Are you bleeding between your monthly periods?
Do you have prolonged bleeding or extremely heavy periods? You may be experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding.
What is abnormal uterine bleeding?
Abnormal uterine bleeding is bleeding from the uterus that can occur at irregular times, be longer, heavier, or occur more infrequently than usual. It can be chronic, lasting for at least 6 months, or acute, happening suddenly.
How many women does this impact?
It is estimated that approximately one third of women will experience abnormal uterine bleeding in their lifetime. While abnormal uterine bleeding can occur at any age, it commonly presents when patients first start their periods and during perimenopause.
How do I know if my bleeding is “abnormal?”
Common symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding at unusual times (after intercourse, between periods, after menopause)
- Periods that last longer than usual
- Irregular menstrual cycle length
- Absent periods
There are a variety of treatment options for abnormal uterine bleeding. Treatments are targeted to alleviate symptoms, treat, or remove the source of the abnormal bleeding.
Depending on the source of abnormal bleeding, treatment options can include:
- Medications, such as:
- Contraceptive methods, to regulate menstrual cycles
- GnRH analogs, to reduce or stop heavy bleeding
- Procedures, such as:
- Uterine artery embolization
- Treatment with the Aveta System
- Treatment with The Sonata® System
- Treatment with the Acessa ProVu System
- Treatment with Minerva ES
What to expect on your visit
During your visit, you can expect your care team to listen to and address all of your concerns in a safe and trusted space.
An evaluation for abnormal uterine bleeding willl include assessments that target the suspected source of abnormal uterine bleeding.
This evaluation may include:
- A history and physical examination
- Imaging such as:
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Using the Endosee system, to visualize the lining of the uterus
- Using Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SIS), to evaluate the uterus and shape of the uterine cavity
The causes of abnormal bleeding are varied. The most common causes of abnormal bleeding can be bucketed into 2 groups: anatomic and nonanatomic. Anatomic causes often include fibroids, polyps, adenomyosis, and malignancy, to name a few. Nonanatomic causes often include ovulatory dysfunction, clotting disorders, and medication use.
Bleeding patterns are unique to each individual. If you notice a change in bleeding patterns that are considered outside of normal, you should see a provider for an evaluation.
A variety of treatment options can be recommended to help alleviate symptoms, treat, or remove the source of the abnormal bleeding. Reference the ‘treatment options’ list above for a comprehensive overview of available options.
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