According to Women's Health Concern, 80% of women suffer from period pains at one stage in their lives. Many of us are no stranger to what can sometimes be debilitating symptoms every month.
For others, the pain is coupled with a heavy flow which makes menstruation even more uncomfortable.
For years women have been looking for ways to ease the pain with over the counter painkillers, hot water bottles or heat patches, but these were only temporary solutions.
For women with more severe cases of period pains such as endometriosis, (this is when the lining that is normally found inside the womb, occurs outside of the womb and during menstruation has no place to shed and results in painful cysts and lesions as seen in this article published on News24), having a very invasive hysterectomy was one of the treatments available.
Thanks to Uterine Artery Embolisation (UAE) an innovation that promises to significantly reduce period pains and heavy bleeding during a menstruation - the only thing we need to say goodbye to are pains and heavy flow. This means our uterus stays safe and sound.
According to an article published by Julie Power in the Sydney Morning Herald, scientists have discovered the cause of heavy bleeding and severe period pains - a condition called adenomyosis which they also called the "cousin" of endometriosis.
The article also states that adenomyosis can be successfully treated in 90% of women with a uterine-saving and non surgical procedure called UAE.
The procedure is very simple and quick - a doctor uses a slender, flexible tube (catheter) to inject small particles (embolic agents) into the uterine arteries, which supply blood to your fibroids and uterus. The goal is to block the fibroid blood vessels, starving the fibroids and causing them to shrink and die.
The article goes on to say that after the procedure, around 90% of the women experienced a lighter period while on a scale from 0 - 10, pain was reduced from a high 7.5 to a low 1.3.
There are however some risks that may come with the procedure, according to an article published in Mayo Clinic.
1. Infection - a degenerating fibroid can provide a site for bacterial growth and lead to infection of the uterus (endomyometritis). Many uterine infections can be treated with antibiotics, but in extreme cases, infection may require a hysterectomy.
2. Damage to other organs - unintended embolisation of another organ or tissue can occur, although it's not as high a risk as with surgery. Whether you have embolisation or surgery, disruption of the ovarian blood supply is a possibility because the ovaries and uterus share some blood vessels. If you're nearing menopause (perimenopausal), such a disruption could lead to menopause - but that's rare if you're age 40 or younger.
3. Possible problems in future pregnancies - many women have healthy pregnancies after having uterine artery embolisation. However, some evidence suggests pregnancy complications, including abnormalities of the placenta attaching to the uterus, may be increased after the procedure.
Speak to your gynae or a medical professional for more information and to find out if it's the right treatment for you.
Do you know anyone who has a success story and no longer suffers from heavy or painful periods? Chat to us here - we'd love to hear your story.
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