Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

abnormal uterine bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding is more than an inconvenience; it can significantly disrupt your quality of life. This phenomenon, characterized by irregularities in menstrual cycles, can stem from problems with the uterus, hormonal imbalances, or other underlying conditions.

Read this thorough article to comprehend the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, guiding women to understand and manage abnormal uterine bleeding for their well-being.

Causes and Risk Factors of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding can be attributed to various causes:

1. Hormone Changes:

  • Ovulatory Disruptions: Hormonal imbalances during ovulation, especially in teenagers and women approaching menopause, can lead to an excess buildup of the uterine lining. This often results in irregular or heavy periods and spotting between cycles.
  • External Influences: Factors such as birth control pills, warfarin, hormone therapy, rapid weight fluctuations, emotional or physical stress, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) can disrupt hormonal balance and cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A hormonal disorder affecting ovulation, PCOS can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and abnormal bleeding patterns.

2. Uterine Structural Issues:

  • Fibroids: Noncancerous tumors in the uterine wall muscles, known as fibroids, can cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Polyps: Growth in the uterine lining, called polyps, is another physical issue associated with abnormal bleeding.
  • Endometriosis: Growth of uterine-like tissue outside the uterus can result in irregular bleeding.

3. Age:


  • During puberty, females experience altered hormone levels that may result in abnormal uterine bleeding in adolescent girls, thereby increasing their risk.

Women Over 45

  • Another crucial age-related determinant of the risk is the hormonal change in women above 45 during the menopause period before the onset of menopause, affecting their pattern of irregular bleeding.

4. Obesity:

  • Overweight or obese women also carry a significant risk of abnormal uterine bleeding. Excess weight affects the normal menstruation process by causing an imbalance in hormones essential for overall health.

5. Medication:

Blood Thinners

  • The use of blood thinners as medicine increases the risk of abnormal uterine bleeding in women as they interfere with the blood clotting mechanism.

Anti-inflammatory and Cancer Medications

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding can occur when taking anti-inflammatory drugs or undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

6. Birth Control and IUD Usage:

Birth Control:

  • Women who use hormonal methods often experience abnormal uterine bleeding. The hormonal effect on menstruation likely causes irregular bleeding patterns.

Intrauterine Device (IUD):

  • Abnormal bleeding may also be caused by the use of an intrauterine device, which may interfere with the uterine surroundings, resulting in abnormal menstruation.

7. Other Causes of abnormal uterine bleeding:

Cervical, endometrial, or uterine cancer: Although rare, abnormal bleeding is a potential symptom affecting the female reproductive system.

Systemic illnesses: Conditions impacting the kidneys, liver, thyroid, or adrenal glands cause abnormal uterine bleeding.

Infections: Irregular bleeding can arise from infections in the cervix or endometrium with sexually transmitted diseases.

When Should You Get a Uterus Test?

If you experience any of the following signs or uterus bleeding symptoms, it's advisable to schedule a uterus cancer test promptly:

  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or spotting between menstrual cycles.
  • Large Blood Clots: Passing quarter-sized or larger blood clots during your period.
  • Excessive Menstrual Product Changes: Changing menstrual products more frequently than every two hours.
  • Bleeding Between or Prolonged Periods: Any bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual cycles or lasts longer than a week.
  • Symptoms of Anemia: Persistent fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms of Pica: Unusual cravings for non-food items, hair loss, or pale skin.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: If abnormal bleeding interferes with daily activities and social interactions or requires adjustments to manage blood flow.

Symptoms of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding presents with distinctive symptoms that extend beyond irregular bleeding patterns:

Irregular Bleeding uterus bleeding symptoms:

  1. Spotting between menstrual periods
  2. Post-sexual activity bleeding
  3. Post-menopausal bleeding
  4. Menstrual periods lasting over seven days
  5. Excessive bleeding requiring frequent pad changes

Non-Bleeding Symptoms:

  1. Bloating and abdominal discomfort
  2. Tender breasts
  3. Pelvic pain or pressure
  4. Dizziness, fainting, and weakness
  5. Low blood pressure and elevated heart rate
  6. Pain beyond typical menstrual cramps
  7. Pale skin due to potential anemia
  8. Passage of large blood clots during menstruation

Uterus Health Checkups and Tests

Accurate diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding involves a comprehensive approach, starting with detailed symptom documentation and a thorough examination:

  1. Patient History and Physical Exam:
  • Symptom Evaluation: Detailed notes over multiple cycles help provide specific information about uterus bleeding symptoms.
  • Overall Health Assessment: A holistic understanding of your health helps the doctor tailor the diagnostic process.
  1. Diagnostic Uterus Cancer Tests:
  • Pregnancy Test: Standard for ruling out pregnancy.
  • Blood Work: Assesses iron levels and hormonal balance and detects blood disorders or chronic diseases.
  • Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to visualize the uterus for fibroids or polyps.
  • Hysteroscopy: A tiny lighted scope is inserted through the cervix to inspect the uterus.
  • Biopsy: Small tissue sample examination under a microscope for abnormal cells.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Detailed images aid in detecting conditions like adenomyosis.

How to Treat Uterus Bleeding?

The treatment of uterine bleeding depends on the underlying cause and individual health considerations. Here are several approaches that healthcare providers may consider:

  1. Medical Management:
  • Hormonal Therapy: Birth control pills, hormone treatments, or progestin-containing intrauterine devices (IUDs) can help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce excessive bleeding.
  • Tranexamic Acid: This medication helps blood clots and can be effective in controlling heavy uterine bleeding.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen or naproxen, taken before the period starts, may help lighten bleeding.
  1. Minimally Invasive Procedures:
  • Endometrial Ablation: This procedure uses heat, cold, electricity, or laser to destroy the uterine lining, leading to reduced or no periods. It is for women who do not expect to have more children.
  • Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE): It involves blocking the blood vessels that supply the uterus used for treating fibroids and reducing bleeding.
  1. Surgical Interventions:
  • Myomectomy: Surgical removal of fibroids from the uterus, preserving the uterus for future pregnancies.
  • Hysterectomy Surgery: Removal of the uterus is the last resort, typically for severe cases or when other treatments have been unsuccessful. The hysterectomy surgery results in the inability to conceive.
  1. Lifestyle and Dietary Changes:
  • Iron Supplements: If heavy bleeding has led to iron deficiency, supplements are recommended to address anemia.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals can support overall health and aid in managing abnormal uterine bleeding.
  1. Management of Underlying Conditions:
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Addressing conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders.
  • Infections: If abnormal bleeding is due to infections, appropriate antibiotic or antiviral treatments are prescribed.
  1. Close Monitoring and Follow-Up:
  • Regular Checkups: Monitoring and adjusting treatment plans as needed through regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers.
  • Periodic Assessments: Periodic evaluations, including imaging studies such as ultrasound, are recommended to track the effectiveness of treatment and identify any new developments.


It's essential for individuals experiencing uterine bleeding concerns to seek prompt medical attention for a thorough evaluation. A healthcare provider can determine the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding and a suitable treatment plan based on the specific diagnosis, overall health, and individual preferences. Open communication and collaboration with healthcare professionals are crucial for the best possible outcomes.