Menstruation

Westmoreland ObGyn Associates -  - Obstetrics

Westmoreland ObGyn Associates

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Lake Bluff, IL & Grayslake, IL

Heavy periods affect one in five American women each year. Painful or heavy menstruation may be a sign something is wrong. The board-certified OB/GYNs at Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates provide diagnosis and treatment for abnormal bleeding at convenient locations in Lake Bluff and Grayslake, Illinois. For relief from abnormal menstruation, call today or schedule a consultation online.

Menstruation Q & A

What is normal menstruation?

Menstruation is part of a natural monthly cycle that occurs when the tissue and blood lining your uterus breaks down. Your body discards these materials, only to build them up again in preparation for a possible pregnancy.

Menstruation happens monthly. However, your period may stop when you’re:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Postmenopausal
  • Have a medical condition

When your periods are heavy, painful, or irregular, that can be a sign that something is wrong. It’s also more difficult to become pregnant when your menstruation is irregular.

What is abnormal menstruation?

Bleeding that’s different from your usual monthly flow is abnormal. Abnormal bleeding also might occur between your periods.

Abnormal menstruation may be brought on for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Hormonal changes: Times of hormonal transition, such as puberty and perimenopause, can cause longer, heavier periods and irregular cycles
  • Endometriosis: A condition where your uterine lining grows outside of the uterus
  • Ovarian cysts: A ruptured ovarian cyst can cause unusual bleeding
  • Cancer: Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a symptom of ovarian, cervical, or uterine cancer

You should see an OB/GYN if you’re experiencing unusual bleeding, such as:

  • Bleeding after sex that happens more than once
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Menstrual bleeding that’s heavier or longer than normal

Bleeding after you’ve gone through menopause is also a reason to call Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates.

How is abnormal menstruation diagnosed?

Your OB/GYN takes a complete medical history and asks about your menstrual cycle. Next, you’ll have a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. Your OB/GYN may order a blood test to rule out anemia or other conditions. You also might need:

  • A pelvic ultrasound: To look for causes, such as uterine fibroids or ovarian cyst
  • An endometrial biopsy: To remove a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus
  • Vaginal cultures: To test for infections

Once your OB/GYN has diagnosed the cause of abnormal menstruation, he or she recommends the right treatment for you.

How is abnormal menstruation treated?

While your treatment depends on the underlying cause of your abnormal periods, your treatment options may include progestin injections, low-dose birth control, or medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists.

In cases where you are experiencing heavy bleeding and medications haven’t helped, your OB/GYN may recommend the treatment endometrial ablation. This is a minimally invasive surgery to remove your uterine lining.

Learn more about your options for effective treatment of abnormal periods today by calling or scheduling a consultation online with Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates.