Maria (51)

Periods changed following childbirth

It wasn’t until after giving birth to her twins 25 years ago that 51-year-old Maria found that gradually her periods became heavier and more irregular. For many years she just put up with the inconvenience and physical and emotional pain every month.

“I began to lose my happy-go-lucky personality in the turmoil of terrible mood swings, excruciating period pain and heavy bleeding,” explained Maria. “It got so bad that I was using sanitary towels night and day, changing at least five times every day. I was always waiting for the black cloud to descend on me at that time of the month. This went on for years until about two years ago. I thought I’d won the lottery when my periods just stopped for three months and I was actually celebrating the arrival of the menopause!”

Unfortunately, the loss of her heavy periods was due more to the fact of being on a strict diet, losing nearly 5 stone in weight at that time. It wasn’t long before her periods came back with a vengeance. “I was at my wits end,” said Maria, “I experienced terrible back and abdominal pain that no painkillers could alleviate.” It was at this point, having experienced heavy menstrual bleeding practically non-stop for a whole month and feeling drained, miserable and snappy that Maria sought her GP’s help, realising that what she was experiencing wasn’t “normal” and she didn’t want to have to suffer in this way any longer. It was also beginning to affect her demanding job, working as a depot operations manager for a train company, where she has nearly 400 staff, predominantly male, reporting to her.

Maria’s GP listened sympathetically to her symptoms and, after discovering her blood count was very low and prescribing iron tablets for her anaemia, referred her to a gynaecologist, who discussed the available treatment options. Maria had had a bad experience having a progesterone coil fitted when she was younger and wanted to avoid taking the drastic action of having a hysterectomy. Her gynaecologist recommended having an endometrial ablation as Maria has finished having her family.

Maria opted for a general anaesthetic. Within four hours of the procedure, she was allowed home and was prescribed pain killers for the mild stomach cramps she was feeling immediately afterwards. Since the procedure, Maria reports that she has not experienced any bleeding whatsoever and is a very, very happy person.

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