What is abnormal uterine bleeding?
Abnormal uterine bleeding is any heavy or unusual bleeding from the uterus (through your vagina). It can occur at any time during your monthly cycle, including during your normal menstrual period.
Symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding
Vaginal bleeding between periods is one symptom of abnormal uterine bleeding. Having extremely heavy bleeding during your period also can be considered abnormal uterine bleeding. Very heavy bleeding during a period and/or bleeding that lasts quite 7 days is named menorrhagia. for instance, women may bleed enough to sop 1 or more tampons or sanitary pads every hour.
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What causes abnormal uterine bleeding?
A variety of things can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. Pregnancy may be a common cause. Polyps or fibroids (small and enormous growths) within the uterus also can cause bleeding. Rarely, a thyroid problem, infection of the cervix, or cancer of the uterus can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
In most girls, abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by a hormone imbalance. When hormones are the matter, doctors call the matter dysfunctional uterine bleeding, or DUB. Abnormal bleeding caused by hormone imbalance is more common in teenagers or in women who are approaching menopause.
These are just a couple of of the issues which will cause abnormal uterine bleeding. These problems can occur at any age, but the likely explanation for abnormal uterine bleeding usually depends on your age.
Women in their teens, 20s, and 30s
A common explanation for abnormal bleeding in young women and teenagers is pregnancy. many ladies have abnormal bleeding within the first few months of a traditional pregnancy. Some contraception pills or the IUD (IUD) also can cause abnormal bleeding.
Some young women who have abnormal uterine bleeding don’t release an egg from their ovaries (called ovulation) during their cycle. this is often common for teenagers who have just started getting their periods. This causes a hormone imbalance where the estrogen in your body makes the liner of your uterus (called the endometrium) grow until it gets too thick. When your body gets obviate this lining during your period, the bleeding are going to be very heavy. A hormone imbalance can also cause your body to not know when to shed the liner. this will cause irregular bleeding (“spotting”) between your periods.
Women in their 40s and early 50s
In the years before menopause and when menopause begins, women have months once they don’t ovulate. this will cause abnormal uterine bleeding, including heavy periods and lighter, irregular bleeding.
Thickening of the liner of the uterus is another explanation for bleeding in women in their 40s and 50s. This thickening are often a warning of uterine cancer. If you’ve got abnormal uterine bleeding and you’re during this age bracket, you would like to inform your doctor about it. it’s going to be a traditional a part of getting older, but it’s important to form sure uterine cancer isn’t the cause.
Women after menopause
Hormone replacement therapy may be a common explanation for uterine bleeding after menopause. Other causes include endometrial and uterine cancer. These cancers are more common in older women than in younger ladies. But cancer isn’t always the explanation for abnormal uterine bleeding. Many other problems can cause bleeding after menopause. For this reason, it’s important to speak to your doctor if you’ve got any bleeding after menopause.
How is abnormal uterine bleeding diagnosed?
The tests your doctor orders may depend upon your age. If you’ll be pregnant, your doctor may order a bioassay. If your bleeding is heavy, additionally to other tests, your doctor might want to see your blood count to form sure you don’t have a coffee blood count from the blood loss. this might cause iron deficiency and anemia.
An ultrasound exam of your pelvic area shows both the uterus and therefore the ovaries. it’s going to also show the explanation for your bleeding.
Your doctor might want to try to to an endometrial biopsy. this is often a test of the uterine lining. It’s done by putting a skinny plastic tube (called a catheter) into your uterus. Your doctor will use the catheter to get rid of a small piece of the uterine lining. He or she is going to send that lining to the lab for testing. The test will show if you’ve got cancer or a change within the cells. A biopsy are often wiped out the doctor’s office and causes only mild pain.
Another test may be a hysteroscopy. a skinny tube with a small camera in it’s put into your uterus. The camera lets your doctor see the within of your uterus. If anything abnormal shows up, your doctor can get a biopsy.
Can abnormal uterine bleeding be prevented or avoided?
If your abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by hormonal changes, you’ll not be ready to prevent it. But if your hormonal changes are caused by being overweight, losing weight could help. Your weight affects your hormone production. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent abnormal uterine bleeding.
Abnormal uterine bleeding treatment
There are several treatment options for abnormal bleeding. Your treatment will depend upon the explanation for your bleeding, your age, and whether you would like to urge pregnant within the future. Your doctor will assist you decide which treatment is true for you. Or, if your doctor decides that a hormone imbalance is causing your abnormal bleeding, you and your doctor may plan to wait and see if the bleeding improves on its own. Some treatment options include the following:
Intrauterine device (IUD). Your doctor may suggest an IUD. An IUD may be a small, plastic device that your doctor inserts into your uterus through your vagina to stop pregnancy. One sort of IUD releases hormones, and this sort can significantly reduce abnormal bleeding. Like contraception pills, sometimes IUDs can actually cause abnormal bleeding. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
Birth control pills. contraception pills contain hormones which will stop the liner of your uterus from getting too thick. They can also help keep your cycle regular and reduce cramping. Some sorts of contraception pills, especially the progestin-only pill (also called the “mini-pill”) can actually cause abnormal bleeding for a few women. Let your doctor know if the pill you’re taking doesn’t control your abnormal bleeding.
A D&C, or dilatation and curettage. A D&C may be a procedure during which the opening of your cervix is stretched only enough so a surgical tool are often put into your uterus. Your doctor uses this tool to scrape away the liner of your uterus. The removed lining is checked during a lab for abnormal tissue. A D&C is completed under general anaesthesia (while you’re during a sleep-like state).
If you’re having heavy bleeding, your doctor may perform a D&C both to seek out out the matter and to treat the bleeding. The D&C itself often makes heavy bleeding stop. Your doctor will decide if this procedure is important.
Hysterectomy. this sort of surgery removes the uterus. If you’ve got a hysterectomy, you won’t have any longer periods and you won’t be ready to get pregnant. Hysterectomy is operation that needs general anaesthesia and a hospital stay. it’s going to require an extended recovery period. ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of hysterectomy.
Endometrial ablation may be a surgery that destroys the liner of the uterus. Unlike a hysterectomy, it doesn’t remove the uterus. Endometrial ablation may stop all menstrual bleeding in some women. However, some women still have light menstrual bleeding or spotting after endometrial ablation. a couple of women have regular menstrual periods after the procedure. Women who have endometrial ablation still got to use some sort of contraception albeit, in most cases, pregnancy isn’t likely after the procedure.
Your doctor can do endometrial ablation in several alternative ways. Newer endometrial ablation techniques don’t require general anaesthesia or a hospital stay. The recovery time after this procedure is shorter than recovery time after a hysterectomy.
Living with abnormal uterine bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding can impact your life during a negative way. Not having the ability to predict when bleeding will begin can cause you to worry all the time. Also, heavy menstrual bleeding may limit your daily activities during your period. for a few women, it even prevents them from leaving the house.
If you’ve got heavy menstrual bleeding, try taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) during your period (or a couple of days before you expect your period, if you know). Ibuprofen may be a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug drug (NSAID). NSAIDs can work to scale back the bleeding during your period.
You also should confirm that you simply are becoming enough iron in your diet. Your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement to make sure that you simply don’t become anemic.
Questions to ask your doctor
what’s the likely explanation for my abnormal uterine bleeding?
Is my condition serious? Am I in danger for the other health problems?
supported the cause, what treatment options does one recommend?
What are the risks and benefits of this treatment?
Will the treatment affect my chances of getting pregnant within the future?