About AOA

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
- Unknown

 

Put an End to Heavy, Painful Periods

Heavy, painful periods are not just a monthly annoyance that we have to put up with; they are a common cause of iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is when your body lacks enough iron, which is an essential component of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying pigment in the blood and myoglobin helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without sufficient iron, your body cannot properly synthesize this essential fuel.

Put an End to Heavy, Painful PeriodsSymptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding can include:

  • Severe cramping
  • Soaking through a pad or having to change a tampon every hour or less for several hours in a row
  • Passing large blood clots
  • Needing double protection at night (tampons and a pad, for example)
  • Having periods that last longer than seven days

Iron deficiency anemia can occur slowly, over time and because many of us are used to heavy periods, we don’t always recognize the problem. Symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • feeling cold all the time
  • heart palpitations
  • ice craving
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nervousness
  • lack of concentration
  • forgetfulness
  • fatigue
  • sexual dysfunction
  • decreased job performance

Endometrial Ablation Can Put an End to Heavy Periods

If you’ve finished having children and are experiencing heavy, painful periods due to benign causes, talk with your AOA healthcare provider about the treatment option of endometrial ablation.

Endometrial ablation is a simple, one-time, in-office procedure that doesn’t involve using hormones or having a hysterectomy. There are no incisions and there is no need for a general anesthesia. Most women report little or no pain and are able to return to their regular activities within a day.

Your AOA physician will give you a pregnancy test to confirm that you are not pregnant before proceeding. You will also be given anti-inflammatory medicine to take an hour or two before the procedure to reduce discomfort.

There are several techniques for endometrial ablation. Your AOA provider will recommend the appropriate procedure dependent on your individual needs.

You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the ablation procedure. You may want to use a heating pad to alleviate discomfort. You can shower, but should refrain from taking a bath or swimming on the same day as the procedure. Additionally, you will need to refrain from putting anything in your vagina (tampons or having intercourse) for at least two weeks after the ablation.

If you experience any increased or abnormal discharge, post-procedure pain, increased bleeding, or an increased temperature going above 100.4 F, call your AOA physician immediately. Most women report little or no pain and are going about their daily activities the next day.

If you are finished with child-bearing and are experiencing heavy, painful periods, talk with your AOA physician about whether endometrial ablation is right for you.

Learn more about the impact of heavy, painful periods on your health: