Abnormal Periods Specialist

Gynecologists located in New York, NY

Maiden Lane Medical is a respected gynecologic practice in the New York City area, helping women understand the underlying causes of their abnormal periods to receive the most appropriate and most effective treatment for relief of their symptoms.

Medium sized Maiden Lane Medical Logo
“My Doctor is patient, knowledgeable and kind. She takes the time to understand my personal needs and carefully explains the complicated medical lingo most doctors gloss over.”
SARAH M.

What is an abnormal period?

An abnormal period is a period that occurs outside the normal range of the menstrual cycle. For most women, menstruation occurs every 28 days, and each period lasts from five to seven days. 

While some slight variations are normal, periods that vary significantly from these ranges are considered abnormal and can be a sign of an underlying problem. Some birth control products can alter the normal menstruation cycle, and these changes are not necessarily regarded as abnormal.

Some examples of abnormal menstrual cycles include:

  • Period frequency outside of the “normal” 21-35 day window
  • Missing more than three periods in a row without being pregnant
  • Flow that is much lighter or heavier than usual
  • Periods that last for more than seven days
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
Woman sitting in the bed with menstrual pain. - Maiden Lane Medical | New York, NY

Amenorrhea is a type of menstrual disorder that occurs when your periods have stopped for 90 days or more, excluding reasons such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. 

Dysmenorrhea refers to painful periods, and abnormal uterine bleeding refers to various irregularities, including spotting, heavy menstrual flow, and bleeding after menopause. For example, if you need to change your tampon or pad hourly for more than two consecutive hours or if you pass large blood lots, your period may be abnormal. 

Are painful periods abnormal?

While some women experience some cramping before and during their periods, menstrual cramps shouldn’t disrupt your regular activities. However, if your menstrual cramping prevents you from going to work, school, or social activities, you should talk to your gynecologist about your symptoms.

What causes abnormal periods?

Abnormal periods are most often caused by hormonal changes or hormonal imbalances that occur during specific stages of life. Hormone conditions such as thyroid disorders and pituitary tumors can also contribute to abnormal periods. 

Sometimes, abnormal bleeding can be a sign of another underlying condition, like polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis (growth of uterine cells outside the uterus), uterine fibroids, cysts, or even tumors. Infections like pelvic inflammatory disease and STDs can also affect your periods. 

Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and related complications can also cause abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. 

It’s also possible for stress, travel, and changes in your diet and exercise habits to affect your menstrual cycle. In addition, life transitions, such as puberty and perimenopause (the years before menopause), cause hormonal shifts and subsequent menstrual irregularities. 

Before any treatment is prescribed, a comprehensive exam will be performed, including a pelvic exam to determine the underlying cause. In addition to a pelvic exam and Pap test, you may undergo additional testing for infection or diagnostic exams like ultrasound, CT scan, or minimally-invasive exams of your vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes to look for causes.

Text us:

Call us:

Have more questions?

Chat with us online! Use our webchat in the lower right hand of your screen

When should I talk to a doctor about abnormal periods?

Your gynecologist asks about your periods during your annual well-woman visit and pelvic exam. Don’t wait to talk to your physician if you notice a change in your periods between your yearly appointments. Abnormal uterine bleeding can be a sign of a health problem, so finding out what is causing it is the first step in getting the treatment you need to protect your health, fertility, and life. 

When should I talk to a doctor about abnormal periods?

Your gynecologist asks about your periods during your annual well-woman visit and pelvic exam. Don’t wait to talk to your physician if you notice a change in your periods between your yearly appointments. Abnormal uterine bleeding can be a sign of a health problem, so finding out what is causing it is the first step in getting the treatment you need to protect your health, fertility, and life. 

How do you diagnose the cause of abnormal periods?

If you notice a change in your menstrual cycle, start tracking when your period begins and ends, including notes about your flow and other symptoms. This information helps your gynecologist understand your situation. 

During your appointment, your doctor asks about your medical history and menstrual cycle, including details about how it has changed. Then, they perform a pelvic exam and a Pap smear, and lab tests if necessary. Depending on your results, your doctor may order a pelvic ultrasound, biopsy, colposcopy, or hysteroscopy. These tests help identify abnormal growths or structural issues that could contribute to your irregular periods.

How are abnormal periods treated?

That depends on the cause. In some cases, abnormal bleeding can be successfully treated with hormonal therapy such as birth control pills, implants, or injections. However, some women may need other hormone therapy to regulate their endocrine function and menstruation.  

In other cases, minimally-invasive procedures may be necessary to treat the underlying cause, such as fibroids or endometriosis. When abnormal periods occur during perimenopause – the time before you enter menopause and stop having periods – minimally-invasive procedures are available to remove the uterine lining to stop periods from happening or to reduce bleeding that does occur.

Do I need surgery for painful periods?

Some conditions that cause abnormal or painful periods may need surgical treatment. For example, large uterine fibroids may need to be removed surgically. Additionally, surgery may be necessary to remove endometriosis lesions and scarring.

However, hormone therapy, lifestyle modifications, and pain management treatments can regulate your menstrual cycle and related symptoms in many cases. 

What can I do to prevent menstrual irregularities?

While some factors are out of your control, you can make healthy choices to maintain your overall health, including your menstrual cycle and reproductive health. For example, maintaining a nutritious diet, exercise habits, and weight is critical to your general and endocrine health, which keeps your menstrual cycle regular. Managing stress can also help prevent abnormal periods.   

What should I do if my period is late?

There are many reasons why you might skip a period. Stress, for example, is a common cause of temporary menstrual irregularity. However, if your period is more than 40 days late, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist to find out what is going on. Additionally, if there is a chance you might be pregnant, take an at-home pregnancy test and schedule an appointment with your gynecologist if the test is positive or if your period continues to be irregular. 

Our doctors who provide this service

Marina Arutyunyan Board Certified Gynecologist, NY

Marina Arutyunyan DO, MPH

Board Certified Gynecologist

Thumbnail Photo of Dr. Rachel Barr

Rachel Barr, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Emily Blanton, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Profile Photo of Dr. Shoma Datta-Thomas

Shoma Datta-Thomas, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Profile Photo of Dr. Janette Davison

Janette Davison, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Armina Eana, DO MPH

Board Certified OB/GYN

Thumbnail Photo of Dr. Faina Gelman-Nisanov

Faina Gelman-Nisanov, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Profile Photo fo Dr. Dena Harris

Dena Harris, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Annie Kim, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Kenneth A. Levey, MD MPH FACOG FACS

Board Certified Gynecologist & CEO and Managing Partner of Maiden Lane Medical

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Book an Appointment

Are you ready to connect with a caring doctor? Book Online Now.