Abnormal Uterine Bleeding


Dr Jon Dickson (on behalf of the Sheffield AUB guideline development group)

Published Date

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Date to Review

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Guidance Description

Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is a syndrome defined as ‘bleeding from the uterine corpus that is abnormal in volume, regularity and/or timing that has been present for the majority of the last six months’ (irregular bleeding associated with hormonal contraception is often referred to as breakthrough bleeding). This definition of AUB includes heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) and prolonged vaginal bleeding and overlaps with the term unscheduled vaginal bleeding, which is bleeding that occurs outside the normal menstrual period (or the regular withdrawal bleed associated with oral contraception) i.e. irregular bleeding, inter-menstrual bleeding (IMB), post-coital bleeding (PCB).


Menstrual problems often form part of a complex clinical picture with multiple symptoms. In a woman with abnormal vaginal bleeding a careful history and examination is required to diagnose AUB by excluding other causes such as vaginal pathology, cervical pathology and pregnancy.   The NHS Sheffield guideline for AUB is intended to support assessment and management of these patients. A key step of the pathway is endometrial sampling which can only be undertaken by suitably accredited and trained GPs. The CASES gynaecology GPs can give clinical advice on a case-by-case basis if required.


UPDATE April 2017 - As a result of the new NICE guidance Inter-menstrual bleeding (IMB) and post-coital bleeding (PCB) are no longer two week wait referral criteria and are included in the AUB guideline.