Vaginal Bleeding - Treatment

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What types of treatment, medication, or surgery did you receive for irregular vaginal bleeding?

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How is irregular vaginal bleeding treated?

Medications for treatment of irregular vaginal bleeding depend on the cause. Examples are described below:

  • If the cause of the bleeding is lack of ovulation (anovulation), doctors may prescribe either progesterone to be taken at regular intervals, or an oral contraceptive, which contains progesterone, to achieve a proper hormonal balance. Such treatment dramatically decreases the risk of uterine cancer in women who do not ovulate.
  • If the cause of irregular vaginal bleeding is a precancerous change in the lining of the uterus, progesterone medications may be prescribed to reduce the buildup of precancerous uterine lining tissues in an attempt to avoid surgery.
  • When a woman has been without menses for less than six months and is bleeding irregularly, the cause may be menopausal transition. During this transition, a woman is sometimes offered an oral contraceptive to establish a more regular bleeding pattern, to provide contraception until she completes menopause, and to relieve hot flashes. A woman who is found to be menopausal as the cause of her irregular bleeding may  also receive menopause counseling if she has troubling symptoms.
  • If the cause of irregular vaginal bleeding is polyps or other benign growths, these are sometimes removed surgically to control bleeding because they cannot be treated with medication.
  • If the cause of bleeding is infection, antibiotics are necessary. Bleeding during pregnancy requires urgent evaluation by an obstetrician. Endometriosis can be treated with medications and/or surgery (such as laparoscopy).
  • Sometimes, the cause of excessive bleeding is not apparent after completion of testing (dysfunctional uterine bleeding). In these cases, oral contraceptives can improve cycle control and lessen bleeding.
  • If bleeding is excessive and cannot be controlled by medication, a surgical procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) may be necessary. In addition to alleviating the excessive bleeding, the D&C provides tissue that can be analyzed for additional information that can rule out abnormalities of the lining of the uterus.
  • Occasionally, a hysterectomy is necessary when hormonal medications cannot control excessive bleeding. However, unless the cause is pre-cancerous or cancerous, this surgery should only be an option after other solutions have been tried.

Many new procedures are being developed to treat certain types of irregular vaginal bleeding. For example, studies are underway to evaluate techniques that selectively block the blood vessels involved in the bleeding. These newer methods may be less complicated options for some patients and as they are further evaluated they will likely become more widely available.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Bebe, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I am 46 years old with 3 children. Since 2010 I am bleeding heavily. I had a sterilization in 2009 and had a normal cycle until this happened. It started out for 5 days and 2011 it changes to 10 days. I go every month to the nearest clinic for my checkups. They gave me hormonal tablets and tablets to stop the bleeding, they did all the necessary test but the bleeding is 15 days a month now and it's a big inconvenience and expense for me. I get black outs, heavy sweats and heart palpitations during those times.

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