Many different things can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. Pregnancy is a common cause. Polyps or fibroids (small and large growths) in the uterus can also cause bleeding. Rarely, a thyroid problem, infection of the cervix or cancer of the uterus can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. In most women, abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by a hormone imbalance. When hormones are the problem, doctors call the problem dysfunctional uterine bleeding, or DUB. Abnormal bleeding caused by hormone imbalance is more common in teenagers or in women who are approaching menopause. These are just a few of the problems that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. These problems can occur at any age, but the likely cause of abnormal uterine bleeding usually depends on your age. In the years before menopause and when menopause begins, women have months when they don't ovulate. This can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, including heavy periods and lighter, irregular bleeding. Thickening of the lining of the uterus is another cause of bleeding in women in their 40s and 50s. This thickening can be a warning of uterine cancer. If you have abnormal uterine bleeding and you're in this age group, you need to tell your doctor about it. It may be a normal part of getting older, but it's important to make sure uterine cancer isn't the cause. You may also have a pelvic exam, urine test, blood tests, and possibly an ultrasound. These tests will help your gynecologist check for other causes of your symptoms. He or she may also take a tiny sample (biopsy) of tissue from your uterus for testing.
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