What is Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding?

Do you suffer from excessive menstrual bleeding, or what the medical world terms as Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)?


Normally women menstruate once a month for 4 to 7 days and lose less than half a cup of blood. Frequent, prolonged and heavy bleeding results in chronic blood loss causing anaemia.

Heavy menstruation is usually described as flooding, large clots, changing pads frequently and during the night. Two thirds of women do not perceive this as being abnormal and never consult a physician.

The most common cause of abnormal bleeding is hormonal imbalance. This is more prevalent after the age of 40 as the patient approaches menopause. Benign growths within the cavity or the wall of the uterus, bleeding disorders, and chronic kidney and liver ailments can also cause abnormal bleeding. Your doctor should conduct a thorough medical examination to diagnose the cause of your DUB. Following this examination, you may be faced with several options for treatment.

1. Drug Therapy

The first line of action is most often drug therapy, usually being hormone replacement. There are many different types of hormones in varying doses, and in different forms (tablets, hormonal intrauterine devices, patches) It must also be noted that drug therapy may be a continuous treatment that you have to endure until you reach menopause. Some patients suffer from side effects associated with these drugs: depressive tendency, weight gain, and others. For some women this is the answer but the ineffectiveness of many of the drug prescribed by physicians for DUB, has resulted in a large proportion of women being referred for possible surgical management.

2. D & C

A dilatation and curettage us a procedure in which the physician manually scrapes away the endometriosis lining, which can possibly reduce the menstrual bleeding for several cycles. It is a method still used, even though excessive menstrual bleeding eventually returns. Physicians agree it is not a long term solution, but it is a method which can be used to retrieve a specimen of the endometrium for analysis.

3. Hysterectomy

It is an operation in which the “womb” or uterus is removed. The operation lasts on average 60 minutes. It is a definite cure for DUB, but it must not be forgotten that it is a major surgery. The hospital stay is approximately 5 days. Typical recovery time is 6 weeks but some women need up to 4 months for a complete recovery. Apart from the long recovery period, there are all the risks normally associated with major surgery, which your doctor can explain to you. There have also been studies noting psychosexual dysfunction, depression or psychological distress, and other side-effects.

4. Ablation

A third method called “ablation”, starts with the distension of the uterus using liquid. The physician places a device inside your uterus to view which areas need to be burned or peeled away to stop the bleeding. The Physicians that perform these procedure must be highly trained, and not every doctor has the skills to do these operations. Some of the risks involved include the body absorbing too much fluid in the uterus which can cause serious problems. Other complications may include the uterus tearing and perforating.

5. Cavatern

The Cavaterm is a revolutionary minimally invasive technique that offers a long-term treatment for DUB. It is a balloon endometrial destruction device which is simple and effective. The Cavaterm system is safe and easy to use.

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