Abnormal Bleeding

What is abnormal uterine bleeding?

Any of the following situations would be considered abnormal bleeding:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Spotting anytime in the menstrual cycle
  • Bleeding heavier or for more days than normal
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Menstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days are abnormal. The lack of periods for 3–6 months (amenorrhea) also is abnormal.

What causes abnormal uterine bleeding?

Causes can include the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Adenomyosis
  • Use of some birth control methods, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills
  • Infection of the uterus or cervix
  • Fibroids
  • Problems with blood clotting
  • Polyps
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Certain types of cancer, such as cancer of the uterus, cervix, or vagina
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

What tests may be needed to help your doctor diagnose abnormal bleeding?

Based on your symptoms, your doctors will decide what tests may be needed such as:


Ultrasound images are made of the uterus once fluid has been inserted through a thin tube into your uterus.


Sound waves are used to make a picture of the pelvic organs.

The scan can be done transabdominally in a non-sexually active woman but the preferred approach is transvaginal scanning as optimal images are obtained.

It is recommended that this scan gets done within first 10 days of your menstrual cycle.

In transvaginal scan, a sterile ultrasound probe covered by a sterile soft disposal cover is used to view and obtain images of the womb, the lining of the womb, ovaries and rest of pelvic structures.

In the majority of women this examination is not painful but in some a mild uncomfortable feeling has been reported. Our staff will guide you carefully through this examination.

We may recommend Sonohysterography to your referring doctor in case we have difficulties in getting good images.