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Women have many questions when it comes to Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. Below are the most common questions and answers.
Q: What is a menstrual period?
A:When puberty begins, your brain signals your body to produce hormones. Some of these hormones prepare your body each month for a possible pregnancy. This is called the menstrual cycle. Hormones cause the lining of the uterus to become thicker with extra blood and tissue. One of your ovaries then releases an egg. This is called ovulation. The egg moves down one of the two fallopian tubes toward the uterus.
It was more than 2 decades ago that a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus with small incisions was first introduced. Yet, in 2010 nearly 60% of the hysterectomy surgery in the US were still being performed with long incisions across a woman’s stomach. Although the traditional approach to hysterectomies can be medically required in some cases, most women are excellent candidates for the newer technique.
“The Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH) is a technical name for the procedure which involves making a small ¾” incision so that a wand-like implement to clip and remove the uterus,” says Dr. Charles Tatum of McLeod OB/GYN Associates.. “Compared to the traditional method, the LSH is described as minimally invasive and it has a quite a few benefits for the patient.”
Snickering aside, women should be grateful to Gynecologist Arnold Kegel. In the late 1940s, he developed an exercise for pelvic muscles that offers women huge benefits. Studies show that 70% of women with stress incontinence who use the Kegel exercise will see improvement. Beyond the leakage issue, Kegels can prepare a pregnant woman’s body for labor and improve your sex life.
“Before your doctor recommends surgery of some type, he or she is likely to suggest the Kegel exercise,” says Dr. Michael Davidson of Advanced Women’s Care. “Weak pelvic muscles are one cause of urine leakage among women. Like any other muscle in our body, exercise can strengthen the muscles and give you more control.”
Females experience stress incontinence (or urine leakage) when they cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise vigorously or, very commonly, simply by swinging a golf club. Urodynamic testing conducted in the doctor’s office is used to determine the type of incontinence.
Treatments include exercises (Kegels), bladder training or medication. When these treatments fail to solve the problem, bladder incontinence surgery is the next step.
Embarrassment for personal incontinence is understandable and can cause you to put off seeing a doctor. First, remember – you are not alone. One source says women wait an average of more than 6 years before finally seeking help for their incontinence. On the average only 10% of women who experience urinary incontinence will seek professional medical help.
“This is sad, because there are many treatment options available,” says McLeod Gynecologist, Dr. Gary Emerson. “We’re trained to deal with your problem professionally. Bladder control problems are a common issue. Fifty percent of women will experience urinary incontinence during their lifetime. Those numbers increase as women age with one in three by age 60 experiencing some type of bladder control problem. Urinary incontinence is not a disease of old age as women as young as 20 experience bladder control and leakage problems.”
“Pelvic relaxation may sound like something pleasant but that is definitely not the case,” says McLeod Gynecologist, Dr. John Browning. “The phrase is another way of describing pelvic organ prolapse – or the failure of a woman’s body to support the uterus. At its worst, the condition can result in a woman’s uterus, bladder, small bowel, and even the rectum protruding from her vagina and cervix. Thank goodness there are a number of ways to solve this problem.”
Causes. Multiple vaginal births, obesity, aging and high impact activities or chronic straining due to constipation are among the risk factors and causes for pelvic relaxation. Women as young as 20 can experience some of these conditions.
“’Pelvic Health’ is a new phrase used among professionals in women’s health,” says McLeod Gynecologist, Dr. Charles Tatum. “We know what it means, but to the layperson, the descriptor can be confusing or even misleading. To clarify, pelvic health refers to five areas of concern that affect more than 1 in 3 women.”
Pelvic Health includes:
As a women experiencing bladder leakage, the first thing you should know is: You are not alone.
“Urine or bladder leakage is a problem experienced by about half of adult women,” says McLeod Gynecologist, Dr. Brad Campbell. “Fifty percent of women will experience stress incontinence during their life time. One in three women over the age of 60 will experience some type of pelvic health problem. It’s unfortunate that embarrassment about this most personal of problems will keep many women from talking about the problem and enjoying an active lifestyle.”