Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

What is Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding? Its Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options
Irregular or abnormal bleeding from the uterus without any demonstrable cause is called dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In most cases, this problem is related to hormonal disturbances like reduced levels of prostaglandin F 2 alpha. Your doctor will check for other causes of vaginal bleeding and confirm that you have dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

What are the Causes of Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding?
Normally in a woman, during menstruation cycle one of the ovaries releases an egg. This is called ovulation. However, dysfunctional uterine bleeding is often triggered when a woman does not ovulate. This phenomenon causes abnormal changes in the hormonal level and in some cases can lead to delayed periods and when it occurs the bleeding is often very heavy.

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding can occur in some woman even though they ovulate. However, this is seen in about 10 % of cases. This occurs due to prolonged progesterone secretion because oestrogen levels are low.

What are the Symptoms of Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding?
You can have dysfunctional uterine bleeding if you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned below:
  • You are experiencing irregular periods. Ideally a normal adult menstruation cycle is 21 to 35 days long and normal teen menstruation cycle is 21 to 45 days  
  • Your menstruation lasts for more than 7 days
  • Your bleeding is heavier than usual. Bleeding is considered severe if you are passing blood clots and soaking through usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours
  • Delayed periods of more than 35 days
  • Periods occurring within 21 days
  • Regular cycles with heavy flow or lasting for more than 7 days
  • Irregular periods with heavy flow or long duration
If you have irregular vaginal bleeding for three or more menstruation cycle and if the aforementioned symptoms are affecting your daily life then it is time that you talk to your doctor. Before diagnosing you with dysfunctional uterine bleeding the doctor will rule out other causes of vaginal bleeding including miscarriage, uterine fibroid and bleeding disorders. Only when the doctor finds no other disease or condition that can be attributed to these symptoms will a diagnosis of dysfunctional uterine bleeding be made.

What are the Treatment Options for Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding?
There are many treatment options available to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
  • The goal of treatment is to control bleeding, prevent anemia, regularize the menstrual cycles
  • To control menstruation cycle and reduce bleeding and cramping, hormones, depending on what is required is given
  • When other treatments fail to work, surgeries like endometrial ablation or hysterectomy may be needed.
In cases relating to teens or women nearing menopause the doctors may adopt the wait and see approach. This is because teens do at times experience irregular vaginal bleeding which usually gets better over time as hormone levels balance out. Women in menopause can expect their periods to stop. They can either choose to wait or see if this happens before they try other treatment options.

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