Most women have experienced the occasional heavy period. But if you find yourself wishing you had stock in the pad and tampon companies, it’s time to seek medical attention, especially if the bleeding lasts longer than eight days and/or is accompanied by a lot of pain.
At our office in Greenacres, Florida, Dr. Leroy Charles helps women navigate their reproductive health. Considered an expert in the field, he has invented ground-breaking techniques, including laparoscopic uterine artery ligation for fibroids and laparoscopic cervico isthmic cerclage for cervical incontinence.
When it comes to hysterectomies, Dr. Charles begins with the most conservative approaches first, such as managing your symptoms with hormone therapy. But if a hysterectomy is indicated, you still have options.
Why a hysterectomy?
The removal of your uterus stops your excessive bleeding. In many cases, that is absolutely necessary, because if left untreated, too much blood flow can lead to anemia. But excessive bleeding isn’t the only reason you might need a hysterectomy. You might need one due to:
- Uterine prolapse
- Unresolved pelvic pain
Getting rid of your uterus (and possibly your ovaries and fallopian tubes, as is sometimes necessary), clearly eliminates the problem by eliminating the organ.
Why not a hysterectomy?
Your female organs are an important part of you and they serve specific purposes. A hysterectomy should never be the first course of action as it comes with some extreme consequences, like infertility and forced menopause (if your ovaries are taken, too).
Depending on your situation, you may not need a hysterectomy. You may be able to solve your health issue with an alternative procedure, such as uterine ablation.
Also known as endometrial ablation, uterine ablation is essentially the destruction of your uterine lining, called the endometrium. Often, this is all that’s needed to address your excessive bleeding, rather than a full hysterectomy.
If so, Dr. Charles performs the procedure in his office using slender tools that slide into your vagina and uterus. He then carefully removes the endometrium.
Several techniques are available to complete a uterine ablation, including:
- Freezing the lining from within (cryoablation)
- Microwave technology
- Heated saline solution
- Radiofrequency energy
Typically, you won’t need general anesthesia, and you can go home the same day. You may experience some cramping and light bleeding, but most women don’t report any significant pain.
Fertility after uterine ablation
It’s rare for women to become pregnant after uterine ablation, so if you’re hoping to have a baby, uterine ablation may not be the best treatment for you. Women who get pregnant after ablation may experience complications, including miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies.
If you’ve been told you need a hysterectomy and want to explore other options, give our office a call or book an appointment online to find out if uterine ablation can work for you.