Endometrial Ablation or “What I did on my summer vacation”

Isn’t it great being a lady? The shoes, the shopping, the ability to make people….there are a lot of advantages.

Sometimes though, being a lady is a drag. Take “ladies’ days” for example — not such a great benefit. A few days of cramping and bloating, and a visit from Aunt Flo isn’t really anyone in her right mind would choose, but it’s a fact of life.

When that fact of life, however, starts to take over your life — that’s a red flag (or pad, if you will). It’s called menorrhagia and it’s a real problem.When you can’t leave the house because you are afraid of leaking through your ladies days supplies, that’s a problem. When Aunt Flo doesn’t leave after 5 days or so, that’s a problem. When all you can do those 7-10 days (or longer) is keep up with laundry and wear a sweater around your waist, it’s time to do something.

When I reached that point, my gyno gave me three surgical options, which I think are fairly typical choices. The Mayo clinic outlines a few more choices, any one of which may be the right solution for an individual patient.

1) Dilation and curettage :I actually tried this solution first, several years ago. This common procedure basically cleans things out and lets your body start fresh. I had much lighter, shorter periods for a good three and a half years after I had one done.
2) Endometrial Ablation: (this is what I had done, see details below)
3) Hysterectomy– this would remove the uterus, but the ovaries would remain. At this time, it seemed kind of extreme to me. Not that I’m using my uterus for anything ,but I’m not ready to say goodbye to it yet. Odd but true.

Endometrial Ablation is a quick, out patient procedure that had you up and walking around a few hours after surgery. Basically, a heated balloon is inserted into the uterus, which scars the uterine walls. This in turn, is supposed to stop the uterine lining from growing like kudzu. The risks are low, and there’s a good chance that your period will disappear all together after this procedure is done (my fingers were crossed).

Overall, this was a very simple procedure. I went in early in the morning, and was home around noon. I slept a lot that afternoon, took a few pain pills and woke up the next day feeling fine. Side effects can include a lot a vaginal discharge, but that wasn’t something I experienced. That month I didn’t have a period (since they scrape it all out), and since then, things are considerably better. Because I am on the young side for this procedure, my over-zealous endometrium may start growing back again, in which case the procedure can be repeated.

If you aren’t planning on a future pregnancy and suffer from very heavy periods, this procedure may be a good option for you. It sure beats buying sanitary supplies in bulk every.single.month.

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