Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is a common gynaecological complaint associated with considerable morbidity and significantly affects the patient’s family, personal and social life. Abnormal uterine bleeding is the medical term for abnormalities in the frequency, volume, duration, and regularity of the menstrual cycle & occurs in absence of pregnancy.
It is a common gynaecological complaint accounting for one-third of outpatient visits to a gynaecologist. It is caused by a wide variety of organic or non-organic causes. An organic cause is a term used to describe any health condition in which there is an observable and measurable disease process, such as inflammation or tissue damage.
Non-organic causes are the one that shows the symptoms but whose disease process is either unknown or unable to be measured by current scientific means.
To understand better, let’s talk about, what is normal bleeding. This is appropriate for reproductive-age women (menarche to menopause), with bleeding occurring every 21 to 35 days, lasting 3-7 days, and a blood flow of 35 ml.
Bleeding from the vaginal area between periods is one of the signs of this illness. Extremely excessive bleeding during periods can also be caused by abnormal uterine haemorrhage. Menorrhagia is a condition that arises when severe bleeding continues for more than 7 days during periods or otherwise.
Polyps or fibroids, which are abnormal growths in the uterus, can cause AUB. AUB can also be caused by a cervical infection, a thyroid condition, or uterine cancer, among other causes. Hormone imbalance is also the known cause of heavy bleeding.
The disorder is called dysfunctional uterine haemorrhage when abnormal bleeding develops as a result of hormone imbalance. Dysfunctional uterine haemorrhage is more common in teenagers and women approaching menopause.
Treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding is determined by the patient’s age, the reason of the bleeding, and whether or not she wishes to become pregnant in the future. The different treatment options include the use of an intrauterine device, birth control pills, D&C (dilatation and curettage), endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.
There are many causes for abnormal uterine bleeding and that exactly defines the difference between abnormal uterine bleeding and dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
In both cases, menstrual bleeding and related symptoms exist but the causes are different. In case of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, it is directly linked to hormonal imbalances.
- Intrauterine device (IUD): An intrauterine device (IUD) is a tiny plastic device that is put into a woman’s uterus through the vaginal canal. Hormones released by the IUD assist to prevent irregular bleeding.
- Using birth control pills: They prevent the lining of the uterus from getting too thick & help to regularize the menstrual cycle and even reduce cramping.
- D&C or dilatation and curettage procedure: The opening of the cervix is expanded so that a surgical instrument may be put into the uterus in the D&C or dilatation and curettage process. With the use of this instrument, the uterine lining is scraped away. The doctor then checks the removed lining for any abnormality and determines the cause of the abnormal bleeding. D&C is used to identify the source of bleeding.
- Hysterectomy: It is a surgical treatment that involves the removal of the uterus. It prevents the patient from having any further periods and from becoming pregnant. It is normally performed under general anaesthesia and requires a person to stay at a hospital.
- Endometrial ablation: This treatment removes the uterine lining rather than the uterus itself. As a result of the surgery, all forms of monthly bleeding are stopped.
- Simple measures to cope up with: Abnormal uterine bleeding which arises as a result of any abnormality in the menstrual cycle and is most common. In the vast majority of cases, it can resolve itself without the need for therapy. Self-care methods and home remedies can also aid with the condition’s treatment.
- The use of menstruation cups is one example of a lifestyle modification.
- Use of heating pads which can ease the symptoms like abdominal cramps and severe pain.
- Using period panties, for dry pad feeling, which offer sleep comfort.
- Proper and adequate rest, Adequate hydration
- Breathing exercises and yoga are good examples of regular exercises. These have a calming effect.
- Consumption of adequate iron, vitamin C, and other minerals and vitamins supplements.
- Even when a person can manage their heavy flow, it is still best to consult a doctor, who will investigate and identify any underlying issues. This can assist to lessen the flow’s intensity and duration. The menstrual bleeding disorder has a impact on other bodily functions. Right diagnosis &treatment is the key.
- Take home points: Irrespective of any age group, menstrual disorders should not be taken lightly proper medical diagnosis & treatment not only offer relief but also reduce the future complications if any.