Help for heavy, painful periods
If heavy, painful menstrual cycles cause you to miss work or social activities every month, please talk with Dr. Garcini. He is a board-certified gynecology doctor with 17 years of experience evaluating and treating this common and very treatable health problem.
After a complete exam, discussion of your symptoms and any tests you may need, he will talk with you about the many options available to correct your problem. Treatment options range from birth control pills all the way to gynecologic surgery, depending on the cause of your condition, your overall health and your personal preferences.
A quick outpatient treatment stops heavy bleeding
Dr. Garcini offers an extremely patient-friendly treatment for abnormal bleeding. It’s called endometrial ablation, a procedure that safely removes the lining of the uterus without the need for hysterectomy.
- Endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time.
- For most patients, endometrial ablation can be done in the office with only mild sedation.
- There are no incisions and most women return to their normal activities within a day or two. Any discomfort can usually be managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Endometrial ablation is highly effective for improving abnormal bleeding. Most women report that their periods are shorter and lighter after treatment – some women say their periods have stopped completely.
- Because it removes the lining of the uterus, endometrial ablation is only right for women who are sure that they do not want to become pregnant in the future. Highly reliable birth control is also necessary for the rest of a woman’s childbearing years.
Abnormal bleeding can also be caused or aggravated by other problems such as uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps and/or malignancies of the uterus. It is therefore imperative for the patient to have an appropriate workup to rule out these possibilities. This workup may include an endometrial biopsy (sampling of the inner lining of the uterus) and/or hysteroscopy (examination of the uterine cavity). Menstrual periods are the consequence of the monthly regeneration and shedding of the endometrial lining of the uterus in a cyclic fashion.
The purpose of the ablation is to destroy the endometrium. The end result of destroying the endometrium is that the uterus loses the ability to regenerate and shed this lining on a monthly basis. As a result, the patient’s menstrual periods become scant, sometimes disappearing altogether. Because of the targeted nature of the procedure, only the endometrium is affected, and therefore the body of the uterus and other reproductive organs (i.e. ovaries) are spared and remain functioning in their normal manner.
Endometrial ablation is a good alternative for a woman with excessive or irregular periods with bleeding that has not been effectively controlled by medications such as oral contraceptive pills. Sometimes the patient has had previous dilatation and curettage (D&C) procedures that have had a short-acting or temporary effect and is seeking a more permanent therapy. Most important, endometrial ablation offers an effective treatment modality to eliminate excessive and/or irregular periods for the long term (current data show >85% absence of periods rate for greater than five years), without having to resort to more serious surgical procedures such as hysterectomy.
There are different protocols or techniques for performing the ablation, but they are all equally safe and effective.
Novasure® endometrial ablation by Hologic® utilizes radiowave energy for the treatment of the endometrium. A hysteroscopic evaluation of the uterine cavity is performed. The device is then inserted through the endocervical canal and a small mesh-like array is deployed. Upon deployment, the mesh-like array is allowed to come in close contact with the endometrial surface of the uterine cavity, and radio wave energy is transmitted through the mesh. The endometrium is treated for up to 90 seconds, and after completion of the treatment, the array is folded and removed from the uterine cavity. A quick hysteroscopic evaluation of the cavity is again performed in order to verify proper treatment.
It is important to note that since the intended purpose of the procedure is to destroy the endometrium, it is not recommended for women who desire future fertility. This procedure will most likely seriously impair the ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy. By the same token, the procedure is not intended as a mode of contraception. We routinely recommend that patients continue to use some form of contraception or undergo a permanent sterilization procedure prior to having endometrial ablation.
Don’t let your period make you feel miserable every month. Find real relief by calling Gynecologic Surgery & Menopause Solutions at 815.463.3000 or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your appointment with us. Our endometrial ablation patients come to us from Homer Glen, Joliet, Orland Park, New Lenox and Frankfort, IL, the Southwest suburbs and Chicagoland in Will County and Cook County, IL.