Dysfunctional uterine bleeding can mean several different things, including heavy menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods. Dysfunctional or abnormal bleeding refers to any bleeding that occurs outside of a regular menstrual period. Fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, miscarriages, and abnormally heavy blood flow during a menstrual period are all types of dysfunctional or irregular bleeding. While many of these conditions may clear up on their own, bleeding that is caused by a serious health condition such as a miscarriage or endometriosis, may require a surgical procedure to help repair any damage or restore proper function to the uterus.
Abnormal bleeding can be controlled in several ways. If the bleeding is caused by a hormonal imbalance, the use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy may be used to bring the body back in balance. When the bleeding is caused by endometriosis or fibroids, surgically removing the fibroids and lesions may help to minimize the bleeding. A procedure known as an endometrial ablation involves surgically removing the lining of the uterus. This is an alternative to having a partial or complete hysterectomy and will eliminate future menstrual periods. The woman can prefer, however, to have the hysterectomy and eliminate any future reproductive problems.
Abnormal or dysfunctional uterine bleeding that is increasingly heavy will result in excessive blood loss. This blood loss can have a detrimental effect on the rest of the body. When large amounts of blood are lost, the number of red blood cells in the body also decreases. When the red blood count drops too low, the result is a condition known as anemia. Anemia is also associated with a Vitamin B12 deficiency. The symptoms of anemia include pale skin, chills, headaches, lack of energy, and a poor circulation. Tissues throughout the body become oxygen and nutrient deprived because there are not enough red blood cells to carry what is needed to all areas of the body.
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