Today we talk through the varied etiologies and a basic workup for a common GYN complaint: abnormal uterine bleeding. ACOG PB 128 makes for good companion reading for women of reproductive age.
The terminology of AUB has changed quite a bit, and you may still hear older terms being used. “Dysfunctional uterine bleeding” or DUB has fallen out of favor, as have terms such as metrorrhagia or menorrhagia, yielding instead to simpler terminology such as prolonged menstrual bleeding and heavy menstrual bleeding, respectively. The terms such as oligomenorrhea (bleeding cycles > 35 days apart) and polymenorrhea (cycles < 21 days apart) are also in use to some degree.
Heavy bleeding is difficult to discern, but for research purposes has been described as >80cc blood loss per cycle. In clinical practice, this is obviously impractical, so we rely on subjective descriptions of heavy bleeding to guide care.
The biggest takeaways from this episode include the PALM-COIEN classification of bleeding by FIGO, as well as the common culprits of bleeding by age group. Remember also the criteria for working up for disorders of coagulation, which we’ve put here (though contained in the practice bulletin).
Stay tuned for future episodes about the treatments of these various etiologies, or check out our friends at The OBG Project for excellent summaries of guidelines and new literature!