In-Office Treatment for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Do you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding? For many women, it can be difficult to know for sure if bleeding is actually heavy enough to seek medical treatment. However, if you are in doubt, most physicians agree it’s best to see your gynecologist. General signs of menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) are as follows. (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
- Menstrual flow that soaks through one or more pads or tampons an hour for several hours in a row
- Periods that last seven days or more
- Menstrual flow with blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
- Need to double up on pads or tampons
- Need to change pads or tampons during the night
- Heavy flow that keeps you from participating in activities you enjoy
- Lack of energy
- Lower abdominal pain
At East Valley Women’s Medical Group, health care providers evaluate, diagnose, and treat heavy menstrual bleeding. There are many potential treatments for heavy bleeding, from iron supplementation to hysterectomy. Many women have benefited from an innovative therapy known as endometrial ablation – available in-office (Mesa, Tempe and Gilbert, AZ) at East Valley Women’s Medical Group.
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that ablates (destroys) the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). By destroying the endometrium, menstrual flow may become light or stop completely. There are several ways to perform endometrial ablation. Some gynecologists use extreme heat or cold; others use microwave energy or radiofrequency. This procedure is not recommended for women who plan on getting pregnant, as endometrial ablation can make pregnancy quite difficult, if not impossible.
What happens during the procedure?
During your endometrial ablation, you will be given a local anesthetic and/or pain medication. Your gynecologist will insert special tools through the cervix and into the uterus. These tools use intensely concentrated heat to destroy the endometrium. The ablation takes just a few minutes to complete. Over the next few weeks, the endometrium responds by forming scar tissue. As a result, the endometrium no longer sheds.
What is the recovery process like?
Some bleeding is normal for the next few days. Watery and bloody discharge may continue for several weeks. Your gynecologist may advise you to not use tampons or have sexual intercourse for two to three days after the procedure. You may be given a pain reliever for cramps, as well. Most women are able to return to their normal activities within several days of the procedure.
Is endometrial ablation safe?
Yes. Endometrial ablation complications are fairly rare. Also, many women find this in-office procedure can provide them with the same symptomatic relief that a hysterectomy offers – but without the expense, pain, and recovery of a hysterectomy. (Still, hysterectomy is a viable – and oftentimes necessary – option for many women with menorrhagia.)
Heavy Periods? Schedule an Appointment in Gilbert, Tempe, or Mesa, AZ
To learn more about in-office endometrial ablation – and whether or not this procedure is right for you – contact East Valley Women’s Medical Group at 480.632.2004. Services are available at convenient locations in Gilbert, Mesa or Tempe, AZ. You can also schedule an appointment online.