Posted on: 21 May 2019Share
Menorrhagia occurs when women have excessive bleeding, typically during their period. This includes periods that may last weeks or months or return at irregular intervals. The excessive blood loss can lead to anemia and is often difficult to control with typical feminine hygiene products. There are several approaches to treating menorrhagia, regardless of where you are in your family planning years.
If menorrhagia is determined to be caused by a hormonal imbalance, hormonal birth control methods can be helpful. Several conditions can lead to hormonal issues, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or ovarian dysfunction that prevents you from releasing an egg each month. The easiest form of birth control to take is the mini pill, since it contains only progestin and does not carry the same risks as combination pills. If you find taking hormones helps ease your bleeding, you may want to consider other hormonal birth control methods that last longer, such as an intrauterine device (IUD). Only IUDs containing hormones are known to reduce bleeding. The copper IUD can actually have the opposite effect.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that is reserved for women who have heavy bleeding but are finished expanding their family. The goal of endometrial ablation is to destroy the lining of the uterus, which may overgrow each month and contribute to excessive bleeding. Different techniques can be used to remove the lining, but many of the procedures are done in-office and do not require surgery. An instrument can be inserted into the uterus by dilating the cervix. Either extreme heat or cold damages the lining. With successful treatment, the lining should not return, but there can be instances where the lining grows back eventually. One of the major benefits of endometrial ablation is that a simple procedure can often help women regain their life if heavy bleeding has been an ongoing disruption.
A hysterectomy can be a treatment for menorrhagia, but it is more likely used for women who have heavy bleeding due to other issues. For example, ongoing, heavy bleeding can be caused by abnormal growths in different layers of the uterus. If the underlying problem requires extensive surgery, such as in the case of many large fibroids, having a hysterectomy can eliminate both problems simultaneously. With minimally-invasive surgical techniques, many hysterectomies can be performed without a large abdominal incision. A surgeon can use a laparoscope to sever the connections of the uterus and remove any adhesions. Once the uterus is free from its connections, it can be removed through the vagina.
Heavy or prolonged periods should never be ignored. Finding the underlying cause will make it easier to develop at treatment plan that reduces or eliminates the problem. For more information, reach out to a clinic that offers women's health specialist services.