CYPRESS, Calif., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Endometrial ablation, a minimally invasive procedure, is effective as hysterectomy in treating "dysfunctional uterine bleeding" or DUB, a U.S. study found.
A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial in the United States and Canada involved 237 women at 25 treatment centers. Women were randomly assigned to receive either hysterectomy or endometrial ablation, which removes only the lining of the uterus -- the lining cells are responsible for the bleeding -- not the entire organ.
DUB is abnormal bleeding -- menometrorrhagia -- that cannot be attributed to abnormalities of the female reproductive system, pharmacological interaction, intrauterine contraception or bleeding disorders. The condition affects up to a one-third of all women at some point during their reproductive years, usually women over age 30. It is characterized by extremely heavy, erratic menstrual bleeding and is often accompanied by fatigue, pelvic pain and decreased quality of life. The excessive blood loss in DUB can provoke iron deficiency anemia.
After three years of follow-up, the vast majority of patients in both groups -- 93 percent to 95 percent -- reported that their problem was solved. The secondary endpoints of pain and fatigue were also similar between the hysterectomy group and the endometrial ablation group.