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Suffering From Heavy Periods? Consider Endometrial Ablation

Suffering From Heavy Periods? Consider Endometrial Ablation

Every month, a woman’s body increases the thickness of the uterus lining, preparing for an egg to be fertilized and the embryo to implant in the lining for development. If no egg is released or fertilized, the extra tissue and blood supply slough off, exiting the vagina as part of the period.

Not every woman has the same amount of flow, though. Some deal with heavy flow and extended periods, which can lead to pelvic pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.

At Progressive Women's Health OB/GYN in Friendswood and Mission, Texas, Dr. Asia Mohsin and her staff see patients with all types of menstrual-related problems, including heavy flow, which used to be called menorrhagia. 

To treat the condition, the team uses endometrial ablation. Here’s more about the problem and the treatment that can help.

What does heavy bleeding mean?

Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common complaint, but it’s not easy to define because each woman defines “heavy” differently.

Usually, menstrual bleeding lasts 4-5 days, and the amount of blood lost is no more than 2-3 tablespoons. However, women with menorrhagia usually have periods lasting longer than seven days and lose twice as much blood.

If you bleed for more than seven days per period, or the flow is so heavy you have to change your pad or tampon every hour or so, even during the night, you need to see Dr. Mohsin.

The same is true if you’re bleeding between periods or bleeding vaginally after menopause, if you’re passing clots bigger than a quarter, if you’re fatigued/short of breath due to the blood loss, or if your cycle disrupts your ability to perform your daily activities. 

What’s endometrial ablation?

While medication is often a first-line treatment for heavy bleeding, in many cases, endometrial ablation is more effective.

Endometrial ablation is a procedure that uses different types of energy (e.g., hot, cold, microwave, radiofrequency) to scar and destroy a layer of tissue surrounding the uterus, so there’s less lining to shed during your periods and less blood.

 You may be a good candidate for the procedure if:

Women with fibroids or who’ve had surgeries on their uterus are unable to undergo endometrial ablation.

The ablation procedure

When the doctor is ready to begin, you lie back on the table as if you’re having a pelvic exam. Depending on the specific form of endometrial ablation she uses, Dr. Mohsin may numb your pelvic area and give you a sedative so you remain comfortable during the procedure.

She inserts a wand-like device into your vagina and threads it through your cervix and into your uterus so it can reach the lining. Once in position, the device sends out energy to destroy part of that lining. It’s a fairly quick procedure, and you should experience minimal or no discomfort.

After ablation

Following the ablation procedure, refrain from inserting anything into your vagina for a few days. You should be back to your usual routine in 2-3 days. After 2-3 months, your periods should be lighter and may stop altogether.

We’re insistent about birth control following an endometrial ablation since getting pregnant is dangerous for you and the baby. After the procedure, you ovulate (release eggs) and retain some of the uterine lining, which means an egg can implant after fertilization.

However, since much of the lining is gone, you have a higher chance of a miscarriage or serious complications during pregnancy.

Are you dealing with heavy periods that leave you uncomfortable and drained? Endometrial ablation can help. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call Progressive Women’s Health OB/GYN or book online with us today. We also have telehealth appointments available.

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