When Should You Worry About Abnormal Bleeding?

When Should You Worry About Abnormal Bleeding?

Wouldn’t it be great if your periods came like clockwork, only lasted a few days, and there was minimal cramping, not to mention minimal bleeding? This ideal isn’t the case for the many women who struggle with abnormal bleeding.

You’re jealous of friends who don’t need to plow through boxes of tampons or pads each month or who know, almost to the minute, when they’re going to get their periods. Your menstrual cycles are anything but reliable or normal, and you want to know whether this is something for which you should seek our help.

The fact is that up to one-third of women experience abnormal bleeding at some point during their reproductive lives, for a variety of reasons.

To help you figure out whether your abnormal bleeding might warrant a closer look, the team here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health is providing a few rules of thumb below.

What makes a period abnormal?

There are a number of different ways to qualify uterine bleeding as abnormal, such as:

  • Long or short menstrual cycles — longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days
  • Spotting between periods
  • Severe cramping
  • Heavy bleeding — you soak through tampons or pads every hour or two
  • You soak through tampons or pads at night
  • Periods that last more than seven days
  • Skipping periods
  • Having periods after menopause
  • Bleeding after sex

As you can see, abnormal bleeding takes on many different forms.

Is your abnormal bleeding cause for concern?

Given the many different ways a menstrual cycle can be abnormal, figuring out whether you should come see us to investigate the problem further can be tricky.

That said, we can offer a few guidelines, including:

Periods that are heavy and painful

If you’re soaking through tampons or pads at an alarming rate and/or you’re experiencing fairly severe cramps, it’s a good idea to come see us. Aside from your comfort, our concern is that you might develop anemia because of the heavy bleeding, so we want to get to the bottom of this type of abnormal bleeding.


Sudden changes in your period

Another potential red flag is if your menstrual cycles have been fairly normal, and they’ve changed, for no apparent reason.  For example, you used to always get your period every 26 days, but now they’re all over the place. These changes might occur after a pregnancy, but if there’s no catalyst for the deviation, you should have us take a look.

Bleeding when you aren’t supposed to be

Another warning sign of a problem is bleeding when you aren’t supposed to be, such as in between periods, when you’re pregnant, after menopause, or after sex. If this occurs more than once, please come see us.

Ultimately, we prefer you err on the side of caution when it comes to abnormal bleeding and come see us for an evaluation if you’re at all unsure. To get started, contact our office in Mobile, Alabama, to schedule an appointment.