The partial or total removal of the uterus, a hysterectomy, is a procedure recommended for women suffering from heavy bleeding and pelvic pain that won’t improve with medications.
Hysterectomies can improve your quality of life and be life-saving for cancer patients. However, hysterectomies aren’t without downsides.
You may experience low libido after a hysterectomy and have a higher risk for prolapse as organs shift to fill in the space vacated by your uterus.
If you undergo a hysterectomy before menopause, you may need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for prolonged periods if you haven’t reached menopause yet.
Because of a hysterectomy's invasive and permanent nature, many women ask themselves, “Is there an alternative?” Bellow, our experts at The Ashford Center, Dr. Clinton Ashford and Dr. Rebecca Ashford, describe the available alternative treatments and explain who’s a good candidate for them.
Women without uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancers are often good candidates for less invasive procedures that can help manage symptoms.
Our experts use endometrial ablation to destroy the thin lining you shed during your menstrual cycle. This procedure works well for women with endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polyps, and abnormal growth of the uterine lining. Pain and heavy bleeding are either lessened or stopped altogether. Dr. Clinton Ashford has extensive experience using endometrial ablation to lessen pain and heavy bleeding in over 5,000 patients.
After removing the endometrium, a third of women lose their periods, while the remaining women experience lighter, painless periods. Women who want to get pregnant aren’t good candidates for endometrium ablation, as the fetus can’t develop properly without a fully functional endometrium.
We offer oral medications, such as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and anti-inflammatories, for women who want to stay fertile while addressing heavy pain and bleeding.
Most conditions that cause pain and heavy bleeding stem from excess estrogen, progesterone, or sensitivity to these hormones. Combined contraceptive pills and IUDs can limit the production of these hormones, lessening the symptoms. Good candidates for hormone treatments don’t have a history of cancer or blood clotting disorders.
If you aren’t a good candidate for hormone therapy, we may recommend prostaglandin inhibitors to reduce menstrual flow and pain. Anti-inflammatories also decrease pain by stopping the production of prostaglandins.
If you don’t have a history of cancer of the reproductive organs and want to avoid the lengthy recovery associated with a hysterectomy, contact us to schedule an appointment in our Athens, Georgia, office.
Our experts review your medical history and perform several imaging tests to determine if you could be a candidate for a less invasive treatment for managing pain and heavy bleeding.