Q: I'm a 39-year-old female. In the last three to four months, I've been experiencing changes in my menstrual cycle marked by excessive bleeding and clotting. My gynecologist has suggested cryoablation of the uterus. Are there alternatives or is this the best procedure?

A: The best way to treat excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding depends on the cause.

Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia. It is difficult to measure the actual amount of blood lost during a period so the diagnosis is usually made by assessing the menstrual symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • Needing to change a pad more often than every 3 hours during the day or needing to change a pad during the night

  • Soaking through both a tampon and pad

  • Passing large blood clots

  • Feeling fatigue and other symptoms of anemia

Three main types of conditions cause menorrhagia:

  • Hormone imbalance

  • Uterine growth (such as a fibroid or polyp)

  • Bleeding disorders