Special Care OBGYN Her Option Procedure

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Questions and Answers about Her Option

Her Option Cryoablation Therapy is a treatment for bringing menstrual periods that are, too heav, too frequent or last too long under control. Offered in the comfort of your doctor’s office, Her Option is a convenient, effective and comfortable way to free you of the limitations brought about by abnormal uterine bleeding.

Before proceeding with any medical procedure, it is best to become knowledgeable about it by gathering information. Following are answers to questions women commonly ask about Her Option.

My doctor referred to my heavy menstrual bleeding as menorrhagia. What is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia is the clinical name for very heavy menstrual bleeding. It is typical for a menstrual period to occur about every 28 days and to last four to five days. Women with menorrhagia often experience their periods more frequently, with more intensity and for longer periods of time than what is typical. Hemorrhaging, profuse bleeding over many days, passing blood clots and severe cramping also can accompany these periods.

What causes heavy periods?

There can be many causes for abnormal uterine bleeding, such as a hormone imbalance, polyps, uterine fibroids as well as more rare medical conditions. Complications from pregnancy and certain illnesses also can result in heavy periods. Sometimes, these conditions can be treated and the excessive bleeding resolved. Other times, the reason for the heavy bleeding is unknown.

My mother had a hysterectomy to resolve her heavy periods. Should I have one, too?

It is interesting to note that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 90% of hysterectomies are performed for noncancerous conditions, such as abnormal uterine bleeding. Endometrial ablation is a more recent treatment option that may not have been available to your mother. This proven, state-of-the-art procedure often can replace hysterectomy for the treatment of bleeding disorders. With endometrial ablation, your uterus and hormones remain intact. In fact, many physicians believe you should try a first-line defense—such as endometrial ablation—before pursuing a more radical approach like hysterectomy.

How do I know if my periods are heavy enough to consider treatment?

Following are the typical signs and symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding:

  • Periods that last for more than seven days
  • Profuse bleeding that soaks through several pads a day
  • Menstrual flow that includes blood clots
  • The need to use double sanitary protection
  • Cramping in your abdomen during your period
  • Nausea, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and anemia

When evaluating heavy menstrual bleeding, how much you bleed may not be as important as how much your bleeding affects you. For example, if your periods affect on your ability to live your life to its fullest by preventing you from leaving the house, that is not healthy.

It is important that you first work with your doctor to try to determine the cause of the bleeding. Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will provide you with treatment options and advise you if  endometrial ablation is one of them.

Why do women choose Her Option Cryoablation Therapy?

There are many reasons women choose Her Option:

  • High success rate in reducing bleeding
  • The uterus and natural hormones remain intact
  • The procedure is performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office rather than a hospital operating room
  • Cryoablation acts as a natural anesthetic, increasing patient comfort during the procedure.

How does Her Option treat heavy periods?

Her Option Cryoablation Therapy uses subzero temperatures (cryoablation) to reduce or eliminate excessive menstrual periods. A slender probe is gently inserted vaginally through your cervix and into your uterus. The probe is so slender it requires little to no cervical dilation. From the tip of the probe subzero temperatures are applied symmetrically to your uterine lining (the tissue responsible for menstrual bleeding) to eliminate it. When the uterine lining is reduced, there is less tissue to shed each period and therefore dramatically less or no menstrual bleeding. 

How long does the Her Option procedure take?

The procedure typically takes 20 to 30 minutes and is performed in your doctor’s office.

Is the procedure painful?

Most women do not experience pain during the procedure. You may feel a sensation similar to menstrual cramps. Taking an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen before the procedure can help reduce any discomfort.

How long will my recovery be?

Many women are able to leave the physician’s office in as little as 15 minutes or upt to 2 hours. Limited activity is recommended for the rest of the day..

How is Her Option different from other ablation procedures?

There are two types of ablation procedures—cryoablation and thermal ablation. Her Option uses cryoablation (cold temperatures) to destroy or eliminate the uterine lining. Because cold is a natural pain killer, anesthesia generally is not needed during this procedure. Thermal ablation, however, uses energy or heat to destroy the uterine lining and generally requires some form of anesthesia.

Unlike some thermal ablation procedures, Her Option does not require cervical dilation or distention of your uterus.

It is reassuring to learn that cryoablation has been used for years in medical treatments and gynecologists are very familiar with it.

What will my period be like after the procedure?
The decrease in bleeding after a Her Option procedure varies from woman to woman. For some women, periods return to more “normal” levels. For others, bleeding is completely eliminated or they experience spotting just a few days a month.

What results have women experienced with Her Option?

  • Her Option is so effective that 91% of patients surveyed at two years post-treatment were very or extremely satisfied with treatment results.1
  • A full 96% of patients would recommend Her Option to a friend.1

What are the drawbacks to having a Her Option procedure?
There are 10% of cases in which endometrial ablation will not be effective and may require additional treatment, such as a hysterectomy.

Who is a good candidate for the procedure?

Her Option may be the right option for a woman who is pre-menopausal, experiences abnormal uterine bleeding is due to benign causes and does not intend to become pregnant in the future.

Her Option is not recommended for everyone. You will need to be evaluated by your doctor to find out if it is right for you. You will not be a candidate if you intend to become pregnant, use an IUD, or suffer from uterine cancer, an active urinary tract infection, pelvic inflammatory disease or if you have certain types of uterine abnormalities. Every medical treatment has risks and complications.

For more information and elgibility on this procedure please contact SpecialCare OBGYN to setup an appointment to speak with Dr. Etemadi.