It's a problem that affects more women than we might think, severe menstrual bleeding. But now there's a new procedure to treat it. It's cheaper, safer, and you can go back to work the next day.
If you take a look at Anne Kaufman's closet, you can't help but notice most of her slacks are dark colors. That's because she suffers from excessive menstrual bleeding.
"I was wearing black all the time, I was having to run home from work and change clothes I was at events I'd have to leave from because of accidents," says Anne Kaufman, who underwent endometrial ablation.
For eight days a month, Kaufman protected herself with thick pads and tampons, but nothing seemed to work. That's when doctors at the Rock Valley Women's Center introduced her to endometrial ablation. This is a procedure that uses radio frequency waves to destroy tissue, allowing a women's menstrual cycle to return to healthy levels.
"Now I have a period every month, but it's once day. It's incredibly light and if you weren't looking for it, you'd miss it," Kaufman says.
Doctors say endometrial ablation is a lot safer than a hysterectomy, which can puncture the ovaries. There are fewer chances for complications with this procedure. But doctors say it's not for everyone.
"Anyone who has this procedure should not plan on having future pregnancy it is not a form of birth control but it can lead to complications if you plan on getting pregnant," says Dr. Bruce Jasper.
Dr. Jasper has done 50 of these procedures within the last six months. He says all of his patients now have healthy menstrual cycles, some experiencing no bleeding at all - a big relief for patients like Kaufman.
The endometrial ablation is cheaper than a hysterectomy. It costs about 10-thousand dollars. Hysterectomies cost nearly 15-thousand. Doctor Jasper says most insurance companies *will* cover the procedure.