How is normal uterine bleeding differentiated from abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Millie A Behera, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

In ovulatory cycles, progesterone production from the corpus luteum converts estrogen primed proliferative endometrium to secretory endometrium, which sloughs predictably in a cyclic fashion if pregnancy does not occur. Heavy but regular uterine bleeding implies ovulatory bleeding and should not be diagnosed as abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). Subtle disturbances in endometrial tissue mechanisms, other forms of uterine pathology, or systemic causes might be implicated.

Anovulatory cycles are associated with a variety of bleeding manifestations. Estrogen withdrawal bleeding and estrogen breakthrough bleeding are the most common spontaneous patterns encountered in clinical practice. Iatrogenically induced anovulatory uterine bleeding might occur during treatment with oral contraceptives, progestin-only preparations, or postmenopausal steroid replacement therapy.


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