Ask Dr. Johnson’s topic of the week: Abnormal Periods

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is one of the most frequent issues that I see on a daily basis. Mostly women complain about “bleeding too heavy.” “Bleeding to often,” “intense cramping with bleeding,” and “bleeding for too many days” are also common issues that I deal with on a daily basis.

As always I will try to keep the initial comment short so that I don’t lose your attention. The intent is to spark conversation. THE DETAILS TO THE TOPICS ARE IN THE RESPONSES TO THE QUESTIONS.

The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormonal communication between the brain and the ovaries. When there is miscommunication between the brain and ovaries, the menstrual cycle becomes abnormal (this is as simple as I can explain it, without going into major detail. I will clarify more during my answers). This is called H-P-O (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Ovarian) Dysfunction. This is the most common cause of abnormal bleeding.

A normal menstrual cycle should not occur any less than every 21 days and no longer than every 35 days. Every 26-30 days is what is normal. Typically 5-7 days of bleeding is normal. Any bleeding longer than 7 days is abnormal.

The amount of bleeding is difficult to quantify. Textbooks say anything more than 80ml of blood during a cycle is abnormal. It is virtually impossible to measure this. My rule is that if a woman’s bleeding is impacting her quality of life then it needs to be evaluated.

I will open the floor up for questions.

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