Roughly 10 million women in the U.S. suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). Heavy bleeding can greatly affect daily life and productivity, but only about 2 million women seek out help each year.
There are several treatment options already available to women with heavy menstrual bleeding. One of the most innovative treatments to date is the NovaSure procedure, which is a type of endometrial ablation done by our skilled team here at All About Women. This procedure removes the endometrium (uterine lining) with radio frequency energy.
Other types of endometrial ablation that are used include electrical ablation, hydrothermal ablation, balloon therapy and microwave ablation.
New treatment option for heavy menstrual bleeding
There is a new type of endometrial ablation that may soon be available to all women dealing with heavy menstrual bleeding. In July 2020, the FDA approved a product called the Cerene ® Cryotherapy Device that freezes the endometrium and destroys it.
An Indiana OB/GYN who performed the first successful endometrial ablation using the Cerene Cryotherapy device in January 2021 believes this is a historic step in women’s health and told Fort Wayne’s NBC that he’s “always looking to better serve the patient” and believes this procedure is “a game-changer for women everywhere.”
One advantage is the cryotherapy method doesn’t require any anesthesia (as other types of endometrial ablation currently do) and, like the NovaSure, can be done in your doctor’s office in under 3 minutes. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a small probe into the uterus and then releases a freezing agent that destroys the endometrium.
As with any type of endometrial ablation, the Cerene Cryotherapy procedure is for women who are done with childbearing and are premenopausal. The difference may be that it causes less scarring (or buildup of scar tissue) and adhesions.
Another advantage may be that it allows for the endometrial tissue to be analyzed to see if the patient may have any future health issues.
What causes heavy menstrual bleeding? What is considered “heavy”?
There are many factors that can cause heavy periods in women, but some of the most common are:
- Uterine fibroids (usually in younger women)
- Uterine polyps
- Hormonal imbalances
There are a handful of signs that can help you determine if you fit into the category of heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia. If you are losing more than 80mL of blood each cycle or have to change your pad/tampon every hour for much of your cycle, then you may have menorrhagia. You may also experience a lot of pain in your lower stomach during your menstrual cycles.
If you’re struggling to accomplish daily tasks during your cycle or feel worried about constant leakage, talk to your doctor about possible menorrhagia treatment options. Millions of women struggle with heavy periods, but only a fraction seek help.