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Abnormal Bleeding: When Should You See an OBGYN?

Most women are familiar with the pattern of their menstrual cycle. Typically they bleed anywhere from four to seven days, and that is considered normal. Other women are not so lucky, and there is no rhyme or reason for their bleeding schedule. Any variation from the first example would be abnormal, and the second example is abnormal. There are many reasons for abnormal bleeding, but you should know when you should see an OBGYN like our board-certified physicians in Anchorage, AK.

What Does an Abnormal Menstrual Cycle Mean?

Bleeding atypical of your menstrual cycle could mean you are bleeding for too long a time. If the “normal” or typical length of your period is 4 to 7 days, and you continue to bleed longer, this would be considered abnormal. woman in pain on the couch.

The same is true if you only bleed for 2 or 3 days and stop. You might want to see Women’s Care of Alaska about both of these issues.

When to See an OBGYN for Abnormal Bleeding

In addition to the information above, there are additional instances of abnormal bleeding that may be cause for concern.

A Change to Your Flow

Most women are familiar with the amount of blood they pass each period. If you suddenly have a much heavier flow, this could be cause for concern. 

Some examples include: 

  • Bleeding through a pad or tampon at night time.
  • Needing to change pads or tampons every hour or more during the day.
  • A heavier flow with other symptoms like excessive cramps, fatigue, pale skin, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Bleeding Between Periods

Unexpected bleeding between periods can happen due to specific causes. It could mean estrogen levels have remained high after an egg is released but not fertilized. If this becomes more frequent, the epithelium may thicken and begin to shed irregularly each month. Some type of treatment is usually necessary, so contact our board-certified OBGYNs. 

Bleeding or Spotting After Sexual Intercourse

If a woman is seeing blood after sex, it can mean there is an inflammation somewhere like the cervix or from cervical polyps. 

You Have Stopped Bleeding Completely

Of course this can be due to pregnancy or menopause. This can also be the result of too much exercise or being underweight. It can also be due to polycystic ovary syndrome which is a hormonal disorder that affects fertility. Contact our OBGYNs for answers.

If you are experiencing severe pain, fever, unexplained weight gain or loss, or needing to restrict your normal activities, it is best to see your OBGYN. In most cases of abnormal bleeding there is an underlying reason. 

Is There Treatment for Abnormal Bleeding?

You don’t have to live with abnormal bleeding. Treatment may include:

  • hormones like estrogen or progestin or low dose birth control to control any heavy bleeding
  • iron supplements to treat anemia
  • an IUD to lessen heavy bleeding

Other treatments like surgery may be recommended in severe cases.

Contact our board-certified OBGYNs at (907) 279-2273 if you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding during or between periods.