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I am 49 years old and have always had normal periods. In the…

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I am 49 years old...
I am 49 years old and have always had normal periods. In the past 6 months my periods have become very heavy and lasts for over a week. Lately, I have had my period, and although it appears that my period is ending after about 7 days, I begin spotting for another week at least. On my last period, it lasted for the 7 days, but I had PMS symptoms throughout. I began spotting 5 days after my period ended, and am still spotting now, which is now over a month.
Is this normal pre-menopausal symptoms?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: OB GYN
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Answered in 17 minutes by:
8/3/2011
OB GYN Doctor: Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN replied 6 years ago
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11,306
Experience: Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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It's not normal. There are 2 likely causes for your heavy periods and spotting after periods (They're likely related). Since your periods are still regular, you may have fibroid tumors in your uterus, which are common during the 40's. Fibroids often cause heavy periods and bleeding between periods. They can be treated various ways. A second cause is from hormonal changes, which are also common at age 49. Often ovulation becomes less common with age, and it's ovulation that causes the hormonal changes that clean off the uterine lining with the period. When ovulation doesn't happen, you can still have a period, but the lining doesn't clean off, and then the period can be heavier, and there can be continued bleeding after. The build up of the uterine lining can also lead to precancerous changes.

I would recommend that you see your doctor for evaluation. You'll probably need an endometrial biopsy, where a thin tube is inserted through the cervix to sample the uterine lining. Fibroids can usually be felt on exam, but an ultrasound will also show them. Progesterone pills may be tried, because the heavy bleeding and spotting is likely to be at least part from hormonal changes. A progesterone IUD can decrease bleeding from fibroids, as well as to counter hormonal changes and prevent uterine cancer. Best wishes.
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11,306
Experience: Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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