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Notes on Women's Health
Notes on Women's Health

Category: Abnormal Bleeding

When Painful Menstrual Cramps Aren’t Normal

This is the fifth in a series of five blogs about conditions that can be related to abnormal uterine bleeding.

painful menstrual cramps

Mild vs. serious menstrual cramp pain

Most women experience mild to moderate menstrual cramping on occasion. When it occurs, the medical term for it is usually “primary dysmenorrhea,” which means painful menstrual cramps caused only by normal menstruation and not by an underlying condition or disease. Symptoms of normal primary dysmenorrhea can include pain that:

  • feels like mild to moderate cramps in your lower pelvis or back
  • occurs a day or two before your period or during the first few days of your period
  • is accompanied by mild nausea or diarrhea
  • doesn’t interfere with your daily activities
  • improves with one or two doses of ibuprofen

Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by the release of chemical compounds called prostaglandins in your uterus, and it often improves as you get older. Primary dysmenorrhea often responds well to prostaglandin-lowering treatments such as ibuprofen, magnesium and certain dietary changes. Read More

Taking Control of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

heavy menstrual bleeding

This is the fourth in a series of five blogs about abnormal uterine bleeding.

What is normal menstrual bleeding and what isn’t?

Many of our patients experience abnormally heavy bleeding during their periods. In many cases, they suspect it’s not normal, but because they’re used to menstrual bleeding every month, they think that it’s just because of how their bodies are made, and that they just have to make some lifestyle adjustments.

Many women begin to experience heavy menstrual bleeding in their 30’s or 40’s, or when menopause is getting closer. Menstrual periods vary for each woman, so it may be hard to know what’s normal and what’s abnormal bleeding. But although there is no solid definition for abnormal bleeding amounts, you may be bleeding too much if you: Read More

Uterine Fibroids: Your Questions Answered

This is the second in a series of five blogs about common conditions that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.

uterine-fibroids-woman-painUterine Fibroids: A common condition

Of every 10 women who come into our practice, seven of them will have uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Uterine fibroids are that common. But despite their frequency, many women have questions about fibroids, especially when the condition affects quality of life or causes health issues. Here are answers to some of the fibroid questions we’re asked most often at our practice. Read More

Abnormal Bleeding After Menopause: When to be Concerned

Woman on bed complaining of menopause bleeding & cramping You’ve made it through menopause. You’re done with the mood swings and the hot flushes, the fatigue and the cramping. And now, after decades of dealing with regular and irregular uterine bleeding, you’re settling into the latest phase of your body’s development, hopefully with a minimum of fuss. So what does it mean if you start bleeding again? Read More

Causes of Abnormal Bleeding Around Menopause: Navigating the Changes

Mature woman sitting on bed with manopause cramping and abnormal bleedingMenopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. If you’ve gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, it’s official: you’ve reached menopause. For about 40% of women, that’s all there is to it.

For the other 60% of women, the months or years leading up to menopause can bring a host of symptoms. Brought on by hormonal changes, the symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, hot flashes, chest pain, cramping, moodiness, vaginal dryness, abdominal weight gain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a reduced sex drive, urinary incontinence, and abnormal uterine bleeding — that is, irregular or heavy bleeding. Or both. These changes can bring on confusion and anxiety, especially if you’re not expecting them at this point in your life. Read More

Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding During Your Reproductive Years: What You Need to Know

Woman experiencing abnormal bleeding and crampsOne of the most common reasons that patients come to our medical office in Norwalk is because they have questions or concerns related to abnormal vaginal bleeding. This isn’t really a surprise: About a third of all outpatient visits to gynecologists in the United States are for heavy period bleeding, an unusually long period, or unusual bleeding between periods. But even though it’s common, irregular bleeding can be a major cause for concern, especially during pregnancy. And despite its possible effects on a woman’s lifestyle and health, irregular bleeding can be something that patients overlook, especially if the increase in bleeding has occurred gradually. Read More

In the News: The Dangers of Power Morcellation for Uterine Fibroid Removal

The FDA speaks out

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a memorandum that discouraged surgeons from using a common procedure called power morcellation to remove uterine fibroids. Power morcellation uses a medical device to divide uterine fibroids into smaller pieces that can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen, such as during laparoscopic surgery.

Why was the FDA announcement necessary?

New data from the Center for Devices and Radiological Health show that power morcellation can spread undetected cancers more often than previously realized. According to the data, one in 350 women who undergo a hysterectomy to treat fibroids or who have fibroids removed have undiagnosed uterine sarcoma — a type of cancer that can be aggressive. If power morcellation is performed in women with this kind of uterine cancer, the procedure can spread the cancer around the abdomen and pelvis.

Read More

Robotic Surgery as a Solution

Join me on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 pm at Norwalk Hospital for a free educational seminar to discusss Minimally Invasive Surgery for the treatment of Pelvic Prolapse, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis.  To register call 1-866-NHB-WELL.

Dr. John Garofalo to Speak at Norwalk Hospital Educational Symposium

5th Annual Norwalk Hospital Medical Staff Educational Symposium

Marriott Hotel, Newport, RI

October 22 – 24, 2010

Sunday October 24, 2010 – 7:30 – 8:15 am:

Uterine Fibroids – How Should We Treat Them? – Steven Bernstein & John Garofalo

Objective: Understand the treatment options for uterine fibroids