What is a D&C? It stands for Dilatation and Curettage. This is a minor surgical procedure that is often recommended by healthcare practitioners to treat heavy bleeding. The cervix is dialated and a small curette is used to scrape the lining of the uterus away. This can significantly reduce bleeding until the lining is regenerated. Unfortunately, a D&C is used all too often as a treatment for fibroid tumors and adenomyosis. This procedure can temporarily reduce the bleeding symptoms but does nothing to actually treat the primary diseases. Women often get a false sense of security once the bleeding is reduced…..take care, the fibroid tumors and adenomyosis are still growing.
Routinely in my consultations, I get asked to explain some of the minimally invasive treatments for fibroids. Today I want to discuss Endometrial Ablation. This is a very common procedure often recommended by the gynecologist for patients with heavy bleeding. This technique basically destroys the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrial lining. It can be destroyed using various different techniques with either heat or cold. All ultimately do the same thing…..this procedure significantly reduces bleeding but if the ablation is incomplete…lining can regenerate over time and bleeding return. This is a treatment for heavy monthly periods, but not a direct treatment for fibroid tumors or adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis is a non cancerous disease of the uterine muscle, also known as “uterine endometriosis“.
Symptoms include heavy bleeding, clots, painful cycles, painful intercourse and abdominal bloating.
Signs include painful pelvic exams and an enlarged uterus. Not all these noted signs and symptoms need be present to have the disease. Adenomyosis can occasionally be visualized on MRI, but conclusive diagnosis requires a tissue biopsy. This disease, like fibroids, is hormone dependent, and requires estrogen to spread. As hormones peak with the menstrual cycle, adenomyosis is further invading the uterine muscle. Traditional medicine advocates birth control pills, ablation therapy and IUDs as treatment options, but these modalities only treat the symptoms, not the actual disease. Most common treatment is hysterectomy. We do not advocate hysterectomy but recommend treatment of the adenomyosis with a laser to preserve the uterus.