Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Topic Overview

    This topic is for women who want to learn about or have been diagnosed with abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). It is related to abnormal changes in hormone levels. If you don't know what kind of bleeding you have, see the topic Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding.

    Abnormal uterine bleeding is irregular bleeding from the uterus. For example, you may get your period more often than every 21 days or farther apart than 35 days. Your period may last longer than 7 days. Abnormal uterine bleeding has also been called dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). It is not serious, but it can be annoying and can disrupt your life.

    In most cases, this problem is related to abnormal changes in hormone levels. It is not caused by other medical conditions, such as miscarriage, fibroids, cancer, or blood clotting problems. Your doctor will rule out these and other causes of vaginal bleeding to confirm that you have abnormal uterine bleeding.

    Abnormal uterine bleeding is usually caused by changes in hormone levels. In some cases the cause of the bleeding isn't known.

    Normally one of your ovaries releases an egg during your menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation. Abnormal uterine bleeding is often triggered when women don't ovulate. This causes abnormal changes in hormone levels and in some cases can lead to unexpected vaginal bleeding.

    Women can also get this condition even though they ovulate, although this is less common. Experts don't fully understand this type of vaginal bleeding. It may be caused by changes in certain body chemicals.

    You may have abnormal uterine bleeding if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

    • You get your period more often than every 21 days or farther apart than 35 days. A normal adult menstrual cycle is 21 to 35 days long. A normal teen cycle is 21 to 45 days.
    • Your period lasts longer than 7 days (normally 4 to 6 days).
    • Your bleeding is heavier than normal. If you are passing blood clots and soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours, your bleeding is considered severe and you should call your doctor.

    Talk to your doctor if you have had irregular vaginal bleeding for three or more menstrual cycles or if your symptoms are affecting your daily life.


      Today on WebMD

      hands on abdomen
      Test your knowledge.
      womans hand on abdomen
      Are you ready for baby?
      birth control pills
      Learn about your options.
      Is it menopause or something else?
      woman in bathtub
      bp app on smartwatch and phone
      estrogen gene

      Send yourself a link to download the app.

      Loading ...

      Please wait...

      This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


      Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

      Blood pressure check
      hot water bottle on stomach
      Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror