Excessive and unpredictable menstrual bleeding for some women elicits physical and emotional discomfort. Such bleeding from the uterus can have a variety of causes which may be revealed by an endometrial biopsy or dilation and curettage. Remedies may include various hormones and antihormones, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is a semi-surgical technique called endometrial ablation which destroys the uterine lining electrically, and finally removal of the uterus. Another process called transcervical endometrial resection (TCRE), the cutting of the womb's lining with a wire loop, is a more expedient although potentially dangerous alternative to the hysterectomy.
About 20% of hysterectomies are done to eliminate bleeding problems that disrupt a woman's life. In 1985, approximately 20,000 women in the UK had hysterectomies due to excessive uterine bleeding.
In Chinese medicine, irregular menstruation is often a sign that liver qi is not moving harmoniously. Late periods suggest deficient blood or stagnation due to cold; early periods indicate reckless movement of blood, perhaps due to heat or deficient qi. Pale and thin menstrual blood points to a deficient condition. Very dark blood suggests heat, whilst purplish and clotted blood may indicate a condition of congealed blood.