Uterine bleeding, also known as uterine hemorrhage or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), refers to any bleeding that occurs from the uterus (womb) that is not a part of the normal menstrual cycle. This type of bleeding can occur at various times during a woman’s reproductive years and may be caused by a wide range of factors.
There are different types of uterine bleeding, including:
- Menorrhagia: This is characterized by heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts for a longer duration than usual (typically more than 7 days) and may involve passing large blood clots.
- Metrorrhagia: This refers to irregular bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Menometrorrhagia: This combines the characteristics of both menorrhagia and metrorrhagia, where menstrual bleeding is heavy and prolonged, and irregular bleeding occurs between periods.
- Amenorrhea: This is the absence of menstrual periods for an extended period, often due to factors like pregnancy, menopause, or underlying health conditions.
Uterine bleeding can be caused by various underlying factors, including hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths in the uterus), polyps, endometriosis, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), certain medications, bleeding disorders, thyroid disorders, and, rarely, cancer.
Treatment for uterine bleeding depends on the underlying cause and may involve hormonal therapies, medications to control bleeding, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery in more severe cases. The specific treatment approach will be determined by a healthcare provider based on the individual’s diagnosis and medical history.
Why Does Uterine Bleeding Occur?
Uterine bleeding can occur for various reasons, and it often stems from underlying health issues or changes in hormonal balance. Here are some common causes of uterine bleeding:
- Hormonal Imbalances: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle and lead to uterine bleeding. These imbalances can be caused by factors such as stress, obesity, extreme weight loss, thyroid disorders, or certain medications.
- Uterine Fibroids: Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterine muscle tissue. Depending on their size and location, fibroids can cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, as well as irregular bleeding.
- Uterine Polyps: Uterine polyps are small, benign growths that can form on the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium). They may cause irregular bleeding or heavy menstrual periods.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. This tissue can bleed and cause pain, particularly during menstruation.
- Adenomyosis: Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows into the muscular walls of the uterus. This can lead to heavy bleeding and painful periods.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs, often caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can lead to inflammation and bleeding in the uterus.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as blood thinners or hormonal treatments, may contribute to uterine bleeding as a side effect.
- Pregnancy Complications: During pregnancy, bleeding can occur due to complications like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus), or placental abnormalities.
- Cancer: While less common, uterine bleeding can be a symptom of uterine cancer or cervical cancer. It’s important to rule out these serious conditions, especially in postmenopausal women.
- Menopause: Perimenopausal women may experience irregular bleeding as they approach menopause, which is a natural transition marked by hormonal changes.
- IUD Use: Some women with intrauterine devices (IUDs) may experience irregular bleeding, especially during the initial months after insertion.
- Bleeding Disorders: Certain bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand disease or platelet disorders, can cause excessive or abnormal uterine bleeding.
What are Some Symptoms of Uterine Bleeding?
Uterine bleeding can manifest with various symptoms, and the specific symptoms a person experiences can vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Common symptoms of uterine bleeding include:
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia): Excessive menstrual flow that may require changing sanitary products frequently (e.g., every hour) or experiencing periods that last longer than 7 days.
- Irregular Menstrual Bleeding (Metrorrhagia): Bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods, often characterized by unpredictable and irregular spotting or bleeding episodes.
- Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding: Menstrual periods that extend beyond the typical duration of 5-7 days.
- Bleeding Between Periods: Unexpected vaginal bleeding that occurs outside of the regular menstrual cycle.
- Passing Blood Clots: The passage of large blood clots during menstrual periods.
- Menstrual Pain: Increased menstrual cramps or pelvic pain during periods, which can be associated with conditions like endometriosis or adenomyosis.
- Pelvic Discomfort: Persistent or intermittent pelvic pain or discomfort, which may not always coincide with menstrual bleeding.
- Anemia: Symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath, due to chronic blood loss.
- Changes in Menstrual Cycle: Changes in the regularity and predictability of the menstrual cycle, including skipped periods or variations in the timing of menstrual periods.
- Postmenopausal Bleeding: Vaginal bleeding that occurs in women who have already gone through menopause. Postmenopausal bleeding should always be evaluated by a healthcare provider as it can be a sign of serious underlying conditions, including cancer.
- Bleeding After Intercourse: Vaginal bleeding that occurs after sexual intercourse, which may be associated with conditions like cervical polyps or infections.
How to Naturally Manage Uterine Bleeding?
Natural approaches to managing uterine bleeding can be helpful for some individuals, particularly when the bleeding is mild or related to hormonal fluctuations. Here are some natural strategies that may help manage uterine bleeding:
- Diet and Nutrition: Iron-Rich Foods: Consume iron-rich foods like spinach, lean meats, beans, and fortified cereals to prevent or manage anemia caused by heavy bleeding. Foods High in Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, so include citrus fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries in your diet.
- Herbal Remedies: Some herbs, such as ginger, cinnamon, and yarrow, are believed to have properties that can help regulate menstrual bleeding. You can brew teas or incorporate these herbs into your diet. Raspberry leaf tea is often used to support uterine health and may help reduce heavy bleeding.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Manage Stress: High stress levels can contribute to hormonal imbalances. Engage in relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to reduce stress. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess body fat can lead to hormonal disruptions. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight may help regulate menstrual cycles.
- Hydration: Staying well-hydrated can help support overall health and may have a positive impact on menstrual regularity.
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help regulate hormones and promote overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Acupuncture: Some individuals find relief from menstrual irregularities through acupuncture, which involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body.
- Supplements: Some individuals may benefit from supplements like iron, vitamin C, or herbs like chasteberry (Vitex) to help manage uterine bleeding.
- Adequate Sleep: Prioritize a consistent sleep schedule and aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as sleep plays a role in hormonal balance.
- Maintain a Menstrual Diary: Keeping track of your menstrual cycles and symptoms can help identify patterns and changes over time, which can be valuable information to share with a healthcare provider.
- Heat Therapy: Applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen may help alleviate menstrual cramps and discomfort.
The ten modern lifestyle root causes for hormonal imbalance related to PCOS that may on some level lead to problems with Uterine Bleeding are:
- Food Related Causes– Inflammation, toxicity, acidity, excess male hormones, insulin resistance.
- Exercise Related Causes: Sedentary lifestyle, lack of muscle strength, excess ovarian fat.
- Sleep Related Causes: Poor sleep quality (Lack of Deep Sleep).
- Stress Related Causes: Chronic Stress. Addressing these triggers through an integrated approach can naturally restore hormonal balance.
How can the Five Pillars Integrated Lifestyle Approach Help You to Have Hormonal Balance and Help With Uterine Bleeding?
- Eat Right: Embrace living, water-rich, whole, plant-based foods that nurture our genetic potential. By opting for local and seasonal choices, we honor nature’s wisdom. Eliminating packaged and processed foods liberates us from epigenetic imprints, elevating our hormonal health.
- Move More: Embark on a journey of holistic lifestyle changes, where staying active transcends mere exercise. Embracing constant movement throughout the day optimizes epigenetic expression, igniting hormonal balance. Engage in pleasurable physical activities, dance, or even mindful walks to unlock the power of epigenetic triggers.
- Breathe Aware: As we deepen our understanding of Pranayama, the science of breath, we access a profound gateway to support gland function and harmonize hormones. Harnessing the breath’s epigenetic influence, we transcend the ordinary and elevate our hormonal well-being.
- Sleep Better: Unlock the secrets of deep sleep, a transformative practice for healing and regeneration. With the art of Yog Nidra to avoid being sleep deprived, we embrace epigenetic potential, unearthing hormonal harmony in the realm of dreams. Rejuvenate your entire being through this exquisite dance with the epigenetic clock to stop feeling sleep deprived.
- Mind Free: Journey into the realm of emotions, thoughts, and stress resilience, where journaling, gratitude, and emotional practices become our guiding compass. Embracing epigenetic intelligence, we shift our narrative from stress to serenity, empowering our hormonal landscape.