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Are Heavy Periods Limiting Your Life?

One in five women lives with very heavy periods. Periods that get in the way of everyday life, and enjoying time with family and friends.

If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your Genesis OB/GYN physician to determine the cause. 

This heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia, is characterized by rapid saturation of sanitary protection, with the need to change a pad every hour or two or use double protection. It may be associated with the passage of blood clots. The periods can last 7 days or more, and may cause women to limit or reschedule activities or miss work. The heavy flow can lead to fatigue caused by iron-deficient anemia. 

Before your visit keep a journal or jot down dates, symptoms and observations from memory to track your bleeding for a few cycles. Note the type of protection you are using and the frequency you need to change protection each day. Note if you have had to replace clothing or bedding due to accidental leakage through your protection. Take your notes with you to your appointment and tell your physician how your periods are different than they used to be. 

What are my options?

1. Medication 
Oral medications, such as birth control pills, can be effective in treating menorrhagia. A progestin-secreting IUD may be suggested that would slowly release a low dose of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus to make your periods lighter.

2. Minimally Invasive options
If you have no desire for pregnancy, can’t use hormones, or have failed a medical treatment, you may want to consider endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation treats the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, to control or stop bleeding. It does not involve removal of the uterus and it does not affect your hormone levels.

Endometrial ablation is a short procedure, with no incisions (cuts). It can be performed in your doctor’s office or an outpatient hospital setting with minimal discomfort. If you choose this option, you’ll be in the office for about an hour and you can resume routine activity within one or two days. An endometrial ablation is associated with high success and patient satisfaction rates.

Talk with your Genesis OB/GYN doctor about the risks and benefits of each option offered for the treatment of heavy bleeding. In some cases, hysterectomy may be recommended as the best medical option. 

Resources

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Endometrial Ablation

 

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