Abnormal Bleeding Treatments

There are several different abnormal bleeding treatments available including medications, D&C and endometrial ablation

Drug therapy is typically the first treatment option for abnormal uterine bleeding, consisting of oral contraceptives or other hormones that treat hormonal imbalances. This therapy is effective only about 50% of the time, and usually must be continued in order to remain effective. Some women experience undesirable side effects, including headaches, weight gain, and nausea.

Dilation and curettage (D & C) is frequently the second option if drug therapy is ineffective. It is a common surgical procedure that involves scraping of the inside of the uterus. However, for the majority of women with menorrhagia, it’s only a temporary solution that reduces bleeding for a few cycles.

Hysterectomy or surgical removal of the uterus is the only definitive treatment for menorrhagia. Hysterectomy is a major procedure, performed in the hospital under general anesthesia, and is accompanied by surgical risks, hospitalization, and, depending on the technique used, a recovery period of up to 6 weeks.

Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive surgical treatment option if you do not plan to have any more children. Several methods are currently available. Conventional endometrial ablation removes the lining of the uterus with an electrosurgical tool or laser. This method effectively reduces bleeding in approximately 85% of patients, and most women return to work within 3 days. Risks include perforation of the uterus, bleeding, infection, or even heart failure due to fluids used to open up or distend the uterus. A new generation of endometrial ablation devices is now available. Some devices destroy the endometrium by using heated fluid. Others use freezing temperatures to destroy the tissue. Recently, the NovaSure™ System, which uses a precisely controlled dose of energy, was made available for use in the U.S.