Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, also known as DUB, is abnormal bleeding that occurs due to a change in hormone levels. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding often occurs as a result of high estrogen levels that are not balanced by an appropriate level of progesterone. This prevents an egg from being released, thickens the uterine lining and causes it to shed irregularly.

Symptoms of dysfunctional uterine bleeding may include:

  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Periods that are less than 28 days apart
  • Periods that are more than 35 days apart
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menstrual bleeding lasting longer than 7 days
  • Anemia

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding occurs most often in women over the age of 45, as well as in many adolescent girls. It is classified as periods that occur more often than every 21 days or fewer than every 35 days, last more than 7 days and are heavier than normal.

Diagnostic tests will need to be conducted to rule out the causes of abnormal bleeding. Treatment will depend on age, severity of bleeding and whether or not a future pregnancy is considered. Treatment options may include oral contraceptives, medication to stimulate ovulation, dilation and curettage, endometrial ablation or even a hysterectomy.