Understanding fibroids and abnormal uterine bleeding

Symptoms of internal bleeding and shock

An intrauterine device IUD Another possible reason for abnormal bleeding is a physical problem with your uterus. Millions of women have fibroids -- noncancerous tumors that grow in the muscles of the wall of the uterus.

An intrauterine device IUD Another possible reason for abnormal bleeding is a physical problem with your uterus. Millions of women have fibroids -- noncancerous tumors that grow in the muscles of the wall of the uterus. A polyp is another kind of growth that can form in the lining of your uterus. And a condition called adenomyosis causes the endometrium to grow into the tissue of the uterus.

These are much less common, but abnormal uterine bleeding also can be caused by: Bleeding or clotting disorders or blood-thinning medicines Cancer of the cervix , endometrium, or uterus Illnesses that affect your kidneys , liver , thyroid , or adrenal glands Infection of your cervix or endometrium How Is It Diagnosed?

It can help to take detailed notes over a few cycles so you can give your doctor specific information about your symptoms. Heavy bleeding can leave your body short of iron. It can also show if your hormones are out of balance or if you have a blood disorder or chronic disease. This uses sound waves to make images of the inside of your uterus so your doctor can look for fibroids or polyps.

Your doctor will look inside your uterus with a tiny lighted scope that they put in through your cervix. Your doctor may take out a small piece of tissue so it can be checked under a microscope for abnormal cells. Magnetic resonance imaging scan: This uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make detailed pictures of your uterus. Treatment This will depend on the cause of the abnormal uterine bleeding -- if a chronic illness or a blood disorder is at the root of your symptoms, treating that can help.

Continued Your treatment also can depend on whether you plan to have children. It might not be safe to get pregnant after some treatments, while others can make it impossible. Drugs are usually the first thing your doctor will try: Birth control pills and other hormone treatments may be able to give you regular menstrual cycles and lighter periods. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists GnRHa. These stop your body from making certain hormones. If you take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen a few days before your period starts, they may help lighten the bleeding.

This is a pill that helps your blood clot and can control heavy uterine bleeding. For some women, an IUD that releases a hormone called progestin can stop heavy bleeding. Sometimes surgery can be needed to stop the bleeding: This uses heat, cold, electricity, or a laser to destroy the lining of the uterus. It may end your periods entirely. Myomectomy or uterine artery embolization.

If you have fibroids, your doctor may take them out or cut off the vessels that supply them with blood. This is when your uterus is taken out. You may need a hysterectomy if your fibroids are very large or you have endometrial or uterine cancer.

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To diagnose DUB, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history and the history of your cycle. These answers will help them determine your risks for certain reproductive disorders like PCOS and endometriosis.

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