Posted on: 14 January 2015
If you suffer from dysfunctional uterine bleeding, you know how distressing and inconvenient it can be. Out of desperation, you may try to convince your gynecologist to perform a hysterectomy without trying alternative methods to stop the excessive bleeding. A hysterectomy is major surgery and is not without risks. Other options may help control the bleeding without the risks factors associated with undergoing a surgical procedure.
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, commonly referred to as DUB, is any bleeding that occurs apart from your normal monthly period. Excessive bleeding during your menstrual cycle, prolonged periods, and spotting or bleeding between normal periods can be defined as DUB.
When should you be concerned?
Having an isolated irregular period or an incidence of spotting between cycles isn't usually a cause for concern. These isolated incidents may be caused by changes in your hormones or triggered by stress or lifestyle changes. If the bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you need to see your doctor. Prolonged bleeding can lead to anemia or may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs treatment.
Fibroid tumors of the uterus, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and hormone imbalances can all cause irregular bleeding. However, sometimes no physiological or hormonal cause can be found. In these cases, hormone supplements may be used to control the bleeding.
If the bleeding continues or becomes so excessive that it leads to anemia, your gynecologist may recommend a hysterectomy. Removing the uterus is often a last resort but does provide relief from the condition.
When bleeding is heavy and prolonged, you run the risk of becoming anemic. Anemia can make you lethargic and weak. If the blood count becomes low enough, you may faint or require a blood transfusion.
Dysfunctional bleeding can interfere with your work and activities of daily living. Sufferers may be embarrassed to go out in public because of the risk of accidentally bleeding through their clothing. This can lead to depression and anxiety.
When it's time for surgery
When medications or other options fail to provide relief, or when a cause cannot be found for the DUB, surgery may be the only option.
Your doctor will take your medical history into consideration when determining which type of hysterectomy is best for you. Vaginal laparoscopic hysterectomy or abdominal hysterectomy are two commonly used approaches for the surgery.
The Da Vinci method is also used at times and is less invasive. It also makes the recovery process easier for the patient. It requires special robotic equipment and may not be available at all hospitals.
Rushing into surgery usually isn't recommended for DUB. However, when you've exhausted alternative options and treatments, and your gynecologist feels surgery is the best option, you can feel confident about signing the consent forms for surgery. For more information, contact a local medical clinic, like Western Branch Center for Women.Share