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Uterine Bleeding

If your periods are so heavy that they disrupt your normal daily activities, you may have excessive menstrual bleeding or dysfunctional uterine bleeding. The medical term for periods that are very heavy, prolonged or both is menorrhagia.

Causes

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a common condition that occurs for many of reasons. Two of the most common causes of uterine bleeding are hormonal imbalances and uterine growths.

Hormonal Imbalances

Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are out of balance, they can cause heavy periods or bleeding between periods. Causes of hormonal imbalances may include:

  • Hormonal changes in teens and in women nearing menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Anorexia (eating disorder)

 

Types of Uterine Growths

  • Fibroids - benign (non-cancerous) growths in or near the uterus.
  • Polyps - growths that attach to the inner wall of the uterus and protrude into the uterine cavity.
  • Adenomyosis - endometrial tissue normally lining the uterus grows into the muscular walls of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis - tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus.
  • Endometrial cancer - an uncontrolled growth of cells of the uterine lining.
  • Hyperplasia - an abnormal proliferation of cells (cell division or growth) that may result in enlargement (growth) of the uterus. This term is sometimes used to refer to a benign tumor or fibroid.

Symptoms

Symptoms of menorrhagia may also include:

  • Cramping
  • Pelvic pain
  • Anemia

Treatment

When other treatments like hormone pills, shots or insertion of an IUD do not regulate dysfunctional uterine bleeding, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is often the next choice. Doctors often recommend hysterectomy when medication or lifestyle changes do not provide a cure or ease your symptoms.

The hysterectomy is the most common surgery to treat gynecologic conditions such as heavy bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis and pelvic prolapse. In fact, one in three women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before she turns 60.

Nowadays, many women avoid the large incision and four- to six-week recovery that comes with traditional open hysterectomy by choosing minimally invasive surgery. Fortunately, miVIP offers two minimally invasive options for treating gynecologic conditions — the laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure as well as the da Vinci ® Hysterectomy.

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