Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Select An Article

Alternatives to Hysterectomy

Font Size


Menorrhagia means heavy vaginal bleeding. In many cases, the bleeding has a known cause, like uterine fibroids (see above), but in other cases the cause remains unknown. There's a medical threshold for menorrhagia -- losing more than 80 mL of blood in each menstrual cycle -- but most doctors now tend to define menorrhagia by how much it affects your daily life: causing pain, mood swings, and disruptions in your work, sexual activity, and other activities.

Some options for treating menorrhagia, short of hysterectomy:

  • Medical management. Menorrhagia's first treatment of choice is medical, using either oral contraceptives or an intrauterine device (IUD) that releases a hormone called levonorgestrel. Both of these treatments reduce menstrual bleeding significantly, although women report being generally more satisfied with the IUD. If you're still planning to have children in the future, these are probably your best options.
  • Endometrial ablation. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to remove the lining of the uterus. You should only consider these options, however, if you are done with childbearing. New, "second-generation" methods like thermal balloon ablation, cryoablation, and radiofrequency ablation have success rates up to 80%-90%. These are all outpatient procedures mostly done in the doctor's office, so they don't have the same complication rates and extended hospital stays involved in hysterectomy.
  • Occasionally, an NSAID is prescribed during menses to help reduce blood flow to the uterine lining.

Uterine Prolapse

Uterine prolapse happens when your uterus drops from its normal position and pushes against your vaginal walls. It can be caused by a number of things, but one of the most common causes is vaginal childbirth. Advancing age, smoking, pregnancy, and obesity are also significant risk factors.

Obviously, a hysterectomy will solve this problem -- but there are less drastic approaches that you can also consider. One treatment option is a vaginal pessary -- a removable device placed into the vagina to support areas where prolapse is happening. There are several different kinds of pessaries, and your doctor can help you decide which is best for your situation. They don't cure the prolapse, but can relieve symptoms partially or completely. Often, they can be helpful in pregnancy, holding the uterus in place before it enlarges and invades the vaginal canal.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror