What is dysfunctional uterine bleeding?

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Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is an excessive vaginal bleeding that is abnormal to the menstrual cycle. Bleeding occurs either more or less frequently than is typical for menstruation and the bleeding may be significantly thicker and heavier than it should be. It is also possible that bleeding could occur very frequently and be present in between periods. The changes in bleeding are caused by irregular hormones. These irregularities are usually treatable by hormones, and in some instances surgical methods will be used.

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is common, especially among women whose periods are irregular. This includes women who have just begun or are ending their periods. DUB is one of the more common reasons why a woman would go see her doctor. Approximately 1 in 19 US women ages 18-50 report menstrual problems annually.

Some women bleed so heavily with DUB that additional medical care may be necessary. Many women have difficulties containing heavy bleeding with sanitary pads and tampons. These problems can usually be fixed through hormonal therapy. For severe bleeding, some women require intravenous estrogen and fluids and occasionally a blood transfusion. See your doctor if you are concerned about your heavy bleeding.

Some thyroid and hormone disorders can cause DUB. Hypothyroidism, for example, can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg; this causes the hormones to remain high later in the menstrual cycle. Other illnesses can affect treatment—women with heart or blood vessel disorders or who are at high risk for heart disorders are not usually given birth control pills for treatment. The cycle of abnormal thickening and irregular shedding associated with dysfunctional uterine bleeding can cause precancerous cells to develop.

DUB is very treatable. It is important, however, that you go to your doctor to see if you have any complications.

Continue Learning about Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)

Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB) is irregular vaginal bleeding caused by changes in hormone levels. When this happens, your periods may come less than 21 days apart, or more than 35 days apart. Vaginal bleeding may be heavy, o...

r last for longer than a week. Often times, DUB occurs when you fail to ovulate during your menstrual cycle, which causes abnormal levels of certain hormones. Sometimes this pattern of an ovulation continues for several cycles or more, which may warrant a visit to your health care provider. The most common treatment for DUB is the use of various hormone medications. Sometimes the doctor will just advise you to wait a few months before beginning treatment.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.