Menstrual problems

Period problems are a big issue for women. From your menarche to the menopause, it’s common for women to experience pain, heavy bleeding and irregular periods at some stage in their reproductive lives. Menstrual problems are more than an inconvenience; they can affect your health, your ability to work and study, and your social wellbeing.

Many girls and women are self-conscious about discussing their menstrual health, but period problems affect most women at some time. If you're worried about your periods, The Amara Clinic offers a safe, serene and supportive space to access exceptional gynaecological care.

In additions to consultations we can also offer further investigations, including blood tests and ultrasound scanning under the same roof. We aim to streamline your care, which will minimise your stress.

The importance of menstrual health

Menstrual health is important to women; it was ranked as women's top health priority in the Government's recent Women's Health Survey. But sadly, the diagnosis and treatment of period problems are often delayed because of stigma, myths and misinformation.

The Amara Clinic is run by women for women; we want to empower women to understand what's normal for their menstrual health and to access safe, effective treatment from health professionals they can trust. Whilst most menstrual problems are straightforward to address with appropriate expert advice and treatment, some may indicate a more serious problem is present- the Amara Team will help resolve any concerns.

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Heavy periods

Heavy periods are also known as menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). Bleeding is highly subjective. How much is too much? In the past, health professionals talked about the volume of blood lost- but let's be honest, it's not easy to quantify the amount of blood on a pad, tampon or down the loo. At The Amara Clinic, we believe in listening to women. If you think your periods are heavy, difficult to manage and affecting your life, then you’re right- but here are some signs that you may have heavy menstrual bleeding:

Painful periods or dysmenorrhea

If you’ve ever sat on the sofa with a hot water bottle clutched to your abdomen, you’ll know that period pain is a common problem. About 80% of women and girls experience period pain at some stage in their reproductive lives, and in 5% to 10% of women, the pain is bad enough to disrupt their lives. Period pain is widespread during the teenage years and can also become an issue during perimenopause.

Period pain scores

We all have different pain thresholds, but it is helpful to measure your pain on a scale of 0-10. By recording this information, you can track your symptoms, which may be useful if you seek specialist advice. This scoring system can also help once you have started treatment to show your pain levels are moving in the right direction.

Look for spotting, heavy bleeding, contraction-like pain, and multiple clots. You should also seek advice if you are regularly taking time off work or using painkillers more frequently due to your menstrual pain.

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Irregular periods

Not everyone's periods arrive every 28 days like clockwork. Irregular periods are incredibly common. The normal cycle varies between women- what's erratic for one person may be entirely normal for you. Stress, life events, excessive exercise and weight changes can all alter your period pattern – but if your periods have changed, they last more than seven days, your periods last longer than seven days, there's at least a 20-day difference between your longest and shortest cycle, or you're struggling to get pregnant it may be time to get specialist support.

Tests for period problems

The specialists at The Amara Clinic often find that taking a thorough history, talking through your health and symptoms in detail and performing a complete examination can tell us an enormous amount about the potential cause of your problem. We may arrange further investigations to check for underlying conditions and to see if your menstrual disorder has affected your health. These may include some or all of the following diagnostic tests and procedures:

  • Blood tests: To check for anaemia, clotting problems, hormone levels and thyroid disease.
  • Ultrasound scan: To look for fibroids, polyps, PCOS and ovarian cysts.
  • Hysteroscopy: An outpatient or day-case procedure to examine the lining of your womb with a telescope, check for any polyps and take biopsies for analysis, if required.
  • Laparoscopy: A keyhole procedure to visualise and inspect the pelvis, laparoscopy can diagnose problems including endometriosis, and in expert hands, can also treat the disease.

Treatment for period problems

The treatment you receive for your period problems depends on your underlying condition and personal preferences. The specialists at The Amara Clinic may recommend:

  • Hormonal treatments: These include the Mirena coil, HRT, the combined pill or GnRH agonists, which block oestrogen production and can reduce symptoms of endometriosis.
  • Endometrial ablation: A thin layer of the endometrium (tissue lining the womb) is broken down and destroyed.
  • Laparoscopic excision: Techniques including high energy laser, heat and ultrasound can be used to excise or destroy endometriosis.
  • Polypectomy: Polyps are removed during hysteroscopy; a fine tube is inserted through your vagina and cervix to visualise the uterus and a special tool called a morcellator (Myosure device) is used to cut away the polyps without the need for heat.
  • Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus is generally a last resort and is only considered if other treatments fail. Previously, one in five women had a hysterectomy before they reached menopause. Today, the procedure is relatively uncommon and performed via keyhole or laparoscopic surgery to avoid a lengthy recovery.

Fibroid removal

  • Laparoscopic myomectomy: A small incision is made near the belly button, and a tiny tube fitted with a camera is passed through. Surgery is carried out via other small incisions in the abdominal wall.
  • Open myomectomy: Surgery to remove fibroids is carried out through a larger incision along the lower abdomen (known as a bikini cut).
  • Uterine artery embolisation: Fibroids are zapped with a pellet which blocks the attached blood vessels, so they die naturally, avoiding major surgery.

Why choose The Amara Clinic?

Consultant-led care

The clinic is led by Miss Anne Henderson, a highly experienced Consultant Gynaecologist and accredited British Menopause Society (BMS) specialist, one of only 200 specialists across the UK. She works with an experienced multi-disciplinary team to support women during the menopause and throughout their reproductive lives.

Seamless service

All your requirements including consultations, investigations diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and prescriptions can be accessed in-house through a seamless process which rarely requires external referrals. Most women will see the same practitioner throughout their treatment journey, receiving not only a high level of expertise but also continuity of care.

One-stop service

At The Amara Clinic our mission is to make it easy for all women to access the quality healthcare they need. We offer a wide range of services including face-to-face and virtual appointments depending on your needs and location. We can also provide an extensive range of investigations including blood tests and imaging, treatments and private prescriptions. Our medical team cover a comprehensive selection of health concerns including general gynaecology, perimenopause and menopause, cervical screening and Well Woman health checks.

Healthcare by women for women

We offer personalised treatment and sensitive support in a comfortable, private space. The Amara Clinic offers exceptional bespoke health and menopause care in a boutique clinic in the heart of Tunbridge Wells as well as virtual consultations for patients across the world.

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