Everything You Need to Know About Uterine Hemorrhages
Uterine hemorrhages tend to appear for a variety of reasons, including stress. They can be common in older women as well as teens. Even if they appear to be isolated, it's always best to determine their cause to avoid future complications.
General considerations regarding uterine hemorrhages
A uterine hemorrhage is considered to be normal when it’s part of a woman’s menstrual period and appears every 28 days, lasts 5 days, and is not excessive. Any alteration of one’s normal symptoms in regards to frequency, duration and quantity constitutes a dysfunctional or abnormal uterine hemorrhage.
The symptoms of abnormal uterine hemorrhages
The most frequent symptoms are:
- Hemorrhage following sexual intercourse
- Abundant bleeding during the day for no apparent reasons
- Bleeding after menopause
- Spotting or excessive bleeding between periods
- Excessive bleeding along with blood clots during menstruation
Other symptoms related to this bleeding include: anemia, drastic mood swings, fits of anger, vaginal dryness, tiredness, fatigue.
The possible causes of dysfunctional uterine hemorrrhages
Uterine hemorrhages can be the result of multiple causes, from structural anomalies in the uterus to serious complications like tumors. Other causes include:
- Structural abnormalities of the endometrium
- Anovolutaorious periods – in others words, without ovulations
- Endometrial polyps, myomas or fibroids
- Vaginal lesions that are the result of using intrauterine devices
- Hormonal medications or disorders that affect the production of estrogen or progesterone.
- Thyroid illness or illness related to the suprarenal glands
- Radical weight changes
- The presence of cancer or infections in the uterus
The menstrual cycle is different for every woman. Therefore, it’s best to determine the cause of uterine hemorrhage through physical examination as well as blood tests and ultrasound.
Types of dysfunctional hemorrhage or bleeding
Given the variations that occur during the bleeding, an expert will determine what type of bleeding exists in order to make a diagnosis. The most common types of bleeding involved in an abnormal uterine hemorrhage are:
- Polymenorrhea. These are hemorrhages with interruptions that are excessively short or frequent. In other words, menstrual cycles that last 21 days or less. The bleeding in itself is normal as far as quantity and duration.
- Hypermenorrhea. Consists of abundant bleeding that lasts more than 7 days.
- Polymenorrhagia. Excessive bleeding that lasts more than 7 days and occurs with a frequency of 21 days or less.
- Acyclic hemorrhage. Abnormal bleeding that is unrelated to the menstrual cycle.
- Metrorrhagia. This is irregular bleeding that varies in intensity and throws the menstrual cycle off balance.
- Intermenstrual hemorrhage. Refers to bleeding that occurs between one period and the next.
Complications related to uterine hemorrhages
Constant profuse bleeding can produce serious complications to a woman’s health. The most common complications are:
- Increased risk of suffering endometrial cancer
- Chronic anemia due to excessive bleeding
- Inability to become pregnant. This may be because of a lack of ovulation or because of hormonal disorders
- Poor quality of life due to tiredness and fatigue
However, women can avoid complications by consulting with their doctor in the case of any abnormal bleeding.
“Any alteration of one’s normal symptoms in regards to frequency, duration and quantity constitutes a dysfunctional or abnormal uterine hemorrhage”
Methods used for diagnosing and treating uterine hemorrhages
A doctor will need to determine a precise diagnosis in order to choose the best method of treatment. In order to properly diagnose a uterine hemorrhage, the doctor will order the following:
- Physical examination.
- Blood tests that measure hormone levels and detect certains pathologies. The doctor will also order a pregnancy test, if applicable, to rule out hemorrhages related to embryo implantation.
- Pelvic, abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds, biopsy, curettage and tomography.
Based on the doctor’s diagnosis, treatment can involve the following:
- Medication-based treatment: This may involve estrogen or progesterone pills, oral contraceptives, non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication, and antifibrinolytics. This treatment should be accompanied by a balanced diet that is high in nutrients and vitamins in order to compensate for those lost through bleeding.
- Supplements that contain iron or that stimulate ovulation.
- If the cause of abnormal uterine hemorrhage is a fibroid, myoma or polyps, then a doctor will determine if surgery is necessary.
The idea is to attack the cause of bleeding in order to improve symptoms.
Uterine hemorrhages can be the sign of a serious issue, so it’s critical that women seek proper diagnosis to determine the cause. If you have any sort of abnormal bleeding, consult with a trusted doctor as soon as possible.