13 July 2010
By Bhama Devi Ravi
With hysterectomy, though safe, continuing to be a dreaded option for many women, a large number of them – mostly women in the pre–menopausal stage – are seeking ways to manage their medical condition through non–surgical means.
And one tiny gadget that is finding favour is the loop–a Intra Uterine device (IUD), which was originally a contraceptive, is turning out to be a dam for the days of heavy flow that pre–menopausal women suffer from.
“Until recently, doctors had a choice of either prescribing hormone tablets or recommending hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), but now IUD is gaining ground in India, years after it became common in the West,“ says Dr Jayashri Gajaraj, gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals. ”IUD offers relief from pain and regulates dysfunctional bleeding, one of the indicators for doing a hysterectomy ,” she says.
R Saraswathy, a 38–year–old homemaker who suffers from SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), a condition where an auto–immune connective tissue attacks the body's cells, rules out surgery of any kind. “I have been suffering from premenopausal bleeding for the past few years, and I have tried everything, even steroids,” says Saraswathy. But nothing worked until she tried IUD which finally worked.
Although the average age of women attaining menopause is considered to be 50 years, many women in India reach the stage at least five years earlier, says Gajaraj. And pre–menopause begins at least four to five years before menopause. During this phase women experience mood swings, experience hot flushes, sleeplessness, headaches and tend to be fairly irritable. “Women are now coming forward to discuss such things frankly with their doctors, and are seeking help,” says Gajaraj.
- What is iud Intra Uterine device placed in the uterus, a form of birth control, is now also being used to dam up heavy flow during the premenopausal days
- How does it work The IUD contains progesterone in very small measures and works locally at the inner lining of the uterus, called endometrium A receptor attached to the device releases around 20 micrograms of the hormone daily
- No side effects The device is largely known to be free of side effects, although it takes many women time to feel comfortable with the device
- Cost of device At Rs 9,000, the device, fitted during an outpatient consultation, remains useful for five years