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What to do About Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

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After suffering from menorrhagia, prolonged menstrual bleeding and cramping, it’s only natural to want to find out what can be done to control it. The persons most likely to suffer from this symptom are adolescent girls who recently started their periods or older women approaching menopause. Getting the necessary help is very important because this type of bleeding causes iron deficiency anemia and severe pain.

Tests and Diagnosis

Remember, menorrhagia is not the disease - only the symptom. So your physician is going to have to work really hard at finding out exactly what the problem is. In order to do that, you may have to undergo a series of tests. Then, a plan of treatment can be formalized based on test results. There are several factors that doctors keep in mind when prescribing treatment. Factors may include your overall health and medical history, the cause and severity of the condition, your drug tolerance, the likelihood of your periods actually becoming lighter, your future childbearing plans, the effects of your choices on your lifestyle and your personal opinions.

Thereafter, your doctor may decide that drug therapy would work best for you. But if more invasive treatment is needed, especially after drug therapy fails, then surgery is an option. As indicated by the Mayo Clinic, treatment options may include:

Dilation and curettage (D and C) - In this procedure, your doctor opens (dilates) your cervix and then scrapes or suctions tissue from the lining of your uterus to reduce menstrual bleeding. Although this procedure is common and often treats menorrhagia successfully, you may need additional D and C procedures if menorrhagia recurs.

Operative hysteroscopy - This procedure uses a tiny tube with a light (hysteroscope) to view your uterine cavity and can aid in the surgical removal of a polyp that may be causing excessive menstrual bleeding.

Endometrial ablation - Using a variety of techniques, your doctor permanently destroys the entire lining of your uterus (endometrium). After endometrial ablation, most women have little or no menstrual flow. Endometrial ablation reduces your ability to become pregnant.

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Your overview of heavy bleeding is good. However, the root cause is one of two things It could be hormonal; which can generally be treated with things like birth control,or pathological such as a fibroid, polyp, or a condition known as adenomyosis. If this is the cause or heaving bleeding then surgery is your best option. The best way to diagnose the root cause is a blood workup to rule out hormonal causes. Then, the next thing should be a saline infuse transvaginal ultrasound or a diagnostic hysteroscopy to see inside the uterus. Transvaginal ultrasound alone is known to miss intra-uterine pathology such as polyps or fiborids. As such, far too many women are misdiagnosed and perscribed birth control as a first line treatment only to fail. Women need to ask their doctors about their screening process. If they only do transvaginal ultrasound, there will be a high chance of missing fibroids. Additionally, if one has intracavity fibroids, it is best to remove them vs. doing a global endometrial ablation. If removed first, then followed by an ablation, one will likely have better outcomes. Simply removing the fiborid may be enough. I can personally speak about this as I recently went through a fibroid removal procedure that was fast and incisionless. It was called the Myosure procedure. To learn about it you can visit the companies website at www.myosure.com

July 9, 2010 - 11:10am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.