Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)
As tough and hardcore as many women are, there is a part of us that is delicate and can be upset easily - our reproductive systems. Just a few glitches in the hormones and the deed is done, you're having a problem. One such hormonal situation that can occur is called Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding, or DUB. Changes in hormone levels cause confusion in the reproductive organs and irregular uterine bleeding occurs.
What Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding Is Not
We all have different menstrual cycles. Theoretically, a woman's period occurs every 28 days. However, most women have cycles that run from 24 to 34 days and teenage girls have periods that can run from 21 to 45 days or more. While this isn't a serious thing in terms of health - it can be quite annoying. Most often, this variance in days of menstruation is caused by changes in hormonal levels. This irregular bleeding is NOT caused by conditions like:
· blood clotting problems
· uterine polyps
· cervical cysts
Any of these and other causes must be ruled out by your physician before you receive a diagnosis of DUB.
Hormonal Changes and DUB
The cause of DUB is usually attributed to hormonal changes. However, in some cases, the cause is not known. In a normal menstrual cycle, one of the ovaries releases an egg. This process is called ovulation. In more than 95% of cases, DUB is triggered when women do not ovulate. This act alone causes fluctuations in hormone levels that can lead to uterine bleeding. This condition is uncommon in women who do ovulate, although it does happen on occasion and experts still don't fully understand the causes.
The Characteristics of DUB
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is characterized by the following symptoms:
· Your period comes more frequently than every 21 days or farther apart than 45 days. Remember, a "normal" cycle is 24 to 34 days for female adults and 21 to 45 days for teenage girls.
· Your period exceeds seven days. The norm is between 4 to 6 days.
· Your bleeding is heavier than usual. Often it seems like you're flowing like a river but total menstrual flow per month seldom exceeds two or three tablespoons. However, if you are passing clots and soaking through your usual pads or tampons every hour for a couple of hours, you are bleeding severely and need to call a doctor.
· There is bleeding or spotting between periods.
· The time between periods changes.