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1 in 5 US women are affected by menorrhagia - a condition characterized by heavy, long periods. Other symptoms include chronic fatigue and anemia caused by heavy loss of blood. Menorrhagia may be diagnosed in women who have periods that last longer than 7 days, use 20 or more sanitary napkins or tampons a day, have to change their tampon or sanitary napkin at least every hour and spotting or bleeding occurs between menstrual periods. Many women with the condition suffer in silence, either too embarrassed to seek help or don't consider it a health risk. Previously, treatment included drug therapy or hysterectomy which proved ineffective or overly invasive for many women. Hormone therapy generally works for 50% of women and dilation and curettage for 15% of women. Hysterectomy is the most common and most complete treatment but it carries some risks and is a major operation. Today, endometrial ablation is available for women who suffer from menorrhagia and don't plan on having any more children. The technique involves removing the uterine lining resulting in reduction of period or complete elimination. NovaSure is an outpatient procedure that takes 90 seconds and involves using radio frequency energy to destroy the uterine lining. Side effects are negligent and recovery is very quick. Some gynecologists report a 90% success rate with the treatment.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Saratogian
About: Simple treatments exist for menorrhagia
Date: 27 December 2004
Author: Dr Kathryn O'Keeffe
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