Abnormal uterine bleeding, or abnormal vaginal bleeding, is any vaginal spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods.
Typically, women of childbearing age who are not pregnant experience vaginal bleeding for a few days each month as the uterus sheds the uterine lining built up during menstruation. Any uterine bleeding occurring outside menstruation, or bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual, is considered abnormal.
Dignity Health provides personalized treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding in Arizona. We have three exceptional facilities in the Arizona area fully dedicated to women’s health services:
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Symptoms of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Signs and symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Spotting or bleeding after sex
- Spotting or bleeding after menopause
- Menstrual periods that last longer than seven days
- Soaking a tampon or pad in one hour or less during your menstrual period
Causes of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding is a signal that something unusual is going on in the body. Causes of abnormal bleeding include:
- Birth control, including IUDs and birth control pills
- Hormone swings in puberty and perimenopause
- Adenomyosis, when endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an imbalance in hormones
- Uterine polyps or fibroids
- Blood clotting disorders or medication
- Infection or inflammation of the cervix or lining of the uterus
- Cancer of the cervix, vagina, or uterus
Most cases of abnormal bleeding are not cancer. However, because abnormal bleeding can be a sign of cancer, especially in postmenopausal women, it is essential to see your doctor to determine the cause.
Treatment Options for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Treatment options depend upon the cause of abnormal bleeding, the severity of your symptoms, your age, and your reproductive goals.
At Dignity Health, your doctor will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include:
- Hormone therapy. Birth control pills, hormone injections, or hormone creams may help control hormone levels and decrease or eliminate abnormal uterine bleeding. Hormone-releasing IUDs are also used to control bleeding.
- Other medications. Antibiotics treat infections that cause abnormal uterine bleeding. A variety of other prescription medications may be used in some cases to control bleeding.
- Endometrial ablation. This specialized procedure destroys the lining of the uterus in order to eliminate abnormal uterine bleeding.
- Surgery. Options may include dilation and curettage (D)&C, a procedure used to scrape away the lining of the uterus; surgical removal of fibroids or polyps; or hysterectomy, surgical removal of the uterus. Dignity Health offers traditional gynecologic surgery as well as newer, advanced surgeries that are minimally invasive.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive women’s health services, including treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding, in Arizona.