From the moment your menstrual cycle starts during puberty, you can expect to experience your monthly period around 450 times over the course of your lifetime.
Mild irregularities, like how heavy or light your flow is or spotting between periods may surprise you from time to time but may be completely innocuous. On the other hand, there are forms of abnormal bleeding that should raise concerns.
If the heavy flow becomes a regular problem and is connected to other symptoms — like anemia, fatigue, breast tenderness, or nausea — you might have an underlying condition that requires treatment, like endometrial ablation.
If you live in the Lake Mary, Florida, area and you’re dealing with heavy flow during periods or other menstrual concerns, OB/GYN Christopher Quinsey, MD, and our experienced medical team are here to help.
To find out more, let’s examine the types of abnormal menstrual changes you might experience, how endometrial ablation can help, and what the treatment is like.
Types of abnormal menstrual changes
There are several forms of irregular menstrual flow that can affect your monthly cycle. Here are some of them.
Hormonal birth control
This form of birth control suppresses ovulation, which keeps you from having a true period but can still lead to monthly bleeding.
Anxiety and stress can release stress hormones that can interact with the hormones that regulate your period.
This often starts when a woman reaches her 40s, years before going through menopause, and can cause longer or shorter cycles.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
A common reason for abnormal cycles, this condition causes high levels of androgen hormones, which can stop ovulation.
These conditions can reduce the amount of hormones your body produces, leading to longer, heavier periods.
These noncancerous uterine growths can not only cause heavy periods but can lead to anemia and pain in your legs, pelvis, and back.
This condition causes tissue growth outside of your uterus, leading to heavy periods, painful bowel movements, painful sex, and intermenstrual bleeding.
Rapid weight loss
Losing weight too rapidly can cause estrogen deficiencies that affect whether you have a period at all.
How endometrial ablation helps
Many of these irregularities in your period can cause heavy bleeding (menorrhagia). Endometrial ablation works to correct this by using energy to destroy the uterine lining.
This reduces the amount of uterine lining that your body needs to shed during your periods and, therefore, lowers the amount of bleeding you do on a monthly basis.
This treatment is a good choice if you have no interest in getting pregnant, you’re willing to use birth control, and problems like cancer or thyroid conditions aren’t responsible for your heavy flow.
If your uterus is an irregular shape, you have a pelvic infection, you’re postmenopausal, or you want to get pregnant in the future, you shouldn’t consider this procedure.
What to expect from the procedure
Before the procedure, you’ll need to have a pregnancy check, cancer screenings, a uterine examination, and a discussion about anesthetic options.
To begin the process, we may dilate your cervix to make it easier to insert the tools necessary for the ablation. We then insert a device that removes the lining of your uterus. Ablation can take the form of hydrothermal, radiofrequency, microwave, cold, and electrocautery.
After the procedure, you can expect some mild side effects, like cramps, a watery discharge, or frequent urination, which can last between one to three days. The watery discharge may last for a few weeks, but it’ll be heaviest in the first few days.
Full results take a few months, but once you’re done, you’ll have a lighter period flow. There’s a chance you could still get pregnant, so continue to use birth control.
If you’re dealing with abnormal bleeding during your period and you want to get it under control, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey and our team today by calling or using our online system to request a visit.