Dysfunctional uterine bleeding

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is irregular vaginal bleeding that is not caused by a serious medical problem, such as miscarriage or cancer. In most cases, dysfunctional uterine bleeding is related to changes in hormone levels.

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is:

  • Menstrual bleeding that occurs more often than every 21 days (a normal menstrual cycle is 21 to 35 days long).
  • Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days (normally 4 to 6 days).
  • Blood loss of more than 80 mL (3 fl oz) each menstrual cycle [normally about 30 mL (1 fl oz)].

Treatment options include:

  • Waiting to see if symptoms get better on their own.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Surgery, such as hysterectomy or endometrial ablation.

Women with dysfunctional uterine bleeding should be examined for other causes of symptoms and tested for anemia (low red blood cell count).

Last Updated: February 9, 2010

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Femi Olatunbosun - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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