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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2021

What is the Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Abnormal uterine bleeding is the condition where irregular bleeding from the uterus takes place. The bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual and occurs for a longer duration and is the cause of much distress. It can occur at any time of the monthly cycle of a woman and even occur during the normal menstrual period. However, abnormal uterine bleeding does not occur during pregnancy. Bleeding during pregnancy occurs due to other causes.

One of the symptoms of this disorder is bleeding from the vagina in between periods. Abnormal uterine bleeding can also result in extremely heavy bleeding during the periods. If extreme bleeding occurs for more than 7 days during periods or otherwise, the condition is known as menorrhagia. AUB can occur due to polyps or fibroids, which are irregular growths in the uterus. Some other causes of AUB can include infection in the cervix, a thyroid problem or cancer of the uterus. Another cause of abnormal uterine bleeding is a hormone imbalance. When abnormal bleeding occurs due to hormonal imbalance, the condition is called dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Teenagers and women, who are approaching menopause, are more susceptible to dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

The treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding depends on age, the cause of the bleeding and whether the person wants to get pregnant in the future or not. However, the different treatment options include the use of an intrauterine device, birth control pills, D&C or dilatation and curettage, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.

Abnormal vs. dysfunctional uterine bleeding: What's the difference?

There are basically two types of conditions related to uterine bleeding that occurs during the menstruation phase. These are commonly known as Abnormal Uterine Bleeding and Dysfunctional uterine bleeding. The condition of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding involves different reasons out of which some are related to benign conditions. On the other hand, the condition of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding has a direct link to the levels of various hormones involved in the menstrual phase. However, both the conditions have common symptoms but the reasons are different.

Summary: Excessive uterine bleeding is a common pathological condition in females. It may be of two types i.e Abnormal Uterine Bleeding and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. These conditions may arise as a result of hormonal imbalance or other physiological reasons.

What are the types of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is a pathological condition in women which is related to an abnormality in the menstrual cycle. It is not a part of the regular or monthly menstrual flow that is considered totally normal. However, there are mainly two types of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding which depends upon the nature of bleeding that occurs.

Those two main types include Abnormal Uterine Bleeding accompanied by bleeding during menstruation heavier than normal and Abnormal Uterine Bleeding related to the occurrence of bleeding that takes place in between the interval of menstruation.

Summary: Uterine bleeding is a physiological phenomenon in a woman’s body. However, it becomes pathological when Abnormal Uterine Bleeding occurs. It can happen in different ways such as during the menstruation phase or in between the interval of two menstrual cycles.

How is the treatment done?

IUD or intrauterine device is a small, plastic device that is inserted into the uterus through the vagina of a woman getting treated. The IUD releases hormones that help to reduce abnormal bleeding. Another way to prevent abnormal bleeding is by using birth control pills. They prevent the lining of the uterus from getting too thick and also help to regularize the menstrual cycle and even reduces cramping.

Another effective method of treating abnormal uterine bleeding is the D&C or dilatation and curettage procedure. In this method, the opening of the cervix is stretched so that a surgical tool can be inserted into the uterus. The lining of the uterus is scraped away with the help of this tool. The doctor then checks the removed lining for any abnormality and to determine the cause of the abnormal bleeding. D&C is performed to find out the cause of bleeding and also to address it in patients who suffer from heavy bleeding from the uterus.

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure whereby the uterus is removed. It does not allow the patient to have any more periods and does not allow her to get pregnant. It is normally performed under general anesthesia and requires a person to stay at a hospital.

Endometrial ablation does not remove the uterus but destroys the lining of the uterus. All types of menstrual bleeding are halted as a result of the procedure.


Who is eligible for the treatment?

A person is eligible for treatment if she experiences some or all of the symptoms associated with abnormal uterine bleeding. Some of the symptoms are spotting or bleeding from the vagina between periods, frequent or irregular periods, and heavier bleeding due to large clots. A person may suffer from AUB if the bleeding lasts for more than seven days or for a period longer than what is normal. AUB may also occur due to hormonal imbalance. The symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance include excessive growth of body hair, mood swings, hot flashes and dryness and tenderness of the vagina.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person is eligible for surgical procedures only if she is suffering from a serious condition and if she has not experienced any tangible benefits from medications. However, a person will only be eligible for treatment if she experiences some or all of the symptoms associated with AUB and has been properly diagnosed by a doctor.

Are there any side effects?

The side-effects associated with dilation and curettage treatment are foul-smelling discharge from the vagina, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding and fever accompanied with chills. A person undergoing hysterectomy may experience a number of side-effects including clotting of blood in the legs or lungs, heavy bleeding, infection, injury to the organs that are located nearby and she may also experience pain during sexual intercourse. Endometrial ablation entails a frequent urge for urination in the first 24 hours, menstrual cramps for a couple of days, discharge of a thin, watery fluid mixed with blood and feeling of nausea.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A woman will generally recover from the effects of endometrial ablation within a week or so. However, a doctor might advise her to refrain from any strenuous activities and also lifting any weights. She will also stop having sex and using sanitary napkins for the time being. A person requires at least 4-6 weeks to recover from hysterectomy. In this case too, a person is advised not to indulge in any strenuous activities and not to lift any weights. Any type of treatment undertaken for abnormal uterine bleeding requires a regular follow-up with the doctor and adherence to the guidelines that are recommended.

How long does Abnormal Uterine Bleeding last?

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is a condition of any deviation from the normal bleeding conditions. Usually, in normal menstrual cycles, the bleeding phase or periods continue up to four to six days on an average and may vary around this range. However, in case of any abnormalities such as Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, the phase for the menstruation is extended up to 7 days or even more than that.

Summary: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is a common pathology of women’s bodies that is related to heavy or prolonged bleeding during menstruation. Menstrual bleeding occurs for around six days normally but in the abnormal condition, it gets extended up to 7 days or more.

Does Abnormal Uterine Bleeding go away?

Abnormal uterine which arises as a result of any abnormality in the menstrual cycle is a normal condition in females that occurs commonly. It can resolve itself in most cases without undergoing any kind of specific treatment. Hormone level disturbance which is a common cause for the condition can be normalized spontaneously and improved over a certain period of time leading to a regularity in the length of the phases of the menstrual cycle. Some self-care techniques and home remedies are also helpful in treating the condition.

Summary: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is quite a common condition and may be a result of hormonal imbalance. It can get resolved spontaneously without any need for urgent medical care and attention.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes about 4-6 weeks for a woman to resume with her normal activities after hysterectomy. A person undergoing endometrial ablation will take a week to recover. A person will take some time to recover if she has undergone the dilation and curettage treatment. The doctor may advise her to avoid having sex, or not to use douche or tampons.

How do you stop Abnormal Uterine Bleeding naturally?

Some of the natural ways which are preferred to be followed to control and manage the condition of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding include the following:

  • Some changes in the lifestyle include the application of menstrual cups.
  • Use of applications such as heating pads which can ease the symptoms like abdominal cramps and severe pain.
  • Using period panties for better sleep during such discomforting conditions.
  • Proper and adequate rest is also an important factor that is beneficial in such conditions.
  • Regular exercises such as breathing exercises and yoga. these act as a stress reliever.
  • Adequate hydration of the body is much needed.
  • Intake of sufficient supplements that are rich in iron, vitamin C along with minerals and vitamins.
Summary: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding commonly occurs in females as a result of hormonal imbalance or improper diet and lifestyle. However, it can be controlled and managed by improving the same.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of hysterectomy in India varies from Rs 1, 80,000 to Rs 2,20,000. Installing an intrauterine device can cost something around Rs 10000 in our country. Endometrial dilation is expensive and the average price of the procedure is close to Rs 2, 00,000. However, in some cases, it can go up to more than Rs 3,50,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Hysterectomy and endometrial ablation are surgical procedures that require the complete or partial removal of the uterus. These treatments may prove to be a permanent solution for abnormal uterine bleeding problem. However, the dilation and curettage treatment may not always provide permanent results. The bleeding may start again if there is any problem in the uterus. Birth control pills are used to prevent the wall of the uterus from getting heavy. However, this is not a permanent solution as the bleeding might resume once a patient is off the pills.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A person suffering from abnormal uterine bleeding should incorporate foods like whole grains, fresh ripe fruits and fresh vegetables and fish like sardines and tuna so that her body receives the required nourishment. Adequate intake of foods rich in iron is required to deal with this condition. Ginger has well-known healing properties and helps to deal with the excessive bleeding from the uterus. Furthermore, hemostat agent therapy can be used to treat people suffering from dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

Key Highlights

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Medium

Side Effects: High

Time For Recovery: Medium

Price Range: Rs 10,000 to Rs 3,50,000

Summary: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding is a physiological condition in women which is related to an abnormality in the menstrual cycle. Usually, in normal menstrual cycles, the bleeding phase continues up to four to six days which may vary. However, in case of any abnormalities such as Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, the phase for the menstruation is extended up to 7 days or even more than that. It can be controlled or managed in natural ways including self-care techniques and home remedies.


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Written ByDr. Anand Bhatt MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecolog,PG Diploma in IVF & Reproductive Medicine,Advanced Infertility & ART trainin,MBBS,Diploma in Minimal Access SurgeryGynaecology
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