In a perfect world, your monthly cycles come and go without much fanfare — there’s discomfort and hassle, but not pain and heavy bleeding. Unfortunately, nearly 10 million American women in their childbearing years struggle with heavy periods that cause serious quality-of-life issues.
At Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida, our team of gynecologic experts understands how disruptive irregular periods can be — causing missed work days and considerable problems dealing with excessive flow. To help you regain control of your life, we offer endometrial ablations, which can solve your menstrual issues once and for all.
Here’s a look at what an endometrial ablation accomplishes and why you may be a good candidate.
The road to heavy bleeding
An endometrial ablation is designed with one primary goal — to control heavy bleeding. But there are many roads that lead to heavy bleeding, which is also called menorrhagia. Before we get into the potential causes of your menorrhagia, let’s review a few rules of thumb when it comes to defining heavy bleeding. Though no two women are alike and what you consider a heavy period may differ from another, the following are the typical hallmarks of the condition:
- Periods that last more than seven days
- Bleeding through tampons or napkins every two hours (or less)
- Soaking through sanitary products during the night
- Anemia (because of the blood loss)
Ongoing heavy bleeding is usually a symptom of another underlying problem, including:
We want to emphasize that this last potential cause on our list — cancer — isn’t common. The best way to find out what lies behind your heavy bleeding is to undergo a thorough evaluation by one of our top-notch women’s care providers.
The road to an endometrial ablation
An endometrial ablation is a procedure in which we remove the outermost layer of tissue inside your uterus — your endometrium. We typically turn to this procedure after more conservative efforts, such as hormonal control, have failed to remedy your heavy bleeding.
We perform the endometrial ablation right in our offices under local anesthesia. This means you will be awake and alert during the procedure, but won’t feel pain in the area being treated. It also means, you can return to the comfort of your own home afterward, though you should take it easy for a day or two.
By removing this tissue, we’re able to significantly reduce your menstrual flow, restoring your cycles to more normal levels. Some of our patients even report that they no longer have periods after an ablation.
One of the most important aspects to consider before opting for endometrial ablation is that the procedure effectively puts an end to your ability to get pregnant. Your endometrium is designed to receive and nourish a fertilized egg, so by removing it, your chances of getting pregnant are slim.
That said, there’s still a small chance you may get pregnant, which can be problematic. It’s for this reason that we recommend that you continue some sort of birth control after your endometrial ablation.
The bottom line is that an endometrial ablation can help you find much-needed relief from heavy bleeding, but the procedure isn’t for everyone. The best way to understand your options is to sit down with us so that we can review your medical history and your goals to determine the ideal plan for your unique situation.
To get started, please contact one of our three offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Lehigh Acres, Florida.