Abnormal Bleeding: A Sign of Uterine Fibroids
Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) can be categorized as bleeding between menstrual cycles or after intercourse, prolonged bleeding, or an extremely heavy period. A normal period typically lasts about five days and recurs every 21 to 35 days. It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any abnormal bleeding you’re experiencing.
For women with uterine fibroids, the most common symptom is often irregular or heavy bleeding. These benign, or non-cancerous, tumors cause cells in your uterus to grow improperly, which leads to abnormal bleeding. If you’ve noticed that you are using more feminine hygiene products than usual, it may be an indication of fibroids.
Symptoms of Abnormal Bleeding
Abnormal bleeding doesn’t always indicate a serious condition, but it’s often linked to uterine fibroids. When it comes to menstrual cycles, there’s a wide range of “normal” bleeding. However, if your bleeding is so heavy and unpredictable that it affects your everyday life, it may be due to a medical issue. Common signs of abnormal bleeding include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between periods, after sex, or during menopause
- Unusually long periods of 7 days or more
- Inconsistent menstrual cycles
- Using more than 2 tampons or sanitary napkins per hour
- Your hemoglobin level is under 12
Causes of Abnormal Bleeding
Abnormal bleeding can have many causes, including various medical conditions and even stress. For many women, abnormal bleeding is caused by a hormone imbalance. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are released every month as part of the ovulation process. Other potential causes of AUB include:
- Thickening of the uterine wall or lining
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, or vagina
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Hormonal birth control
- Excessive weight gain or loss
- Bleeding disorders or problems with blood clotting
How Do Fibroids Cause Abnormal Bleeding?
Fibroids may put pressure against the uterine lining, which can cause more bleeding than usual. In this case, the uterus may not contract properly, preventing it from stopping the bleeding. Fibroids may also stimulate the growth of blood vessels, resulting in heavier or irregular periods and spotting between periods.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Treatment
Both lifestyle changes and minimally invasive procedures, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), can significantly shrink or eliminate your fibroids. Once your fibroids have been treated, you should experience less abnormal or heavy bleeding.
Lifestyle Changes & Medication
Your doctor may recommend an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills to stop the lining of your uterus from getting too thick and reduce abnormal bleeding. If you have fibroids, there are some ways to shrink them naturally, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking Vitamin D supplements, and limiting your alcohol consumption.
UFE Procedure: Minimally Invasive Fibroid Treatment
Uterine Fibroid Embolization, a minimally invasive-image guided procedure, is a safe and effective way to treat uterine fibroids and abnormal bleeding. During UFE, a small incision is made in the groin or wrist area, then a thin catheter is inserted into the artery that supplies blood to the fibroids. Tiny particles are injected to block blood flow, causing the fibroids to shrink and die. UFE has a faster recovery time, fewer complications, and no hospital stay compared to major surgery.
What to Expect from UFE
Our Fibroid Specialists
Our affiliated fibroid specialists in New York and New Jersey are board-certified and among the nation’s most experienced at treating women with uterine fibroids. They will work closely with you to develop a personalized care plan based on your unique needs, using the most advanced technology and techniques.
What Our Patients Are Saying
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From the Experts
Get to know more about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and care of Uterine Fibroids.