Women's reproductive health is a key part of overall wellness. Women should visit a gynecologist for regular check-ups at least once a year. A gynecologist can also help you if you're experiencing painful or troubling symptoms, such as abnormal bleeding. Abnormal bleeding is distinct from menstrual bleeding in its timing and severity. Here are four ways OB-GYN doctors can treat abnormal vaginal bleeding:
1. Discuss your menstrual cycle
When you visit an OB-GYN doctor complaining of abnormal bleeding, they will ask you questions about your menstrual cycle. Every person's menstrual cycle is slightly different. Understanding your normal menstrual cycle will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will ask the date of your last period. They will also ask how long you've been experiencing abnormal bleeding and ascertain how heavily you've been bleeding.
2. Perform tests
After discussing your symptoms, an OB-GYN doctor will perform a series of tests, beginning with a pregnancy test. Even if you don't think you're pregnant, it's important to rule out the possibility. Abnormal bleeding during pregnancy could signal a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, two conditions that require medical intervention. Your OB-GYN doctor will perform a pelvic exam to examine your cervical health. They may also use imaging technology, such as ultrasounds, to examine the inside of your uterus and ovaries.
3. Prescribe birth control
Abnormal bleeding can be caused by hormonal imbalances. Your gynecologist may try to control your bleeding by prescribing hormonal birth control. Hormonal birth control can stabilize your natural hormone levels. You can take hormonal birth control in the form of pills, patches, or shots. Your doctor will discuss the pros and cons of each type of birth control during your appointment.
4. Perform surgery
Abnormal bleeding can also be caused by certain medical conditions. Endometriosis is a condition that affects certain people, causing uterine tissue to grow outside the uterus. This condition can cause pain as well as bleeding. Hormonal birth control can curb the effects of endometriosis, but you may require surgery to remove existing endometrial tissue that has accumulated. Uterine ablation and laparoscopic surgery can both be used for this purpose.
Uterine fibroids and polyps can also cause abnormal bleeding. These growths may be cancerous or benign. They can cause infertility as well as cramping. Fibroids and polyps won't go away on their own. Instead, they must be removed through surgical means. Your OB-GYN doctor will discuss the surgical options with you.
To learn more about abnormal bleeding treatment, contact an OB-GYN in your area.