How do we treat menorrhagia?
Menorrhagia can be treated nonsurgically or surgically.
Drug therapy (birth control pills or other types of hormones) or intrauterine devices are typically the first treatment option for women who wish to maintain fertility. It is not always effective in controlling excessive bleeding and some women may experience side effects.
Surgical options include:
Dilatation and curettage: a procedure that removes endometrium and may provide temporary relief of heavy periods lasting only a few cycles. This may be a treatment option for women who want more children.
Hysterectomy: is the removal of the uterus and is a major surgical procedure. It is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. It may require hospitalization and a recovery period of up to six weeks.
Hysteroscopic endometrial ablation: eliminates the lining of the uterus with an electrosurgical tool or laser. This requires general anesthesia and is also associated with increased surgical risks. This is not appropriate for women wanting to maintain fertility. Risks may include: uterine perforation, bleeding, infection and heart/lung failure due to fluids required in the procedure.
New minimally invasive endometrial ablation methods: there are a variety of new generation endometrial ablation devices that use different methods to destroy the lining of the uterus. These include heated fluid systems and radio frequencyenergy systems. Endometrial ablation allows for fast recovery with return to normal activities within a few days. Risks are reduced compared to other surgical methods and may include uterine perforation, bleeding, infection, cramping, vaginal discharge, injury to other organs, or burns.
All methods carry risks, although they are reduced inless invasive methods. The method of treatment used will be dependent upon your individual circumstances and should be discussed with your doctor.
If you wish to maintain fertility, endometrial ablation, by any method, is not an option for you.