Abnormal uterine bleeding is a very common condition among women of any age. It can be caused by many factors. A wide range of treatments are used, depending on the reason for the uterine bleeding and your personal needs and conditions. The following types of uterine bleeding may be considered abnormal:
- bleeding after sex
- bleeding between periods
- bleeding after menopause
- spotting or heavy periods or menstrual bleeding for more days than usual
What causes abnormal uterine bleeding?
A woman’s periods may be irregular during different times of her life, including puberty, around the mid-30s, and just prior to menopause. Abnormal uterine bleeding can also be caused by or related to one or more the following:
- use of birth control pills or medications
- problems related to non-chemical birth control methods
- pregnancy, including ectopic (abnormally located)
- eating and exercise habits, especially as they relate to body weight
- past or present medical conditions, including fibroids, polyps, infection, and certain kinds of cancer
How is abnormal uterine bleeding diagnosed?
If you are experiencing abnormal menstrual bleeding, Dr. Sargent will review your medical history, stress level, eating and exercise habits, and use of medications and birth control. You can help prepare for your medical visit by keeping_track_of_your menstrual_cycle (dates, lengths, and characteristics). Based on your symptoms, further diagnosis may require examination or tissue sample collection using ultrasound, x-ray, minimally invasive surgery, or hysteroscopy (a procedure in which a thin, telescope-like device is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix).
How is abnormal uterine bleeding treated?
Treatment depends on many factors, including the cause of the menstrual bleeding, your age, and whether or not you want to have children. Treatments may include one or more of the following:
- medications, including hormones or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- surgical removal of fibroids or polyps, usually by hysteroscopy or minimally invasive surgery
- endometrial ablation, which destroys the uterine lining