A woman normally menstruates every 21-35 days and the bleeding phase lasts for about 2-7 days. This is normal menstruation. Any deviation from this cycle is termed as abnormal uterine bleeding. In abnormal bleeding the periods are either short or prolonged and the pattern of menstrual bleeding becomes unpredictable.
Menstruation is the periodic shedding of endometrium in women after puberty till menopause. Normally a menstrual period lasts for 2-7 days. If the uterine bleeding occurs beyond this duration and the inter period gap is more or less than 21-35 days, then the bleeding is termed as irregular or abnormal menstrual bleeding.
Causes of Irregular Uterine Bleeding
The causes of abnormal uterine bleeding are many but the most common one is the hormonal imbalance. The imbalance in the hormones is commonly seen during stress, illness, heavy exercises, excessive weight gain, or some medications.
Some of the frequent causes of irregular uterine bleeding are listed as under:
- Cervical polyps
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine fibroids
- Oral contraceptive pills
- Carcinoma of uterus
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Pregnancy (abnormal uterine bleeding may occur in miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy etc.)
- Infections of uterus and cervix can also cause irregular uterine bleeding
- IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) are also known to cause abnormal uterine bleeding in some patients
- Blood clotting problems (Hemophilia, clotting factor deficiency)
Diagnosis of Irregular Uterine Bleeding
The diagnosis of abnormal or irregular uterine bleeding is made from thorough family and personal history. Points that carry important weightage to understand abnormal uterine bleeding are:
- Present or past illnesses
- Usage of any medications
- Use of birth control pills
- Use of hormones
For making a abnormal uterine bleeding diagnosis general physical examination is done and following tests are required:
- Endometrial biopsy
- Dilatation & Curettage (D&C)
Irregular Uterine Bleeding Treatments
The treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding is largely dependent upon a variety of factors like your age, severity of the problem, the cause and whether you have children or not.
The therapeutic methods include usage of birth control drugs, Removal of polyp, dilatation and curettage, endometrial ablation, and hysterectomy.
Use of Hormones to regularize abnormal uterine bleeding:
You may be given birth control pills to get your periods regular. Progesterone and estrogen are the commonly used hormones. Progesterone is effective in treating endometrial hyperplasia- abnormal thickening of uterine lining).
Other Medications for irregular uterine bleeding:
Drugs like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) are helpful in controlling the conditions. The examples of NSAIDs are Ibruprofen and naproxen.
Surgical Treatments available for abnormal uterine bleeding:
In some condition surgery is the only available option. Fibroids and large polyps are such conditions. D&C is helpful in treating the condition in some cases.
Cauterization is also a good technique to control abnormal uterine bleeding. The cervix is cauterized either by heat or by freezing.
A Word of Caution To Dignose Uterine Bleeding:
If you notice a sudden change in your menstrual cycle immediately consult a gynecologist. Negligence may prove to be harmful.
You should read more about Causes of Long Periods, Abnormal Bleeding, Fibroids Bleeding, Womb Bleeding, Bleeding from Uterus, Abnormal Bleeding after Menopause to understand Irregular Uterine Bleeding.
We would love to hear your own experiences of fighting with irregular or abnormal uterine bleeding (menstrual bleeding). Please leave us a comment and let us know. Subscribe our RSS to receive latest women’s health updates