Many women suffer from heavy, prolonged, or painful periods. Often, bad periods can start to impact your quality of life. You don’t have to suffer anymore!

Alternatively, some women develop irregular periods, where they skip cycles or may even go several months without a period. The menstrual cycle is a “vital sign” if periods change. It warrants an investigation into the underlying cause.

There are currently many treatment options for period problems. We encourage you to come in and speak with Dr. Zaander to determine which treatment may be right for you.

Often, the first step to addressing problem periods is a diagnostic evaluation — finding out why your periods may worsen. This can help us tailor treatment options more specifically to you.

Diagnostic evaluation may include:

  • History and physical exam
  • Imaging, such as a pelvic ultrasound
  • A biopsy of the lining inside the uterus is called an endometrial biopsy. This is done in the office and is used to rule out uterine cancers or pre-cancers.
  • A hysteroscopy is a small camera procedure that looks inside the uterus. It can help us find abnormalities inside the uterus cavity, such as polyps or small fibroids, that may be missed with ultrasound.
  • Blood work, such as checking for anemia or common hormonal causes of period problems, such as thyroid disease.

Pending the diagnostic evaluation results, we will discuss treatment options for you. Treatment may include:

  • Medical management with birth control pills or another hormonal method.
  • Placement of an IUD. The Mirena IUD, in particular, has a separate FDA approval for use in treating heavy periods, as it decreases menstrual bleeding by up to 80-90% and can be in place for five years.
  • Uterine ablation is a procedure that is most commonly done in the office, though it can sometimes be done in the operating room. Following ablation, 72% of women will not have any periods afterward, and another 20% will go from heavy to at least light/regular periods. It is a safe, minimally invasive procedure where the lining inside the uterus is treated so that it cannot rebuild/shed every month with your period. You are back on your feet the next day, which can make a huge difference in your periods!
  • Hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus entirely, is a definitive surgical procedure to stop your periods. Most hysterectomies are completed minimally-invasively, either completely through the vagina or laparoscopically, which uses 3 to 4 tiny incisions on the abdomen. In most cases, the ovaries will remain, so there are no hormone changes, but your doctor will discuss the pros/cons with you. For many women who are frustrated by persistent period problems, hysterectomy can be a life-changing decision. With modern minimally invasive approaches, recovery is easier and faster.