Abnormal uterine bleeding refers to any irregular bleeding from the genital tract based in the uterus. A number of reasons may cause abnormal uterine bleeding, and accurate diagnoses are needed in order to address the underlying problem. A condition known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) may also be diagnosed. A uterus is composed of two layers: the thin inner layer of tissue known as the endometrium and the thick outer layer of muscle known as the myometrium. Normally, the uterus sheds a limited amount of blood during menstrual periods, which also includes a layer of the endometrial lining. Circumstances that are classified as abnormal bleeding include:
Causes & Diagnosis
As there are many different conditions and factors that may cause abnormal uterine bleeding, diagnosis by exclusion, or the ruling out of possible causes, is often necessary. In many cases, DUB (a specific, diagnosable condition) is related to a change in hormone levels. When this occurs, the endometrial lining thickens uninhibited until it outgrows its blood supply, causing abnormal bleeding. Symptoms that include abnormal uterine bleeding may also be caused by other conditions affecting the female reproductive system.
When you experience abnormal uterine bleeding, consulting a doctor promptly can ensure that other causes are not to blame, which may include anything from problems with pregnancy touterine fibroids. A doctor may perform pelvic examinations, physical assessments, urine and blood tests, and possible imaging tests such as an ultrasound to make a diagnosis. A biopsy, or tissue sample, may also be taken and used for testing.
If any specific medical condition is diagnosed, treatment will be tailored to the nature of the condition, the extent of the condition, and other personal factors. If a doctor is unable to determine a disease or condition causing your symptoms, then you may be diagnosed with dysfunction uterine bleeding (DUB). Treating this condition may focus on resuming a normal menstrual cycle, reducing bleeding, or stopping the monthly bleeding entirely. A doctor will base the treatment plan on a variety of factors, including your age and whether you have gone through menopause. Common treatment options include:
Hysterectomy & Surgical Options
A hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, is a serious medical procedure that should only be considered and assessed on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, hysterectomies may be avoided by choosing other options and minimally invasive techniques, or a hysterectomy may be a personal choice or necessity when other options or surgeries have proven unsuccessful. Given the long-term, comprehensive impact a hysterectomy may have, securing an accurate diagnosis, educating yourself about available options, and seeking second opinions are vital to aiding you in making the best possible decision.
Hysterectomy.com serves as a comprehensive resource for women to gain access to reliable, credible information regarding the use of hysterectomy, available alternatives, and the management of conditions such as DUB using innovative, less-painful means. Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) Dr. Tamer Seckin offers his genuine support, time, and medical knowledge to women and families throughout the country looking to learn more about their condition and options. Voice your questions and concerns by completing a contact form today.