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Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB)

  • Alternative Names

    Anovulatory bleeding; Bleeding - dysfunctional uterine; DUB; Abnormal uterine bleeding; Menorrhagia - dysfunctional; Polymenorrhea - dysfunctional; Metrorrhagia - dysfunctional


    Young women within a few years of their first period are often not treated unless symptoms are very severe, such as heavy blood loss causing anemia.

    In other women, the goal of treatment is to control the menstrual cycle.

    • Oral birth control pills or progesterone only pills are often used
    • An intrauterine device (IUD) that releases the hormone progestin can be very helpful for heavy bleeding and pain

    The health care provider may recommend iron supplements for women with anemia.

    If you want to get pregnant, you may be given medication to stimulate ovulation.

    Women whose symptoms are severe and do not respond to medical therapy may need surgical treatments including:

    • Endometrial ablation or resection - destroying (cauterizing) or removing the lning of the uterus will often stop or reduce the amount of menstrual bleeding
    • Hysterectomy - performed less often than in the past
    • D and C - for diagnosis and to remove polyps

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Hormone therapy usually relieves symptoms. As long as there is no problem with anemia (low blood count), no treatment is needed.

    • Infertility from lack of ovulation
    • Severe anemia from prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding
    • Buildup of the uterine lining without enough menstrual bleeding (a possible factor in the development of endometrial cancer)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have unusual vaginal bleeding.