According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 5 women will suffer from excess menstrual bleeding during their lifetime. These women have been labeled “Silent Sufferers.” A study reported that only 5% women recalled that their doctor inquired about menstrual bleeding patterns as part of their annual physical exam; whereas 38% of these physicians reported doing so; Why the discrepancy? A classic study in 1966 compared a woman’s perception of their menstrual flow to actual measurements. Surprisingly, half the women with heavy menstruation rated it as normal or light. So asking a straightforward question “Is your period normal?” does not reveal many who are afflicted. Hence, these women suffering with heavy periods are left unidentified, and consequently tolerating their embarrassing condition.
In a study published in the British Journal of Medicine, 1 in 5 women responded “yes” to the question, “Does your period disrupt your life?” Notice the question is not judging whether the amount of bleeding is normal or not, but rather focuses on impact on lifestyle.
In 2012 the menu of treatment options includes Treatments target the inside lining of the uterus, since bleeding originates from sloughing this tissue. The Good news is there are often alternatives to hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus):
- Hormonal therapy (Birth control pills or progesterone minimize growth of the inside uterine lining)
- Progestin IUD (The Mirena® Intra-Uterine Device only delivers progesterone to the uterine lining, so less side effects)
- Lysteda® (non hormonal medication taken 1st 5 days of period)
- Endometrial Ablation (NovaSure is a 90 second treatment to remove the inside lining of the uterus so it doesn’t grow back)
- Hysterectomy (preferably laparoscopic or vaginal as minimally invasive routes)
At Women’s Health Specialists we offer women the convenience and efficiency of a complete work up for abnormal uterine bleeding in a single office visit that includes a pelvic ultrasound, hemoglobin, and endometrial biopsy as indicated. We can then promptly proceed to treatment options that you’re comfortable implementing. This saves time, expenses, and most importantly lessens anxiety.