It’s estimated that 10-30% of all women deal with heavy menstrual bleeding, many with bleeding that’s severe enough to interfere with their daily activities. The doctors at Hill Country OB/GYN have helped many women get relief from heavy menstrual bleeding using a safe, nonsurgical procedure called endometrial ablation. If you suffer from heavy periods and would like to learn more about treatment options, call one of the offices in Austin and Dripping Springs, Texas.
Heavy Bleeding Q&A
+ What is Endometrial Ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a gynecological procedure that removes a thin layer of the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus. The procedure is done to treat abnormal uterine bleeding that doesn’t respond to medication.
Following your endometrial ablation, your periods become significantly lighter, or you may stop menstruating altogether.
If you plan to have children in the future, you shouldn’t have endometrial ablation. Once the uterine lining is removed, you won’t be able to get pregnant or, if you do, you’re at high risk of complications.
+ When is Endometrial Ablation Necessary?
Endometrial ablation treats one specific type of abnormal uterine bleeding: heavy menstrual bleeding. Heavy bleeding is defined as:
- Bleeding that lasts more than 7-8 days
- Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads per hour
- Needing to wear more than one pad
- Needing to change pads or tampons during the night
- Passing large blood clots (the size of a quarter or larger)
If your period resembles any of these guidelines, it should be evaluated by a doctor at Hill Country OB/GYN.
+ What Causes Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Heavy menstrual periods can develop from a variety of gynecological conditions. Some of the most common include:
- Uterine fibroids: benign (noncancerous) growths in the uterine wall
- Uterine polyps: growths on the uterine lining
- Endometriosis: tissues normally found inside the uterus grow outside the uterus
- Adenomyosis: uterine lining found within the uterine wall
- Irregular ovulation: often due to polycystic ovary syndrome and thyroid disease
- Gynecological cancer: often cancer in the lining of the uterus
If you have uterine fibroids, you may be treated with a myomectomy, which is a procedure to remove the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. Otherwise, you may need endometrial ablation.
+ How is Endometrial Ablation Performed?
During endometrial ablation, your doctor passes a specialized instrument through your vagina and cervix, and into your uterus. Then a thin layer of the uterine lining is destroyed using one of the following procedures:
- NovaSure®: This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to gently heat and destroy a thin layer of the uterine lining. It’s a five-minute procedure done in the office.
- ThermaChoice®: During this procedure, your doctor places a silicone balloon in the uterus, then fills it with a fluid that’s heated. The balloon stays in your uterus for eight minutes, then the lining gradually sheds (like having a period).
If you suffer from heavy periods, learn about your options by calling Hill Country OB/GYN today.