Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - April 2014

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Page 28 of 46 n Hudson Valley Parent 27 D r. Obosa Osawe, OBGYN, joined Health Quest Medical Practice in 2010. She answers questions on the topic of abnormal uterine bleeding. What is considered abnormal uterine bleeding? A typical menstrual cycle is anywhere between 21 and 35 days. For women who are menstruating, if they are having periods that are too close together (closer than 3 weeks apart) or too far apart (more than 35 days), we would consider this abnormal and encourage her to visit her gynecologist. Bleeding for more than 7 days (normal menstrual bleeding lasts for 2 to 7 days) may indicate a problem. Uterine bleeding is also considered abnormal if spotting occurs between periods or following intercourse. What should a woman do if she is concerned about bleeding? Depending on the symptoms, a woman will definitely want to see her OBGYN. If she is having heavy periods, closer or longer than they should be, she should see a gynecologist. Depending the cause of the abnormal uterine bleeding, treatment will be determined. What causes abnormal uterine bleeding? Platelet disorders are the most common blood disorder that causes excessive bleeding. Platelets help your blood clot, and low platelets can mean more bleeding and heavy periods. The most common platelet disorder is von Willebrand's disease, which is often discovered during routine dental work. Uterine fibroids and polyps (growths) or infections are com- mon causes of abnormal bleeding. Precancer or cancer in the uterus, cervix or vagina can also cause abnormal bleeding. How do you treat abnormal uterine bleeding? For uterine bleeding, a pelvic exam is the first step to determine the cause of the bleeding. A doctor might also perform blood work to check hemoglobin levels, or an ultrasound might be performed to check for any abnormalities, such as fibroids or polyps. Depending on the cause of the bleeding, your doctor will determine the treatment, which can range from various medicines to surgery. Your doctor may also order blood tests, a transvaginal ultrasound, or an endometrial biopsy. What if a woman experiences bleeding during pregnancy? Heavy bleeding is never normal during pregnancy, but a lot of pregnancies do have spotting or mild bleeding as a result of implantation early on in the pregnancy. That's normal. However, a pregnant woman should always see her OB/GYN if there is bleeding in order to determine if it's normal or abnormal. Heavy bleeding that occurs in the first trimester may mean a serious problem, including an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Any heavy bleeding after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy could also mean a serious problem, such as placenta previa. Obosa Osawe, Board Certified OBGYN, sees patients in HQMP's Poughkeepsie and Fishkill offices. She delivers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. She is trained in daVinci robotic surgery. What is abnormal uterine bleeding? "Depending on the cause of the bleeding, your doctor will determine the treatment". Obosa Osawe, OBGYN Health Quest Medical Practice

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