Abnormal Uterine Bleeding - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Under normal conditions, menstruation occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts for 5 to 7 days approximately. Abnormal uterine bleeding is the one that occurs at the odd time, mostly other than the period. It can be described as the one that occurs in;


  • Occurs between monthly periods

  • Prolonged bleeding 

  • Extremely heavy period


It can also occur as


  • As spotting or bleeding between your periods

  • For longer days than normal

  • Heavier than normal

  • After menopause

  • After sex


It can occur due to;


  • Hormone Changes

  • Cancer

  • Fibroids

  • Polyps 

  • Early Pregnancy


Symptoms Of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding


The signs and symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding may vary from person to person and according to its severity. They can be described as;


  • Unusually long periods for seven to ten days or longer

  • Inconsistent menstrual cycles

  • Menorrhagia- heavy menstrual bleeding

  • Bleeding at unusual times, like between periods, after sex, during menopause



Other symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding can be 


  • Hirsutism- excessive growth of body hair in a male pattern

  • Hot flashes

  • Mood swings

  • Tenderness and dryness of the vagina


Causes 


Abnormal uterine bleeding can occur due to hormonal imbalance. Hormones are the chemical messengers that your endocrine gland produces. They travel in your bloodstream and regulate many bodily functions. Your body has a normal level of each hormone. Any little change in their levels can cause health problems. The main job of hormones is to perform functions like the metabolism of carbohydrates through insulin release from the pancreas, estrogen, and progesterone in conception. Hormones play a role in many other processes like:


  • Sexual function in males and females

  • General growth and development in children till adulthood

  • Heart rate

  • Sleep cycles

  • Reproductive cycles 

  • Body temperature

  • Mood and stress levels

  • Metabolism 

  • Appetite


Mostly it can occur due to polycystic ovarian syndrome also known as PCOs. Polycystic ovarian syndrome may show the following signs and symptoms. 


  • darkening of the skin, especially along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath the breasts

  • skin tags

  • pain during sex

  • night sweats

  • headaches

  • vaginal dryness

  • vaginal atrophy

  • heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, a stopped period, or a frequent period

  • hirsutism- excessive hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body

  • acne on the face, chest, or upper back

  • hair loss


Other causes of abnormal uterine bleeding are;


  • Thickening of the uterine wall 

  • Thickening of uterine lining

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Uterine polyps

  • Cancer of the vagina

  • Bleeding disorders 

  • Problem with blood clotting

  • Cancers of ovaries

  • Hormonal birth control, such as birth control pills or intrauterine devices- IUD

  • Infection of the cervix

  • Cancer of the uteru

  • Excessive weight gain or loss

  • Infection of the uterus 

  • Cancer of the cervix

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome


Diagnosis 


Abnormal uterine bleeding itself is a symptom of any underlying cause. To reach the final diagnosis the healthcare providers will perform tests like pap smear, pelvic examination and ultrasound. They may also order other tests like;


  • Fasting blood glucose

  • Complete blood count (CBC)

  • Blood clotting profile

  • Liver function tests (LFT)

  • Hormone tests, for FSH, LH, male hormone (androgen) levels, prolactin, and progesterone

  • Pregnancy test

  • Thyroid function tests


Treatment 


For the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, the healthcare providers will treat the underlying cause. They may also prescribe options like;


  • Low-dose birth control pills

  • Hormone therapy

  • High-dose estrogen therapy Intrauterine device (IUD)- a device that releases the hormone progestin in the female reproductive system

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- to relieve pain

  • Surgery


Conclusion 


Under normal conditions, menstruation occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts for 5 to 7 days approximately. Abnormal uterine bleeding is the one that occurs at the odd time, mostly other than the period. It can be described as the one that occurs between monthly periods or causes prolonged bleeding or extremely heavy periods.


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MBBS, MPH, DGO

Hormone Disorders, Abnormal Bleeding, Chorionic Villous Amniocentesis, Aesthetic Gynecology

Under 15 Mins Wait Time
45 Years Experiance
99% Satisfied Patients
Under 15 Mins Wait Time
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Dr. Aisha Abdul Razzaque

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