Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Understand the Signs of Perimenopause
There is a period of years during a woman’s life before menopause when hormones have begun to change while the body transitions into menopause. This phase is called periomenopause. During periomenopause a woman may experience abnormal uterine bleeding.
How Long Does Periomenopause Last?
Every woman has a different experience but the phase of periomenopause can last up to 10 years. By definition, a woman has not entered menopause until they have been without a menstrual period for 1 year.
During a normal menstrual cycle a women’s hormones change in a cyclic pattern which causes a fairly consistent menstrual period. During periomenopause a woman will experience abnormal uterine bleeding or spotting. The severity of the bleeding can fluctuate during this phase as can the duration of each menstrual period.
Symptoms During Perimenopause
In addition to abnormal uterine bleeding there are other signs that a woman has entered the perimenopause phase, and your gynecologist should be able to help with these:
- Sensitive breasts
- Increased PMS symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Decreased libido
What Are the Signs of Abnormal Bleeding
According to ACOG the following are signs of abnormal bleeding:
- Extremely heavy bleeding
- Bleeding that lasts longer than normal
- Bleeding that occurs more frequently than every 3 weeks
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse and between menstrual periods
It is important to understand these signs and not assume that any type of abnormal uterine bleeding is a sign of periomenopause. There are other circumstances that can cause irregular bleeding.
Other causes for irregular bleeding include the presence of polyps or fibroids that develop and attach on the uterine wall as well as endometrial atrophy which is the thinning of the tissue that lines the uterus which happens because of low estrogen levels.
In contrast endometrial hyperplasia is when the lining thickens often because of excess estrogen. In certain cases the lining becomes abnormal and leads to endometrial cancer. Each of these issues can result in abnormal uterine bleeding.
If you are experiencing irregular bleeding it is important to contact your obstetrician and gynecology provider right away. Abnormal uterine bleeding can be a warning sign for something more serious. If your gynecologist is concerned about the bleeding they might recommend, an endometrial biopsy or sonohystogram or potentially a hysteroscopy.
At Northwestern Women’s Health Associates our experienced providers can evaluate the presence of abnormal uterine bleeding and determine the best course of action. You can schedule an appointment by calling 312-440-9400 or you can request an appointment online.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice. Northwestern Women’s Health Associates shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.