The average menstrual period lasts 2-7 days, with a woman’s full menstrual cycle going 21-35 days. Despite these averages, every woman’s periods and menstrual cycles are different.
Symptoms vary from woman to woman and even from month to month, so it’s not always easy to know if your menstrual cycle is normal. But did you know that abnormally heavy uterine bleeding is quite common?
Heavy periods and severe pelvic pain are common, but only about one-third of women with abnormal periods seek treatment. The pain and discomfort that accompany abnormal bleeding can impact your quality of life, but they can also be a sign of an underlying gynecologic condition.
You don’t have to suffer painful, heavy bleeding each month. At OB-GYN Associates of Marietta, our doctors regularly diagnose and treat abnormal uterine bleeding with endometrial ablation, a safe procedure that may put an end to your pain. If you think your periods are too heavy, it’s time to make an appointment with a specialist.
Recognizing the signs of menorrhagia
Most women experience uncomfortable symptoms during their menstrual cycles, from painful abdominal cramps and bloating to mood swings and fatigue. But for some, those symptoms are severe enough to disrupt their quality of life.
Menorrhagia is the medical term for abnormally heavy or long menstrual periods. It’s diagnosed in women who have very heavy menstrual bleeding, irregular bleeding between periods, and/or pelvic pain that interferes with daily activities.
During your menstrual cycle, your uterine lining (endometrium) thickens. It sheds when you have your menstrual period, but certain gynecologic conditions can make the endometrium grow thicker than normal, so there’s more that sheds.
Signs of abnormal uterine bleeding may include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Menstrual periods lasting more than eight days
- Menstrual bleeding that soaks a pad or tampon in an hour
- Needing to wear more than one pad
- Changing pads or tampons during the night
- Blood clots larger than a quarter
Any of the above symptoms are signs that you should seek medical attention. Abnormal uterine bleeding shouldn’t be ignored, and seeking care is the best way to find the cause and get a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Treating menorrhagia with endometrial ablation
If you suspect you have abnormal uterine bleeding, make an appointment at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta. Our doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating a range of common gynecologic conditions that cause pelvic pain and menorrhagia.
Your diagnosis begins with a comprehensive pelvic exam. We check for signs of common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, including conditions like:
- Irregular ovulation
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Our team may recommend endometrial ablation to treat abnormal uterine bleeding or menorrhagia if pain and bleeding interfere with your life, particularly when other treatment options have failed.
We permanently destroy and remove the lining of your uterus, so that it stops thickening and shedding each month during your menstrual cycle. With the uterine lining removed, you’ll no longer experience the pain and discomfort of abnormal bleeding.
Endometrial ablation is a safe and effective procedure, but it’s important to consider your family-planning goals before undergoing the treatment. Once your uterine lining is destroyed, it can’t grow back. Getting pregnant after endometrial ablation isn’t recommended because the risk of miscarriage and other complications is high.
You don’t have to live with the pain of abnormal uterine bleeding. Find out if endometrial ablation is a good option for you. Call one of our convenient locations in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia, or request an appointment online.