If you have not been diagnosed with abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), see the topic Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding to find out whether you should see your doctor.
Any big change in menstrual pattern or amount of bleeding that affects your daily life requires evaluation by a doctor. This includes menstrual bleeding for three or more menstrual cycles that:
- Occurs more frequently than every 21 days or farther apart than 35 days (a normal teen menstrual cycle can last up to 45 days).
- Lasts longer than 7 days.
- Consists of more than 80 mL (3 fl oz) of blood lost or involves passing blood clots and soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours.
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you have been diagnosed with abnormal uterine bleeding, you may consider watchful waiting when:
- A careful exam has revealed no other physical problem or disease.
- Blood loss is not severe enough to cause anemia.
- You prefer to wait and see if your symptoms get better on their own. If you are a teen, you can expect your cycles to even out with time. If you are nearing the age of menopause, you can expect menstrual cycles to stop sometime soon.
Talk to your doctor if you have not had a menstrual period for more than 3 months.
Who to see
Health professionals who can do an initial evaluation of a vaginal bleeding problem include:
If you need to be seen for further evaluation or surgery, your doctor may refer you to a gynecologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.