Treating heavy menstrual bleeding

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - When it comes to menstrual cycles, it can be much more than a monthly inconvenience for many women. A condition called "menorrhagia" causing excessive bleeding can literally take control of a woman's life unless surgery is involved. But there is a minimal technique to change that.

For those who know 51-year-old Lisa Jakel, it's rare to see this mom, wife and educator without a big smile on her face. But for over a year, she was living with irregular menstrual bleeding that started to take its toll on her life.  "It got progressively worse," says Lisa, "to the point that it was controlling my daily routine."

Concerned over her longer and heavier periods, Lisa sought the advice of her gynecologist, Dr. William Groves with Memorial Hospital for Women - who explained that 25 percent of women deal with this condition.  "A lot of patients as they age, due to prior factors like childbirth, family history, tend to have longer periods," says Dr. Groves, "a lot of times that will happen in the late 30s, early 40s."

It's when the cycle lasts longer than seven days, severe fatigue follows and the bleeding occurs more frequently than every four weeks that Dr. Groves recommends consulting a physician.  "A lot of ladies will put up with heavier bleeding," he says, "because they think it's normal, but frequently it can lead to severe anemia, which is a low blood count that can cause a lot of fatigue and certainly put a lot more stress on their body and their heart."

Traditional treatments for heavy bleeding range from oral medications to hysterectomy. Lisa, though, was a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure called "endometrial ablation."  Dr. Groves explains, "An endometrial ablation basically uses one of a few different technologies to destroy or thin the uterine lining to where the cells that are producing the heavy blood flow are decreased in number."

No incisions are involved and patients typically return to work within one to two days. Lisa had the endometrial ablation last April and has seen the transformation in her cycle.  "It's much lighter, much more manageable and I'm back to being myself," she says.

*To learn more about endometrial ablation, listen into Memorial Health e-Radio today at 1:00 P.M.  Dr. Groves will be explaining more about this treatment option.

**You can also call Dr. Groves' office at 480-5530.

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