Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
It’s important to let Dr. Portera know if you have abnormal uterine bleeding. There are many ways to help treat this urogynecologic disorder.
Bleeding can usually be managed with medicine to reduce bleeding and/or hormone therapy to either stop or regulate menstrual periods. Surgical treatment is reserved for bleeding that can’t be controlled with medicine or hormone therapy.
Acute, severe uterine bleeding
Severe uterine bleeding is usually treated on an emergency basis with a short course of high-dose estrogen therapy. If that isn’t effective, in rare cases a hysterectomy or dilation and curettage (D&C) may be done to clear the uterus of tissue. When needed, a blood transfusion is used to quickly restore needed blood volume.
If you are treated for severe uterine bleeding, you and Dr. Portera can then choose a treatment that is safe for the longer term.
Ongoing uterine bleeding
Your age, the cause of your condition, and any future plans for pregnancy will impact the treatment choices available to you.
If you are a teen, you can expect your periods to become more regular as your body matures. You may choose to wait and see if your periods become more regular. If you need treatment, Dr. Portera may prescribe progestin or birth control pills to regulate your cycle.
If you are not ovulating regularly, it’s difficult to predict how long your abnormal bleeding will last until you stop having periods completely (menopause). If you need treatment, Dr. Portera may give you hormone therapy (such as birth control pills or a hormonal IUD) to regulate your cycle. If you have no future childbearing plans and have severe symptoms, you can opt for surgical treatment to remove your uterus (hysterectomy) or to desiccate the uterine lining (endometrial ablation).
If you are ovulating regularly, have abnormal bleeding, and plan to become pregnant in the future, talk to Dr. Portera about your treatment options. Depending on the cause of your bleeding, he may recommend treatments such as progestin or birth control pills or a hysteroscopy to remove polyps or fibroids. If you have no future pregnancy plans, you may consider an endometrial ablation or hysterectomy if other treatments do not help.
What to think about
If you are thinking of getting treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding, evaluate the following:
Has irregular menstrual bleeding caused a significant change in your lifestyle?
Do you plan to become pregnant in the future?
Do you have anemia caused by irregular menstrual bleeding?
Do you prefer to avoid medical treatment if possible?
Will you be starting menopause soon? If you are approaching menopause, you can expect uterine bleeding to naturally stop without treatment.
The answers to these questions will help you and Dr. Portera select the treatment plan that is best for you.
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Center for Urinary and Pelvic Disorders
6215 Humphreys Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120