Health Team

More Women Choosing 'Her Option' to End Problem Periods

Posted December 27, 2007 3:36 p.m. EST
Updated December 27, 2007 5:47 p.m. EST

For most women, their monthly period is brief and bearable. But for others, it can last weeks and literally cramp their lifestyle.

Some medical options involve a hospital stay. But a procedure known as Her Option can be done quickly in a doctor's office. And that’s what appealed to Carol Sanders.

Sanders likes to run, whether it is running her own business or running to stay fit.

But at 42 years old, her normally heavy periods were getting worse and slowing her down.

“It had gotten to the point where over the past couple of years, where I might have a period three weeks out of the month,” she said.

She came to gynecologist Dr. Lisa Roberts to discuss options for dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

Options range from hormonal therapy to hysterectomy.

Many women choose thermal ablation of the uterine lining, requiring intravenous sedation in a hospital or surgical center.

“I was not interested in going to the hospital,” Sanders said. “I was not interested in time away from work.”

But Roberts offered Sanders ablation with freezing, also known as Her Option.

“Freezing tends to be a natural analgesic, and therefore it's extremely well tolerated in the office setting,” Roberts said.

Using ultrasound as a guide, the probe is directed to one side and forms a freeze ball.Then it's repeated on the other side. The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes.

As with any type of uterine ablation procedure, women must decide that they will no longer have children.

“Lying still was probably the worst part of it,” Sanders said. “(I) never had to take any pain medicine.”

It takes a few weeks to notice the benefits.

“Twenty to 30 percent of those women will stop having periods altogether,” Roberts said. “The other 60 to 70 percent will have a significant reduction in the amount of bleeding with their periods.”

“I barely have a period at all, maybe a couple days a month,” Sanders said.

And that allows Sanders to keep running her life on her schedule.