Diagnosis and treatments for abnormal bleeding in Highland, IN
With offices in Chicago and Glenview, the OBGYN team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates offers comprehensive feminine health care to patients from Chicago to Northwest Indiana and the surrounding areas. Our Northwestern OBGYN team proudly offers comprehensive women’s health care, including well visits, obstetrics, and gynecology. We work to prevent, diagnose, and treat feminine health concerns. This includes abnormal bleeding treatments.
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, she may experience cramps, discharge, and bleeding. This is normal. Prior to menopause, women often experience vaginal bleeding and discharge as well. However, changes to your normal cycle, breakthrough bleeding, or heavy or extended bleeding may be considered abnormal uterine bleeding and may be cause for concern. Abnormal bleeding may occur at any point, even during your regular monthly period. Symptoms may include breakthrough bleeding between periods, very heavy menstrual bleeding, and heavy bleeding that lasts longer than a week.
Abnormal bleeding has a number of possible causes including hormonal changes and pregnancy. Additional causes include birth control pills, lack of ovulation during a menstrual cycle, or uterine fibroids. Rare causes of uterine bleeding may include a thyroid disorder, cervical problems, or cancer.
Abnormal bleeding diagnosis
If you are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding, contact your Chicago OBGYN. Do not ignore your symptoms or attempt to diagnose or treat yourself. An examination and/or testing may be required to determine your condition and provide effective treatment.
Your Chicago gynecologist assesses your medical history as well as your current symptoms. A woman’s age, current health, and symptoms help determine the tests necessary to diagnose your condition.
- Blood work can check for pregnancy and ensure your blood count is not too low if you are experiencing heavy bleeding.
- An ultrasound shows potential problems with the ovaries and uterus.
- An endometrial biopsy removes a tiny piece of the uterine lining for laboratory testing.
- A hysteroscopy is performed by inserting a thin, lighted tube through the vagina to examine the cervix and uterus.
Abnormal bleeding treatments
Treatment depends upon your test results. Your physician will use your symptoms, examination, medical history, and test results to determine the best course of action for you. Treatment may also depend on whether or not you plan to have children in the future. Some treatments may not make it safe to get pregnant and others may make pregnancy impossible. For patients who are close to menopause, your doctor may recommend waiting to see if your symptoms subside on their own.
Understanding the cause of the bleeding allows your Northwestern OB GYN to develop an appropriate plan to address your abnormal bleeding. The goal is to return your monthly cycle to normal. Although we want to correct the problem quickly using the most conservative approach, non-surgical and surgical options are available.
Medication is often the first line of treatment. This may include:
- Birth control pills – Hormone treatments such as birth control pills help regulate menstrual cycles and produce lighter periods.
- NSAIDS – Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen may help lighten bleeding during your period.
- IUDs – An IUD releases progestin, which can stop heavy bleeding. Many women who use this IUD do not get a period at all.
If medications do not work or are not suitable for your condition, surgical options may be discussed.
- Uterine or endometrial ablation – Uterine ablation is performed in the office to treat very heavy periods. No incisions are needed. The procedure uses heat, cold, or electricity, to ablate or destroy the uterine lining. The lining sheds similar to a menstrual period and then causes scarring that decreases and may even end menstrual bleeding.
- Hysteroscopy – A hysteroscopy is often a diagnostic tool for abnormal bleeding. However, if fibroids are found to be the cause of your bleeding, a hysteroscopy can be a treatment as well. It is a minimally-invasive procedure that is performed without damaging the healthy uterine tissue.
- Hysterectomy – A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may or may not be removed as well. This is often the last resort when other treatments have not worked.
For more information on abnormal uterine bleeding and our treatment options, contact your Northwestern gynecologist for an appointment. Call 312-440-9400.