Menorrhagia is a condition in which a woman has extremely heavy or prolonged menstrual periods. Bleeding between periods is called abnormal uterine bleeding. In some cases, bleeding may be so severe and relentless that daily activities become interrupted and anemia develops.
In general, bleeding is considered excessive when a woman soaks through enough sanitary products (sanitary napkins or tampons) to require changing every hour. Bleeding is considered prolonged when a woman experiences a menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days.
Menorrhagia and abnormal uterine bleeding may be due to a hormone imbalance or disorder (particularly estrogen and progesterone), especially in women approaching menopause or after menopause. Other causes of abnormal bleeding include the presence of abnormal tissues such as fibroid tumors (benign tumors that develop in the uterus, also called myomas), polyps, or cancer of the endometrium or uterus.
Depending on the cause of the bleeding, endometrial ablation may be recommended to destroy the lining of the uterus. Because the endometrial lining is destroyed, it can no longer function normally, and bleeding is stopped or controlled. In most cases, a woman cannot become pregnant after endometrial ablation because the lining that nourishes a fetus has been removed. However, after ablation, a woman still has her reproductive organs.
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend endometrial ablation.