Understanding fibroids and abnormal uterine bleeding


>>Sawson As-Asanie, M.D., MPH: My name
is Sawson As-Asanie, and I’m the director of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
Program at the University of Michigan. Today we’re going to be talking
about abnormal uterine bleeding, which is a very common condition that affects
many women in their reproductive years. Abnormal bleeding is any type
of bleeding that is irregular. That could be bleeding in between
menstrual cycles, bleeding that is heavier than usual during menstrual
cycles, bleeding after intercourse, or even bleeding after someone’s
gone through menopause. There are many different causes of
abnormal bleeding, and some might be due to hormonal changes, some might be due to
structural abnormalities such as lesions within the uterus, and others might
be due to systemic medical conditions. When a woman has a menstrual cycle that occurs
greater than 35 days from start to start, less than 21 days from start to start,
or bleeding in between their menses, after intercourse, or after
menopause, these are all indications that something might be abnormal, and
she should be examined by her physician. Uterine fibroids are a common cause of
abnormal bleeding, and the lifetime risk of developing uterine fibroids is
approximately 70 to 80 percent. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of
the uterus and can cause many symptoms such as abnormal uterine bleeding, which can
be either heavy or irregular, pelvic pain, and/or pelvic pressure related
to the large size of fibroids. However, not all women with uterine fibroids
have symptoms, and the decision to proceed with treatment for uterine
fibroids really depends on whether or not those symptoms are bothersome. If you think that your bleeding
symptoms are abnormal or bothersome, or if you suspect that you might have uterine
fibroids, you should talk to your doctor to be evaluated and to see what
treatment options might be best for you.

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