Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
A uterine hemorrhage is an instance of excessive blood-letting by blood vessels inside the uterus. This bleeding is usually not related to menstruation, except in the case of anovulation, and is considered abnormal and an occasion for medical emergency. The hemorrhage generally results in rapid bleeding that can cause a woman to lose so much blood that she lapses into shock. Neoplasms, pregnancy trauma, and anovulation account for the majority of abnormal bleeding cases in the uterus. Often, chronic or infectious diseases can also cause a uterine hemorrhage.
Common causes may include:
Anovulation — Lack of normal menstrual bleeding due to problems with hormone secretion by the ovary. A doctor can usually diagnose anovulation by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. Blood tests for hormone levels are sometimes helpful. Treatment usually involves medication to correct the hormone imbalance.
Abnormalities of the vagina and cervix — Infections or other conditions of the vagina and cervix can cause bleeding, though the bleeding is usually light and may be associated with intercourse. Post-menopausal women may have thinning of the vaginal walls, which can lead to light bleeding. Abnormalities of the cervix, including cervical cancer, also can cause bleeding. These conditions can be diagnosed by physical examination and office tests.
Endometrial polyps — These are benign growths in the uterine lining that can lead to irregular uterine bleeding. They can be removed by hysteroscopy, a procedure in which a slender telescope is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterine cavity to allow examination of the cavity and removal of the polyps.
Endometrial cancer — In women who have experienced menopause, abnormal bleeding can sometimes be a sign of endometrial cancer, or cancer of the lining of the uterus. This usually can be diagnosed by tests in the office, including an endometrial biopsy, in which some cells are removed from the endometrius. Endometrial cancer can be treated with surgery if diagnosed early.
Uterine Fibroids — Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) growths that develop within the uterus. Most women with fibroids have no symptoms and don't need treatment. When symptoms occur, women should seek medical attention.
One national study found that menstrual disorders were the reason for 19.1 percent of 20.1 million visits to physician offices for gynecologic conditions over a two-year period. Furthermore, a reported 25 percent of gynecologic surgeries involve uterine hemorrhage.
Symptoms of uterine hemorrhagemay include:
Periods that occurs less than 28 days apart (more common) or more than 35 days apart.
Time between periods changes each month.
Heavier bleeding (such as passing large clots, needing to change protection during the night, soaking through a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for 2 - 3 hours in a row).
Bleeding lasts for more days than normal or for more than 7 days.
Bleeding or spotting from the vagina between periods.
Other symptoms caused by changes in hormone levels may include:
Tenderness and dryness of the vagina.
Excessive growth of body hair in a male pattern (hirsutism).
A medical history and gynecologic examination are useful in identifying the cause of abnormal uterine hemorrhage. Other tests may include endometrial biopsy, in which a small amount of tissue is removed from the uterine cavity to assist in making a diagnosis; hormone tests; or ultrasound. Hysteroscopy, a procedure during which a tiny "telescope" is placed into the uterine cavity to examine the cavity, can also be helpful.
Palliative treatment of obstinate cases of uterine hemorrhage is often most unsatisfactory. The rational plan will be always to bear in mind the cause, if that is discoverable. The hygienic measure consists of rest in bed during the most excessive part of the flow, freedom from mental disturbance, passive exercise, the use of nutritious diet, non-irritating food, the avoidance of stimulants and residence in a temperate or cold climate.
Uterine hemorrhage may be treated with hormones such as oral contraceptive pills. Sometimes hysteroscopy is required to remove a polyp or small fibroid. Heavy bleeding often can be decreased or stopped by endometrial ablation, a procedure in which the uterine lining is removed or destroyed. Some women choose hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, as the most definitive way of ending abnormal bleeding once and for all.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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