​Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (or DUB) is a disease in which a girl's menstrual cycle (periods) last longer than normal, or she experiences heavier bleeding than normal. It is also used to describe very light bleeding and irregular menstrual cycles. DUB is sometimes also referred to as abnormal uterine bleeding (or AUB). DUB may sometimes cause more serious issues such as anaemia, which is a disease in which your body has fewer than the normal amount of red blood cells needed to function normally.

DUB is usually caused by changes in a girl's hormone levels and doctors do not consider it to be a very serious problem, unless the bleeding is extremely excessive or troublesome. This disease can affect young girls who have just started their reproductive cycle, that is, those who have just started their period.

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding may occur in young girls from time to time. The major symptoms are:

  • Period lasting for more than 10 days

  • There have been fewer than 20 days between each period cycle

  • Bleeding that is heavy enough to require the use of more than one pad or tampon per hour

  • Periods that last for more than ten days

  • Period cycle beginning too often (fewer than 20 days between cycles)

  • Period cycle is too irregularly (three or more months between cycles)

  • Bleeding in between periods 

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

In order to diagnose DUB, your doctor will take a complete medical history, in order to rule out other related disorders. Your doctor is likely to ask questions such as about recent weight gain or loss, sexual history (if applicable) as well as frequency of periods and bleeding. Your doctor might also conduct a physical examination, including a pelvic exam. It is also common to conduct some blood tests to check for anaemia or other deficiencies, and an ultrasound, which is an imaging technique to create a picture of your inside the body. 

Treatment for DUB depends on the severity of the disease.
Your doctor will check the hemoglobin level, which is a protein found in blood. The normal range for hemoglobin is between 12.1-15.1 g/dL.

In mild cases of DUB, your doctor will likely tell you to keep track of the patient's periods for a few months and may prescribe a mild drug such to ease any cramps or inflammation. He or she may also prescribe a multivitamin to keep up the levels of nutrients in your body. In moderate cases of DUB, haemoglobin levels are between 10 and 12 g/dL, and if this is the case the patient is considered to be anaemic.
Hormonal treatments such as birth control pills are a normal method of treatment. The patient might also be prescribed iron supplements. In severe cases, there the haemoglobin level is below 10 g/dL, or there is excessive bleeding, the patient may feel dizzy and have low blood pressure as well. Their complexion is also likely to become pale due to blood loss and they might need treatment in a hospital.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.