Other Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for heavy bleeding.
Depending on the reason for your excessive menstrual bleeding, your doctor may suggest that you first try medications. If medications do not work, or you are not allowed to take them for other medical reasons, your doctor may suggest other options such as endometrial ablation using the AEGEA Vapor System. The following practices and procedures are currently available to treat excessive uterine bleeding due to benign causes. Your doctor will tell you what is causing your heavy periods, and which therapy may be beneficial for you.
The therapies for heavy periods are:
Hormone therapy, using combination estrogen-progestin or progestin-only medicines are conveniently available as oral contraceptive pills, patches, or injection, and are frequently used first, before trying surgical treatments. There are also several types of progestin-containing intrauterine devices that are inserted by a professional into the uterine cavity for contraception and control of bleeding. Hormone therapies require long-term use to maintain the effect, and may have unpleasant side effects. There is no permanent effect on a woman’s fertility, however.
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C)
D&C was previously used more frequently to treat heavy menstrual bleeding while providing useful information through examination of the uterine lining removed. It requires sedation or general anesthesia to perform, because the cervix is dilated and the uterine contents are mechanically removed or suctioned away. There is no long-term effect on menses, and the procedure may need to be repeated. A D&C is now best used to obtain uterine lining samples for examination when necessary. If used frequently, a woman’s fertility may be impacted by the formation of scarring in the uterus.
Endometrial ablation uses heat, cold, or electrical energy to destroy the endometrium. The treatment is delivered by a variety of methods, but always through the vagina and cervix. The procedures may be performed under local or general anesthesia, and dilation of the cervix may be required. This treatment is indicated for women who do not wish to preserve fertility. The AEGEA Vapor System provides endometrial ablation using sterile natural water vapor.
Hysterectomy is the most invasive therapy, with more risk; but it completely stops bleeding because the uterus is removed. It does require general anesthesia in a hospital setting, and is associated with risks and complications of major surgery. Recovery is longer than the previously described methods, and there is no chance of having a pregnancy afterward because the uterus is removed.