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March 30, 2017 | Health Advice

Heavy Menstrual Cycles & Ablations

Heavy Menstrual Cycles & Endometrial Ablation

A heavy menstrual cycle, known as menorrhagia, is one in which excessive bleeding requires the changing of tampons or pads every hour for several hours, getting up in the middle of the night to change a tampon or pad, a period lasting greater than seven days, or the passing of large clots. Any one of these symptoms may interfere with a woman’s everyday activities, including the ability to sleep restfully and exercise regularly. In extreme cases a woman with heavy menstrual cycles could even experience anemia from blood loss.

When heavy menstrual cycles are severe enough to alter one’s quality of life, it may be time to discuss surgical treatment options, including ablation.

Endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure that uses heat to alter the lining of the uterus, thereby decreasing or stopping heavy bleeding. It is a procedure, usually lasting about 15-20 minutes.

Ablation is only recommended for women who are no longer considering pregnancy. It is recommended when non-surgical treatment has failed and as an alternative to hysterectomy (removing the uterus). Following endometrial ablation, most women experience greatly reduced blood flow during their menses, and many stop having periods completely. The cessation of heavy menstrual bleeding can be a life-changing event for women who experience severe menorrhagia. Following the procedure, many are able to resume physical activity, enjoy travel and social events previously limited by heavy bleeding, and get more restful sleep.

For questions regarding ablation or to find out if you may be a candidate for this procedure, please contact your healthcare provider.