Do You Have Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?
During menstruation, bleeding is a natural, yet sometimes uncomfortable experience. However, some women may experience abnormal uterine bleeding, also known as AUB. With AUB, menstrual bleeding does not happen as expected. AUB can present as continued bleeding, heavy bleeding, or bleeding past the regular schedule. More than 20% of American women visit doctors for menstrual-related matters.
What causes AUB?
A normal menstrual cycle ranges between 21-35 days with a period lasting 4-6 days. Abnormal bleeding happens beyond this timeframe and can seriously impact the quality of life. Some even experience anemia, which is a lack of healthy red blood cells. AUB can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition like fibroids, polyps, or an abnormal pregnancy. Some women may have an abnormally thick endometrium or a bleeding disorder. Women with heavy, irregular bleeding that does not subside should seek medical help.
A helpful procedure
While there are a few treatment options, the OB/GYN may suggest endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is a method that destroys the endometrium. The OB/GYN uses a tool that emits heat, cold, RF energy, or microwaves to remove the lining. Endometrial ablation happens under anesthesia, with the doctor using ultrasound to guide the process. A suction-like device may then be used to remove excess tissue. The operation is a quick, outpatient procedure with minimal pain. Here are 3 reasons women should consider this treatment for AUB.
1. Restore the quality of life
Excessive uterine bleeding can cause physical, emotional, and social restrictions. For instance, excessive bleeding could cause constant daily use of sanitary products. This could happen at inappropriate moments. Some women can also experience pain, which causes missed days from work, appointments, or professional opportunities. With the heavy bleeding finally gone, women can resume daily activities.
2. Failed past treatment
Endometrial ablation is not the first step in treatment. For starters, doctors will prescribe birth control medication. Birth control uses synthetic hormones to reduce excessive bleeding. Other drugs come in the form of progestin pills or hormone suppressants. A doctor may also suggest an intrauterine device or IUD. If these fail, then endometrial ablation may be a viable option.
3. Pregnancy is not on the cards
Endometrial ablation essentially destroys the uterine lining. Therefore, the chances of pregnancy reduce significantly. Women who are not considering pregnancy should consider endometrial ablation. However, this is not a substitute for contraception.
Stop bleeding in its tracks
Abnormal uterine bleeding continues to affect millions of American women. While some non-surgical treatment is effective, many women still fail to see an improvement. At this point, an OB/GYN needs to perform more in-depth tests. If there is no clear medical condition, endometrial ablation may help reduce or stop bleeding altogether. Women who experience heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, or severe lower back and leg pain should seek treatment from an OB/GYN.