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The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
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Are Heavy, Painful Periods Making it Hard to Enjoy Your Life?

Are Heavy, Painful Periods Making it Hard to Enjoy Your Life?

Heavy, painful periods can make it difficult for you to enjoy your daily activities. Did you know that for women in their 20s, painful periods are the leading cause of lost time from school and work? Heavy periods are also the leading cause of iron deficiency anemia, which means that your body does not have enough red blood cells because of a lack of iron. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the pigment that carries oxygen in the blood and myoglobin, which helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without enough iron, the body's fuel cannot be properly synthesized.

Up to 15% of women will experience heavy menstrual bleeding at some point during their life and among these women, as many as 20% will go on to develop anemia.

Some of the symptoms of excessively heavy menstrual bleeding 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 deficient anemia can occur slowly, over an extended period of time, so many women do not always recognize the problem. Many never think to mention these symptoms to their healthcare providers and so the condition can go untreated. If you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding it is important to recognize the symptoms of anemia. These can include:

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

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of heaving menstrual bleeding, or the symptoms of iron deficient anemia, it is important to tell your AOA healthcare provider. A simple blood test will tell if you are experiencing anemia and the condition can be treated.

If you’ve finished childbearing, and are experiencing heavy, painful periods due to benign causes, the AOA Family of physicians can offer the treatment option of endometrial ablation, a simple, on-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.

You and your AOA provider will decide which type of endometrial ablation is best for you. During one of the common procedures, your doctor will insert a slender wand into your cervix that then extends a triangular mesh device into the uterus. The mesh expands, fitting to the size and shape of your uterus and precisely measured radio frequency energy is delivered through the mesh for about 90 seconds. At this point, the mesh device is pulled back into the wand, and both are removed from the uterus. The entire procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes and is usually performed in office with sedation.

Talk with your AOA doctor if you’re experiencing painful periods that are cramping your style. We can help you find the right solution to reduce your pain and get you back into the swing of things

Learn more about how to deal with painful menstrual cramps:

Read more about endometrial oblation at: