pelvic Ultrasound

looking for any uterine structural abnormalities such as fibroids or polyps

Pap test

can help diagnose or rule out cervical cancer

Biopsy of the uterine lining

checking for any abnormal buildup of tissue or precancerous tissue


Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding Treatments

Treatment for menorrhagia depends upon several factors such as the cause and severity of your condition, your overall medical and menstrual history, your age and lifestyle or your plans for children in the future.  There are a range of treatments options that can relieve the symptoms of most menstrual problems.   Don’t wait in discomfort and uncertainty: schedule an appointment today so that your gynecologist can develop a treatment plan that best fits your condition and needs.   

OBGYN speaking with a patient


Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding Specialists