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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding - Topic Overview

Let your doctor know if you have abnormal uterine bleeding. There are many ways to help treat it. 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.
  • Use of the levonorgestrel IUD, which releases a progesterone-like hormone into the uterus. This reduces bleeding while preventing pregnancy.
  • Hysteroscopy to remove polyps or fibroids.
  • 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 abnormal uterine bleeding:

  • What is abnormal uterine bleeding?
  • What causes it?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What increases my risk of abnormal uterine bleeding?

Being diagnosed:

  • How is abnormal uterine bleeding diagnosed?

Getting treatment:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 10, 2014
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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