Abnormal periods can indicate a serious underlying medical condition, or they could reflect harmless hormonal shifts. Dr. Wirth uses the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options to help New York City women understand the causes of their abnormal periods and obtain necessary treatment.
Normal menstrual cycles typically occur about every four weeks and last from four days to a week. Periods that fall outside this cycle (less than three weeks or more than 35 days apart) are considered abnormal. In addition, missing three or more consecutive periods, extremely heavy or light flow, periods that last longer than a week, and spotting or light bleeding that occurs between normal periods are also considered abnormal.
Aside from pregnancy, one of the most common causes of abnormal periods is hormonal fluctuation. Typically, young girls beginning their menstrual cycles and women in menopause have irregular or abnormal periods. Other causes include:
Treatment of abnormal periods depends on what's causing them to occur. Some treatment options include:
When abnormal periods are due to menopause or puberty, they usually resolve on your their own and no treatment is needed unless symptoms interfere with normal activities. The best way to determine if your abnormal periods need to be treated is to see Dr. Wirth for an evaluation.
In some cases, exams using a special instrument called a colposcope to examine the wall if the vagina and the cervix may be used to look for abnormal cells and other changes. Hysteroscopy may also be used to look inside the uterus. Other times, blood tests can be performed to check for hormone-related issues.