Nine months ago I had a uterine ablation. I first wrote about it three months post-op, and that blog post continues to be one of the most popular I’ve ever written. I’ve lost count of how many women have been in touch to ask advice and opinion and to share their own story. Today, on International Women’s Day, it seemed fitting to write a brief update about the outcome of the procedure.
By way of a quick recap, I had menorrhagia, (very heavy menstrual bleeding), for several years. I tried the contraceptive pill, (progesterone only because I was over 40), the Mirena coil and tranexamic acid. Nothing worked and for 10 days out of 24 I would bleed heavily, pass clots and feel absolutely lousy. Some nights, I had to change my bedding several times. Some days, I didn’t dare leave the house. It impacted on my general well-being, my energy levels and my self-esteem. I felt unattractive, exhausted and thoroughly fed up.
Eventually, my GP referred me to a gynaecologist who listed me for a hysteroscopy, (a camera investigation of the uterus), and biopsies. I wrote an honest account about it which also resonated with countless women. The results came back as normal- nothing sinister or life-threatening, but the findings suggested that surgical intervention in the form of uterine ablation would benefit me. I was relieved and excited in equal measures.
I had the procedure last May and it changed my life. For the first five months after the operation, I had a light to medium bleed every 24-26 days. I still had premenstrual breast-tenderness and stomach cramps, but I expected this. The procedure doesn’t alter the hormonal aspect of the menstrual cycle. It was all completely manageable and what I assume a “normal” menstrual bleed must be like. No more flooding. No more hiding away. I was completely satisfied and absolutely delighted. In fact, I felt so much better after the first few weeks that I took the steps I needed to return to work in optometric practice; something I couldn’t have contemplated prior to the op.
But…it gets even better.
I haven’t had a period for four months now. Can you imagine the joy? I don’t believe I’ve gone through a sneaky menopause because I still get very mild premenstrual symptoms. I don’t have any other signs or symptoms of menopause either. Not only that, the same thing happened to a close friend of mine. She’s a year younger than me (I’m 45), and had the same procedure followed by two or three (light) menstrual bleeds and then no more. I like to think therefore that mine is a typical final result.
The outcome of uterine ablation has surpassed everything I’d hoped for. It was straight-forward with a very quick recovery time, so if you are suffering like so many, please do consider it. Quite simply, it has changed my life.
Happy International Women’s Day,