Painful periods range from a mild ache to such severe pain that you can’t do anything but stay in bed and hug a heating pad to your body. At The Ashford Center in Athens, Georgia, Clinton Ashford, MD, FACOG, and Rebecca Ashford, MD, specialize in using one innovative and noninvasive procedure to relieve painful periods: Advanced Endometrial Ablation. To learn more about Advanced Endometrial Ablation and if it’s a good option for relieving your painful periods, call the office or book an appointment online today.
There are multiple causes of painful periods, or dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by chemicals produced in your uterine lining called prostaglandins. Right before menstruation, levels of prostaglandins increase. The chemicals then make muscles contract, which causes menstrual cramps and pain. Prostaglandins fall as your uterine lining sheds, so your pain goes down over the course of your period.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by several gynecological conditions. This type of pain lasts longer than normal menstrual cramps, often beginning a few days before your period and lasting after your period ends. Secondary dysmenorrhea also tends to worsen over time if the underlying condition goes untreated.
The health conditions frequently responsible for secondary dysmenorrhea include:
Endometriosis develops when tissues from the lining of your uterus get outside the uterine cavity and begin to grow on structures such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Patches of endometriosis respond to the monthly cycle of hormones. As a result, they bleed just like your period, except the blood stays in your pelvic cavity, causing inflammation, scarring, and painful periods.
Adenomyosis occurs when tissues from your uterine lining start to grow in the muscular wall of your uterus.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop within your muscular uterine wall, outside your uterus, or in mucosal tissues just below your uterine lining.
Primary dysmenorrhea can also cause symptoms such as:
If you have secondary dysmenorrhea, you may have additional symptoms associated with the underlying problem. For example, you may experience heavy periods, long periods, and have pain during intercourse, urination, or bowel movements.
Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that removes the tissues lining the inside of your uterus. After you have an Advanced Endometrial Ablation procedure, you can’t get pregnant. However, if you’re sure you don't want children in the future, this simple and safe procedure can provide relief from painful periods.
Since the lining is gone, your periods either stop or they become significantly lighter. This treats the heavy bleeding that’s often caused by underlying conditions.
Without your uterine lining, you won’t have to worry about prostaglandins, so pain is eliminated. When Advanced Endometrial Ablation is performed using radiofrequency energy, it can help treat symptoms caused by uterine fibroids.
If you suffer from painful periods, call The Ashford Center or book a consultation online today to learn if Advanced Endometrial Ablation can help you.