Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Care Instructions

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Female reproductive system (front view)

Overview

Abnormal uterine bleeding is irregular bleeding from the uterus. It may be bleeding that is heavier, lighter, or lasts longer than your usual period. Or it may be bleeding that doesn't occur at your regular time. Sometimes it is caused by changes in hormone levels. It can also be caused by growths in the uterus, such as fibroids or polyps. Sometimes a cause cannot be found.

You may have bleeding when you are not expecting your period. Your doctor may suggest a pregnancy test.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may be low in iron because of blood loss. Eat a balanced diet that is high in iron and vitamin C. Foods rich in iron include red meat, shellfish, eggs, beans, and leafy green vegetables. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take iron pills or a multivitamin.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You think you may be pregnant.
  • Your bleeding gets worse.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.