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Abnormal can be an uncomfortable word — what’s normal for one person’s periods might be abnormal for another.

For some people, that time of the month might mean a few days of light bleeding. Others might experience a heavy flow that lasts up to seven days. Maybe it isn’t consistent for you and each month is a surprise.

You know your body best, and Cleveland Clinic’s experts can help when your periods aren’t normal for you. With our friendly and approachable team, you can be sure your concerns matter. We take the time to learn more about you, so we can recommend a personalized treatment plan for your body’s needs.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Care for Abnormal Periods?

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Caring approach:

Our experts help you feel comfortable so you can share details about what you’re experiencing. We create a safe space for conversation and make sure we answer all your questions.

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Specialized knowledge:

Our team includes pelvic ultrasound specialists who are accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. This means our healthcare providers have shown that they meet or exceed national standards in doing gynecologic ultrasounds and using them for diagnoses. Meet our team.

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Convenient care:

We diagnose what’s causing irregular periods and offer treatment at many locations near you. We use tests like ultrasound and in-office hysteroscopy to deliver your results quickly — often in the same day. We also offer virtual appointments for your first visit.

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Innovation and research:

Cleveland Clinic experts lead and take part in research projects to find new ways to treat abnormal periods. Our focus on research means you can access treatments here that you can’t find elsewhere.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently recognizes our gynecology program for its clinical care excellence.

Abnormal Period Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

There are many reasons why your periods might change over time. They might be irregular because of changing hormone levels. Periods can also change because of certain gynecologic conditions. During the diagnosis process, your provider will run tests to check for possible reasons why your period isn’t acting the way it typically does. Some of the conditions we will test for include:

Your mind might race with worries when you think about what might be causing your abnormal periods. We’ll walk you through this process one step at a time. We start by talking with you about the changes you’re seeing and learning more about what your menstrual cycle typically looks like.

Our specialists do a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. We may recommend additional tests to diagnose abnormal menstruation, including:

  • Blood tests: Healthcare providers take a blood sample to check for anemia and measure hormone levels.
  • Endometrial biopsy: We take a small sample of tissue from your uterus during an endometrial biopsy. Specialists examine the tissue under a microscope to look for changes in cells that might be cancer and other abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests: Our experts take a look at your pelvic anatomy using imaging tests. We may use a pelvic ultrasonography test (ultrasound) or hysteroscopy to see detail inside your cervix and uterus.
  • Pap smear (Pap test): We take a sample of cervical cells during a Pap smear for examination under a microscope. Our experts look for abnormal cells that are cancerous or could become cancer.
  • Vaginal culture: We take a sample of vaginal cells with a swab to examine for signs of infection.

Locations

We offer treatment for abnormal periods at many locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Akron, and Florida.

Treatment for Abnormal Periods at Cleveland Clinic

Our specialists consider your typical menstrual cycle and what’s normal for you when developing treatment for abnormal periods. We may use:

Hormonal medications

Your provider may prescribe birth control pills that contain estrogen or progesterone to help manage heavy bleeding.

Pain relievers and pain relief strategies

If you have painful cramps, we may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®). Your healthcare provider may also recommend sitting with a heating pad on your lower abdomen or taking a warm shower to relax your muscles.

Hysteroscopy

Experts use hysteroscopy to treat (as well as diagnose) abnormal menstrual bleeding caused by scar tissue (adhesions), fibroids and uterine polyps. During this procedure, specialists insert a thin instrument with a light and camera (hysteroscope) into your vagina to look at your uterus.

The specialist passes small surgical instruments through the hysteroscope to remove growths and scar tissue. Experts may also perform endometrial ablation therapy during hysteroscopy to help control heavy bleeding.

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery

Cleveland Clinic gynecologic surgeons are experts in using laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique. Surgeons insert a thin instrument (laparoscope) through tiny incisions, which helps you heal faster than traditional open surgery. We use laparoscopy to:

  • Remove uterine fibroids and scar tissue.
  • Treat endometriosis.
  • Perform a hysterectomy.

Fertility Preservation at Cleveland Clinic

If you’d like to have a child someday, abnormal periods may have you worried. We talk with you about your plans and recommend treatment options that focus on making it possible to become pregnant in the future.

Taking the Next Step

Abnormal periods can get in the way of your daily life. There are many reasons you might have unusual symptoms with your period. And when these start to keep you from the things that bring you happiness, it can be time to talk to your healthcare provider. At Cleveland Clinic, we can help craft a treatment plan that fits your goals and lifestyle.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s abnormal period experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s abnormal period experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


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