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Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding - Topic Overview

There are many things you can do to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Some are meant to return the menstrual cycle to normal. Others are used to reduce bleeding or to stop monthly periods. Each treatment works for some women but not others. Treatments include:

  • Hormones, such as a progestin pill or daily birth control pill (progestin and estrogen). These hormones help control the menstrual cycle and reduce bleeding and cramping.
  • A short course of high-dose estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that is often used to stop dangerously heavy bleeding.
  • Use of the levonorgestrel IUD, which releases a progesterone-like hormone into the uterus. This reduces bleeding while preventing pregnancy.
  • Rarely used medicines that stop estrogen production and menstruation, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormones. These drugs can cause severe side effects but are used in special cases.
  • Surgery, such as endometrial ablation or hysterectomy, when other treatments do not work.

If you also have menstrual pain or heavy bleeding, you can take regular doses of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen.

In some cases, doctors use watchful waiting, or a wait-and-see approach. It may be okay for a teen or for a woman nearing menopause. Some teens have times of irregular vaginal bleeding. This usually gets better over time as hormone levels even out. Women in menopause can expect their periods to stop. They may choose to wait and see if this happens before they try other treatments.

Learning about dysfunctional uterine bleeding:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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