While it may seem concerning, irregular menstrual bleeding is actually incredibly common. Bleeding may be considered irregular or abnormal if it is especially light, especially heavy, or happens at unpredictable times that do not coincide with a woman’s natural menstrual cycle. Despite how common this condition is, there are several potential causes of irregular bleeding and plenty for women to know about the subject. That’s why the reproductive healthcare providers here at Gynecology Associates wanted to answer some commonly asked questions about irregular menstrual bleeding.
Question #1: Can using birth control potentially cause irregular menstrual bleeding?
Hormone-based birth control methods like birth control pills can affect menstruation in different ways. For instance, since most birth control pills contain hormones like estrogen and/or progestin, starting a new birth control regimen, stopping an existing birth control regimen, or altering a birth control routine can lead to irregular bleeding for some women due to resulting hormone fluctuation. Additionally, birth control pills that contain only progestin can sometimes cause bleeding between periods. In addition to birth control pills, long-term hormonal birth control methods like an IUD or birth control implant can decrease a woman’s monthly menstrual bleeding over time.
Question #2: Are certain age ranges more susceptible to irregular bleeding?
Yes. Although irregular bleeding can occur at any point in a woman’s life, especially in the months/years after a woman first experiences her period, or as she begins her transition into menopause. During the perimenopause period, it’s normal for the number of days between periods to begin to fluctuate or become irregular. Experiencing missed periods, especially light or heavy ones is also normal during this time. Some women who experience irregular bleeding before menopause may benefit from an endometrial ablation procedure.
Question #3: What female health concerns are most associated with irregular bleeding?
The list of potential issues that can lead to irregular bleeding as a symptom is long, however, the two most notable among them are endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with endometriosis experience an overgrowing of the uterine lining, or endometrium. This leads to a chronic inflammatory reaction in the female reproductive system that causes symptoms like irregular bleeding, pelvic pain, and more. PCOS can trigger irregular bleeding by creating higher-than-normal levels of androgens and lower-than-normal levels of progesterone, leading to a hormone imbalance.
Irregular bleeding is not necessarily a sign of any serious reproductive condition, but it’s still always better to be safe than sorry. If you experience irregular bleeding, it’s important to meet with your board-certified gynecologist in order to properly diagnose any potential issues. For more information on the services we provide or to request an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And don’t forget to follow along with us on Facebook and our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics, on Instagram.