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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
The doctors at Winnie Palmer Hospital are here to support you with compassion and expertise when dealing with challenges such as abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
For most women, a menstrual period lasts from three to five days and occurs in cycles ranging from 21 days to 35 days apart. AUB is irregular vaginal bleeding that occurs apart from normal menstrual periods. It includes bleeding between periods, having a heavy menstrual flow for more days than normal, bleeding after sex, and bleeding after menopause.
AUB has many possible causes, including:
- Endometrial polyps, a growth that attaches to the inner lining of the uterus
- Adenmyosis, a condition in which tissue grows on the muscle wall of the uterus
- Neoplasia, which is abnormal tissue growth
- Fibroids and blood clotting disorders
In more serious cases, AUB may be caused by a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy (when an embryo grows outside the uterus), or uterine, cervical or vaginal cancer.
Diagnosis and Treatment
All women with AUB are first screened for cervical cancer via a pap smear. Your doctor might also order blood tests to check your hormone levels and to rule out certain blood disorders.
Treatment options for AUB depend on the cause of the bleeding. Hormone medicines and birth control pills can help to control abnormal bleeding and make your periods more regular. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen also are effective treatment options.
If you have polyps or fibroids, you may need surgery to remove these growths. In more severe cases, your doctor may perform endometrial ablation. This procedure involves using a laser or heat to destroy the uterine lining, which then scars and heals, reducing or preventing abnormal bleeding. A hysterectomy may be an option if hormone therapy and ablations fail.
If you have abnormal bleeding at any point during your menstrual cycle, it may be time to see a doctor. The experienced doctors at Winnie Palmer Hospital are here to help.