BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuAbnormal uterine bleedingAnovulatory bleeding; Abnormal uterine bleeding - hormonal; Polymenorrhea - dysfunctional uterine bleedingAbnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is bleeding from the uterus that is longer than usual or that occurs at an irregular time. Bleeding may be heavier or lighter than usual and occur often or randomly.AUB can occur:As spotting or bleeding between your periods After sex For longer days than normal Heavier than normal After menopauseIt does NOT occur during pregnancy. Bleeding during pregnancy has different causes. If you have any bleeding when you are pregnant, be sure to contact your health care provider. Causes Every woman's menstrual cycle is different. On average,a woman’s period (menstrual flow) occurs every 28 days, although cycles may vary between 24 and 34 days. Menstruation flow normally last about 4 to 7 days. Young girls may get their periods anywhere from 21 to 45 days or more apart. Women in their 40s may start to have their period less often or have the interval between their periods decrease. For most women, female hormone levels change every month. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are released as part of the process of ovulation. When a woman ovulates, an egg is released.AUB can occur when the ovaries do not release an egg. Changes in hormone levels cause your period to be later or earlier. Your period may sometimes be heavier than normal.AUB is more common in teenagers or in premenopausal women. Women who are overweight also may be more likely to have AUB.In many women, AUB is caused by a hormone imbalance. It can also occur due to following causes:Thickening of the uterine wall or lining Thickening of the uterine wall or lininAdenomyosis is a thickening of the walls of the uterus. It occurs when endometrial tissue grows into the outer muscular walls of the uterus. Endome...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Uterine fibroids Uterine fibroidsUterine fibroids are tumors that grow in a woman's womb (uterus). These growths are typically not cancerous (benign).ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Uterine polyps Uterine polypsEndometrium is the lining of the inside of the womb (uterus). Overgrowth of this lining can create polyps. Polyps are fingerlike growths that attac...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Cancers of ovaries, uterus, cervix, or vagina Bleeding disorders or problems with blood clotting Polycystic ovary syndrome Polycystic ovary syndromePolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman has increased levels of male hormones (androgens). Many problems occur as a result ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Severe weight loss Hormonal birth control, such as birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUD) Excessive weight gain or loss (more than 10 pounds or 4.5 kilograms) Infection of the uterus or cervix Symptoms AUB is unpredictable. The bleeding may be very heavy or light, and can occur often or randomly.Symptoms of AUB may include:Bleeding or spotting from the vagina between periods Periods that occur less than 28 days apart (more common) or more than 35 days apart Time between periods changes each month Heavier bleeding (such as passing large clots, needing to change protection during the night, soaking through a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for 2 to 3 hours in a row) Bleeding that lasts for more days than normal or for more than 7 daysOther symptoms caused by changes in hormone levels may include:Excessive growth of body hair in a male pattern (hirsutism) HirsutismMost of the time, women have fine hair above their lips and on their chin, chest, abdomen, or back. The growth of coarse dark hair in these areas (m...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Hot flashes Mood swings Tenderness and dryness of the vagina A woman may feel tired or fatigued if she loses too much blood over time. This is a symptom of anemia.AnemiaAnemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. Different type...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests Your provider will rule out other possible causes of irregular bleeding. You will likely have a pelvic exam and Pap/HPV test. Other tests that may be done include:Complete blood count (CBC) Complete blood countA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blood clotting profile Liver function tests (LFT) Fasting blood glucose Hormone tests, for FSH, LH, male hormone (androgen) levels, prolactin, and progesterone FSHThe follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) blood test measures the level of FSH in blood. FSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, located on t...Read Article Now Book Mark Article LHThe LH blood test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in blood. LH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, located on the undersid...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pregnancy test Pregnancy testA qualitative HCG blood test checks if there is a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin in your blood. HCG is a hormone produced in the body d...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Thyroid function testsThyroid function testsThyroid function tests are used to check whether your thyroid is working normally. The most common thyroid function tests are:Free T4 (the main thyro...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Your provider may recommend the following:Culture to look for infection Biopsy to check for precancer, cancer, or to help decide on hormone treatment BiopsyEndometrial biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for examination.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hysteroscopy, performed in your provider's office to look into the uterus through the vagina Ultrasound to look for problems in the uterus or pelvis UltrasoundTransvaginal ultrasound is a test used to look at a woman's uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix and pelvic area. Transvaginal means across or through the ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Treatment may include one or more of the following:Low-dose birth control pills Birth control pillsBirth control pills (BCPs) contain man-made forms of 2 hormones called estrogen and progestin. These hormones are made naturally in a woman's ovarie...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hormone therapy High-dose estrogen therapy for women with very heavy bleeding Intrauterine device (IUD) that releases the hormone progestin Intrauterine device (IUD)An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small plastic T-shaped device used for birth control. It is inserted into the uterus where it stays to prevent pre...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) taken just before the period starts Surgery, if the cause of the bleeding is a polyp or fibroidYour provider may put you on iron supplements if you have anemia.If you want to get pregnant, you may be given medicine to stimulate ovulation.Women with severe symptoms that don't improve or who have a cancerous or precancerous diagnosis may require other procedures such as:Surgical procedure to destroy or remove the lining of the uterus ProcedureHysteroscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of the womb (uterus). Your health care provider can look at the:Opening to the womb (cervix)Inside...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Hysterectomy to remove the uterus Outlook (Prognosis) Hormone therapy often relieves symptoms. Treatment may not be needed if you do not develop anemia due to blood loss. A treatment focused on the cause of the bleeding is often immediately effective. That is why it's important to understand the cause. Possible Complications Complications that may occur:Infertility (inability to get pregnant) Severe anemia due to a lot of blood loss over time Increased risk for endometrial cancerEndometrial cancerEndometrial cancer is cancer that starts in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus (womb).ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if you have unusual vaginal bleeding.Open ReferencesReferencesAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. ACOG committee opinion no. 557: Management of acute abnormal uterine bleeding in nonpregnant reproductive-aged women. Reaffirmed 2020. www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2013/04/management-of-acute-abnormal-uterine-bleeding-in-nonpregnant-reproductive-aged-women. Accessed March 26, 2021.Bahamondes L, Ali M. Recent advances in managing and understanding menstrual disorders. F1000Prime Rep. 2015;7:33. PMID: 25926984. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25926984.Ryntz T, Lobo RA. Abnormal uterine bleeding: etiology and management of acute and chronic excessive bleeding. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 26.Schrager S. Abnormal uterine bleeding. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2021. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:1153-1154.AllVideoImagesTogNormal uterine anatomy (cut section) - illustration The uterus is a muscular organ with thick walls, two upper openings to the fallopian tubes and an inferior opening to the vagina.Normal uterine anatomy (cut section)illustrationNormal uterine anatomy (cut section) - illustration The uterus is a muscular organ with thick walls, two upper openings to the fallopian tubes and an inferior opening to the vagina.Normal uterine anatomy (cut section)illustrationA Closer Look Menstrual disorders(In-Depth) Tests for Abnormal uterine bleeding Transvaginal ultrasoundEndometrial biopsyRelated Information Vaginal bleeding between periods(Symptoms)Menopause(Condition)Endometrial cancer(Condition)Menopause(In-Depth) Review Date: 12/3/2020 Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.