Options for Heavy Periods

Women Have Options for Heavy Periods

Being an informed health care consumer is important, not only for your wallet, but for your well-being. One of the most commonly-performed surgeries in the United States – hysterectomy – is one that women might not know the whole story about. Though more than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year, some experts say that the number is unnecessarily high.

For women aged 35 to 54, heavy periods and fibroids are among the most common reasons for a hysterectomy, but many women do not realize that non-invasive procedures exist to treat these conditions for far less cost and less risk than a hysterectomy.

The first step, however, is getting women to recognize that they even have a medical problem. “There are so many women who think their heavy periods are just in their head and that their situation is no different than any other woman,” says Dr. Essam Khraizat, OB/GYN at Michigan Women’s Care in Canton, MI. “It’s not just in your head — and you don’t have to live with it. The more you discuss it with other women, the more you may realize you’re not alone.”

For Denise Armstrong, life became an exercise in planning around her heavy periods. She felt she couldn’t even make a trip to the grocery store, much less make the three-hour drive to visit her in-laws or take a family camping trip. It also meant missing out on her kids’ lives – she missed her son’s football games because there were no bathrooms close by.

For many women like Denise, heavy periods mean changing sanitary products every hour, abandoning beloved hobbies, or even having to find a solution to getting through long business meetings. There can be other associated side effects as well.

“Women with heavy periods have an increased state of inflammation in their body, which in turn increases uterine contractions and puts the body into a state of stress,” Dr. Khraizat explained. Other side effects include extreme cramping, fatigue and even anemia. And since these symptoms often cause women to give up on their exercise routines, good health habits often get interrupted.

“There are effective treatments for heavy periods that are non-invasive and can actually be performed in the doctor’s office. Procedures such as endometrial ablation, for example, can help lighten or even stop heavy menstrual bleeding and can be performed in the doctor’s office or outpatient setting, for far less cost and risk than a major surgery such as a hysterectomy. For gynecologists like Dr. Khraizat, this has been a game changer for many patients.

“We’ve performed many of these procedures in the office…..it has a high success rate and most often avoids the need for a hysterectomy in the future. Women can get back to their daily activities usually within one to two days,” he explained.

Assuming that you have to live with a health issue that negatively impacts your daily routine and the activities you love is something that too many women do. “Above all, it’s important to address heavy periods with your doctor, even if he or she doesn’t address it with you,” Dr. Khraizat stated. “By simply having a conversation, many women can find solutions that put their lives back in their own hands.”

If you are interested in learning more about options for treating heavy menstrual bleeding, set up a consultation with Michigan Women’s Care by calling 734-981-8181 or visit www.michiganwomenscare.com . Michigan Women’s Care is located in the Serenity Health Building at 6300 N. Haggerty Rd, Suite 200., Canton, MI 48187.