OBGYN located in San Antonio, TX
It can be hard to know if your period is heavier than “normal,” but if you find yourself altering the course of your day to accommodate your menstrual cycle, you may have menorrhagia, or abnormal bleeding. At Serrano OBGyn in San Antonio, Texas, Christopher Serrano, MD, can work with you to determine the cause of your heavy bleeding and explore treatments that can help. Relief begins with a quick phone call or a visit to the online scheduling page.
Menorrhagia Q & A
What is a “normal” period?
Every woman has a unique experience with menstrual bleeding, and your period can also change as you move through the phases of life. In general, your period should last four to five days, and your menstrual flow should be easily managed with pads or tampons.
Some symptoms of menorrhagia, or abnormal bleeding, include:
- Bleeding for more than seven days
- Blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
- Significant pain or cramping
- Frequent bleeding through pads or tampons while sleeping
- Needing to change your tampon or pad within two hours
If your period is heavy enough to cause you to reschedule activities or miss time from work, school, or social events, you may want to come in for a diagnostic exam.
What could cause menorrhagia?
A number of things can cause your periods to change. Some of the potential causes of abnormal bleeding include:
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
- DIsorders of the liver, kidneys, or thyroid
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine or cervical cancer
- Bleeding-related disorders
Each of these issues has a distinct treatment path. Finding relief begins with a thorough diagnostic work-up with Dr. Serrano.
How is abnormal bleeding diagnosed?
The process begins with a discussion about your period and any changes you’ve noticed over time. You’ll also discuss your personal and family health history. It might be helpful to track your periods in writing or via an app.
Blood tests can play a role in the diagnostic process. Dr. Serrano works with a lab that returns test results quickly, helping you find answers as soon as possible. A pelvic exam is another common diagnostic tools and allows Dr. Serrano to check for tissue abnormalities.
Depending on the results of these efforts, you may need a Pap smear to check for signs of cervical cancer or an endometrial biopsy to examine the cells of your uterine wall. Ultrasound imaging can also help identify areas of concern.
A hysteroscopy is a simple procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera to view the interior of your uterus, cervix, and vagina. The images are projected to a screen, and there is no need for advance preparation or recovery time.
Dr. Serrano uses the results of these screening tools to determine the cause of your heavy bleeding and craft a customized treatment plan. Don’t live with the discomfort and disruption of menorrhagia when there are safe and effective treatments available.