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Abnormal (Dysfunctional) Uterine Bleeding

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is uterine bleeding that is not usual for you. It may also be called dysfunctional uterine bleeding. You may have bleeding from your uterus at times other than your normal monthly period. Your monthly periods may last longer or shorter, and bleeding may be heavier or lighter than usual. AUB can be acute (lasting a short time) or chronic (lasting longer than 6 months).

Female Reproductive System

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You continue to bleed heavily, or you feel faint.

Call your doctor or gynecologist if:

  • You need to change your sanitary pad or tampon more than 1 time each hour.
  • Your medicine causes nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Hormones help decrease bleeding by making your monthly periods more regular. Sometimes this medicine may be given as birth control pills.
  • Iron supplements may be given if your blood iron level decreases because of heavy bleeding. Iron may make you constipated. Ask your healthcare provider for ways to prevent or treat constipation. Iron may also make your bowel movements turn dark or black.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Apply heat on your lower abdomen to decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
  • Include foods high in iron if needed. Examples of foods high in iron are leafy green vegetables, beef, pork, liver, eggs, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • Keep a diary of your menstrual cycles. Keep track of the number of tampons or pads you use each day.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before you start a weight loss program. You may need to wait until the abnormal bleeding has stopped before you try to lose weight. The amount of iron in your blood should be normal before you lose weight. Ask your provider if weight loss will help your AUB. He or she can tell you what weight is healthy for you. He or she can help you create a safe weight loss plan, if needed.

Follow up with your doctor or gynecologist as directed:

You may need to return in 4 to 6 months so your provider knows if the AUB has stopped. Bring the diary of your menstrual cycles to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.