Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is a condition where women experience bleeding in between periods, or periods become heavier or longer. AUB affects women socially, mentally and financially, leading to lower employment rates, poorer performance when at work can negatively impact mental health.
This debilitating condition affects 25% of all women before they reach the menopause. Over 1 million women seek medical advice for AUB in the UK every year and it is the fourth most common reason for referral to women’s health services.
Current treatment does not work on all women and almost a third of patients resort to hysterectomies.
Two of the most common causes for AUB are fibroids and adenomyosis.
Both these conditions lead to AUB yet the reasons why the lining of the womb (endometrium) bleeds abnormally are unknown.
The majority of medications for the treatment of AUB have a generalized impact on the endometrium, and are not specific therefore do not work for all women.
Dr Varsha Jain at the University of Edinburgh, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, is studying samples of endometrium from women with either fibroids or adenomyosis to try and understand the mechanisms by which AUB occurs.
The team will test two medications that may be used to treat AUB and understand why these treatments may not be suitable for all women.
Dr Jain said: “By understanding the changes that occur in the endometrium, treatments in the future may be better targeted specifically towards the mechanisms identified in women with AUB. This will hopefully improve the impact AUB has on a woman’s life as well as reduce the number of women that need to have surgery.”