What causes abnormal bleeding?

As an OB/GYN, I frequently see patients who are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding, which includes any bleeding outside of a normal period. Many causes of abnormal bleeding can be discovered with an office visit and inexpensive laboratory tests.

The most common ways to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding are through a medical history, pelvic exam and blood draw lab tests. Your physician will decide what tests to order based on factors such as your age, medical history and family history. One visit to your physician’s office can help uncover causes of bleeding, some of which are easily treated. Infections, for example, can be treated with prescription drugs while medication side effects and hormone levels may be fixed by changing your medications.

Unfortunately, in some cases abnormal bleeding is caused by larger underlying problems, such as bleeding disorders. These conditions require more extensive blood draw tests and the treatments for them vary. If your physician believes you have one of these conditions, they will talk to you about your next steps.

Other causes of abnormal bleeding include growths such polyps, fibroids or tumors. To diagnose these conditions, your physician may order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, which can be completed in your physician’s office. The growths can also be removed using minimally invasive surgical procedures.

If you experience abnormal bleeding, make an appointment to see your gynecologist. Together you and your physician can work to find out the cause of the bleeding and find a treatment that works best for you.

By Lenny Laureta-Bansil, DO

About Dr. Laureta-Bansil – Lenny Laureta-Bansil, DO, practices at Hampton Roads OB/GYN Center in Norfolk. She received her medical degree from Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She went on to complete her OB/GYN residency at State University of New York, Sisters of Charity Hospital.

Dr. Bansil is certified in laparoscopic surgery (FLS) and da Vinci robotic surgical system. She has participated in several research studies and is a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Urogynecologic Society and American Osteopathic Association. Additionally, Dr. Bansil was a recipient of the 2012 AUGS Award for excellence in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and the 2013 AAGL Special Resident in Minimally Invasive Gynecology award.

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