Most women can predict their menstrual cycle, as it occurs at about the same time each month and with about the same level of blood flow. However, if you’ve experienced changes to your menstrual cycle or are bleeding irregularly, you may have abnormal uterine bleeding. Below are answers to four frequently asked questions about this condition.
4 Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Questions
What is it?
Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is irregular bleeding through the uterus. This may mean your periods are heavier than usual, last longer, or don’t occur at predictable times. It can also include bleeding between your usual periods.
What are the symptoms?
A major symptom is having your period more frequently than once every 21 days, or consistently not having your period for longer than 35 days at a time (without being pregnant). Regular menstrual cycles last 21 to 35 days for adults or 21 to 45 for teens. Your period may also last longer than seven days. Heavy bleeding, characterized as passing blood clots or soaking through pads or tampons every hour for two or more hours, is another symptom. This can signify a larger problem and you should see a doctor immediately if you are bleeding heavily.
What causes it?
A variety of factors can cause AUB. In women approaching menopause and teenagers, hormonal imbalance is the most common cause. In this case, it’s diagnosed as dysfunctional uterine bleeding or DUB. Other common reasons include polyps or fibroids growing in the uterus or clotting issues. During the first few months of pregnancy, many women experience AUB, typically in the form of spotting. Intrauterine devices (IUD) and other hormonal birth control methods can also cause this condition. In rare cases, thyroid problems, cervical infection, or uterine cancer can be the source of the issue.
How is it treated?
There are many treatments, some of which are designed to reduce bleeding, and others which stop monthly periods altogether. Options include birth control pills or a levonorgestrel IUD, which releases a progesterone-like hormone, with a similar effect to the pill. If fibroids or polyps are to blame, your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy to remove them. If other treatments don’t work, surgery may be needed, although this is rare.
If you think you may have abnormal uterine bleeding or another women’s health issue, turn to Women’s Wellness Center in Manhattan. Their experienced team will diagnose the cause of your problem and work with you to develop an effective treatment plan based on your body and needs. Call (646) 754-3300 to schedule an appointment or visit the website to learn more about their services.