20 answers

Desperately Need Advice - Female Issue

For the last year, I have been having issues with bleeding 24/7. It started with just really heavy periods and severe cramps during normal cycle and then progressed to where I was having my cycle every 2-3 weeks and then finally to the point where I would have my cycle and then just spot until had another cycle (2-3wks later). I have gone to the regular Dr who did bloodwork and everything checked out fine except a little anemia (Duh!). Hormone level normal so night a sign of menopause. I was referred to OB/GYN who put me on bc pills (even though tubes tied) and told me to take every day and when I started my next actual period to increase the dosage to 2 a day for couple of days and then 3 a day until bleeding stopped then decrease back down to 1. I tried this and was so sick I couldn't hardly stand it plus it was causing severe abdominal cramping and not doing anything for the bleeding.

I went back to OB/GYN and she told me that I was reacting to the hormone and to stop taking it. Her next suggestion was to try the Depo shot. I have had good luck with this in the past so I thought why not. I took first shot and nothing changed. Still bleeding every day and when I called was told that was normal with the shot. I know that spotting is normal but when you are trying to stop the bleeding then it is obviously not working but they said get the next one 12 weeks later. I did that and no change. Still bleeding on a regular daily basis.

Now my doctor has said that the only other two options is endometrial ablation or hysterectomy. However she also said the ablation is only about 80% effective and usually has to be repeated in about 5 years. The hysterectomy would be 100%.

Here is the issue..my insurance has a $750 deductible plus the out of pocket maximum of $2250 so a total of $3000 out of pocket to get either surgery. I don't have this money nor do I have the ability to borrow it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a) how to work around the $3000 deductible b) any other options that I can try

I appreciate any advise/help you guys can give as I am really tired of bleeding. It is really disruptive to my life and activities.

Thanks in advance.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice. I am going to check into some of the things suggested since I wasn't told of them previously. Once again you guys have been wonderful!

Featured Answers

No idea if this will help or not. I was at the stage where I was bleeding every three weeks or so, then spotting some. They did a few ultrasounds and blood work and everything was normal. She put me on LoEstrin24Fe and it got worse. Not much heavy bleeding but only stopping for maybe one week a month. At my friend's recommendation I asked about Nuvaring. I am on month two now and so far it is great. I only bleed when I am supposed to and NOTHING in between. No idea if it would help you or not but I guess the pill they had me on was not enough to make a difference and so far this has helped. Good luck. I know what a pain that is.

1 mom found this helpful

If you can swing it go for the ablation. I had the exact same problems you do. After discussing with my Dr the options I went with the ablation and while I still have periods they are only 1-2 days and very very light.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I'd definitely get a second opinion before having surgery that is so drastic.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Im sorry that your having so many issues i havent had any experince close to that. As for the cost of the surgery, check with the hospital and see if they have a foundation that offers financial assistance. Last year i had more than 20k in hospital bills ( after insurance) and had to fill out some forms and provide proof of income & tax forms, and the hospital's foundation helped pay off most of it.

2 moms found this helpful

I didn't have the everyday bleeding like you, well only once while i was on Orthotricyclin, but I did have issues with heavy periods. My GYN told my about the ablation NovaSure. He gave me the options of the ablation vs. the hysterectomy. I chose the NovaSure. It changed my life. It saved my life.

I wasn't luck enough to have the bleeding completely stop, but my cycles are now about 4 days long, and I hardly notice them. BIG difference from the 9 day cycles and having bathroom visits every 20m for the first 3 days using overnight strength tampons AND pads.

One thing to look into is if you use tampons, I have heard that using the wrong strength can cause you to bleed more ... not sure if that's true.

Truely, you need to talk to the hospital and see if there is a foundation or something, payment plans. The situation you are in is very life threatening.
In your situtation I would probably opt for the hysterectomy. That way you don't have a failure option and have to do the second surgery.

As for the cost, most insurance are year based, not event based, so the $3000 would be lessened by any money you've already paid out.

Also, if you go to the ER, they might deem the surgery an Emergency and give you the operation before making you pay for it. Especially if there is a community hospital rather than a private hospital.

M.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry you are going through all of this. My first suggestion would be to get a second opinion from another OB/GYN. Even if you are really comfortable with your current doctor, it's always wise to get a second opinion when surgery is concerned. You don't have to let either doctor know you are getting a second opinion if you don't want to, although there are pluses and minuses on either side of that argument.

Second, in regards to the deductible expense, do you have to pay that up front, or is that something the hospital/doctors will bill you for? I ask because if it's the latter, you can always make payment arrangements or ask for financial help from the hospital after the fact. I was able to pay off a balance for a hospital visit my husband had at just $25 per month until it was paid in full. My mother had well over $20k in hospital and doctor bills (post insurance payments) after she was in the hospital for over 3 weeks, much of it in ICU, and I was able to get almost every doctor to waive what she owed them and the hospital had a charity foundation that paid for their part. It wasn't easy as I had to contact all of the doctors and go through several levels until I got to the right people. And for the hospital expense, there were papers to fill out and a couple of letters I had to write, but in the end, well worth the time and effort.

Whatever route you go, I hope everything works out for you and that you are feeling better very soon. Good luck!

Blessings,
N.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm with Megan. I had the NovaSue ablation almost three years ago and it was so sucessful!! It stopped all bleeding. I suggest getting a second opinion but really consider the ablation. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I was told I needed an uterine ablation but could try something else first. When I had my period for 21 days straight, my doctor recommended taking ibuprofen 400-600 mg (2 or 3 tablets) around the clock for 24-48 hours straight. My daughter who has very heavy periods that last 7 full days was also told to do the same thing, but only 200 mg (1 adult tablet). For me it stopped the bleeding, and my next periods were normal. For my daughter, she takes the ibuprofen at the onset of each periods to reduce flow and duration. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

You are going to think I'm crazy, but go get the book, "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind".

Your mind is an amazing thing - you can use it to heal yourself. We have used our minds to heal the ones in our family several times. (cervical cancer, chron's disease, cold sores, and many more.) The doctors always come back shaking their head - they don't get how we are "cured"...

I know - I sound like a flake. It works though. Plus, under $10 for a book is a heck of a lot cheaper than $3000 for a surgery!

1 mom found this helpful

my cycle's all over the place post tubiligation, too.

I would consider mirena or other IUD.

I'm considering the endometrial ablation. My doctor said the results were better than 80% depending on the method of ablation you have done. I would research different methods and then talk to your OB/GYN again. Not interested in getting my uterus removed, though.

Do you still have to pay a deductible for the ablation?

1 mom found this helpful

I have been going through a similar situation... Bleeding for 12 to 16 days with 3 or 4 days being unable to leave the house and only 5-8 days of relief in between. My OB did a sonogram/ultrasound on me and found out that the lining of my uterus was almost double the thickness it should be. Apparently, although I am bleeding like a stuck pig, I am not shedding all of the lining during my periods. Anyway, he told me that I had 3 choices: 1) a D&C 2) an ablation or 3) a hysterectomy. I was scared and couldn't choose between the three and was so confused that I did nothing for 2 years. When I went back to the OB, I explained that things were only getting worse and he did another sono. My lining had increased to more than FOUR times what is normal. He immediately did a biopsy of my lining and found that nothing was cancerous or of any concern. So, then, after all this time, he prescribed Progesteren. 10 Days before I expected my period to start, I would take 1 pill per day. Then repeat that again the next month. I asked my primary physician what the Progesteren was for and he told me that it's basically a chemical D&C. Now, why my OB didn't offer or do this in the first place, I have no idea! But, it has helped me. My periods are 10-12 days long, but are spaced much more normally. Plus, I don't ever have days where I cannot leave the house. I have 2 or 3 very heavy days, and many lighter days, where I am hardly bleeding at all. Not bad for such an easy fix! Why don't you ask your OB about doing a couple of doses of Progesteren? It's worth a try before doing the much more drastic measures! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you considered acupuncture? A couple of my co-workers have had female issues that confounded their regular docs and acupuncture really helped them. One had chronic bleeding, endometriosis and ovarian cysts along with weird symptoms like breast tenderness and leaking even though she's never been pregnant. She saw her GYN, an endocrinologist etc. and the acupuncture is what helped the most. Have you seen an endocrinologist? There could be something going haywire elsewhere (like your pituitary gland) that's sending mixed-up signals to your uterus, which is why you are chronically building up and shedding your lining. If I were you, I would exhaust all other options before going for something surgical. Honestly, I think that OBs are a little quick to jump on the ablation bandwagon. It's like it's their cool new toy and they're just dying to use it. I wanted my hormone levels checked when I had very heavy periods after my last pregnancy and my OB was like "well, you can go on the Mirena or BCPs, or we can burn the lining of your uterus! It's the coolest thing!" OK so she wasn't exactly like that, and I appreciated that she wanted to solve my problem but my bleeding hardly warranted that action! Sounds like yours does though, but just be careful that he or she isn't jumping to surgery because it's an easy out for them, vs, finding out what is causing the bleeding and addressing that.

If you do pursue surgery, I think that Capital One has a medical line of credit program that you can use for medical expenses and pay back monthly.

1 mom found this helpful

If you can swing it go for the ablation. I had the exact same problems you do. After discussing with my Dr the options I went with the ablation and while I still have periods they are only 1-2 days and very very light.

1 mom found this helpful

Do you have an option to do a D&C? After 3 months past postpartum I woke up went to the bathroom & began to bleed it was like a water faucet turned on.I couldn't believe my eyes,called my OB advised to go to ER they wanted to do an emergency D&C I thought so drasctic they first thought I was having a miscarriage till lab work proved otherwise,anyway I opted to stay the night with help from a hormonal shot.That helped there was no reason to why I began this there was no placenta left behind.Then it happened again did the D&C,after my 3rd child it happened about 2 hrs after delivery my body went into shock they took action was manually cleaned out given a hormonal injection controlled the bleeding,if it didn't stop the next course of action would be surgery.Now if they would of said your going to need a Hysterectomy I would of flipped & I don't think it wouldn't be ruled out if it happened again or worse.I do have regular cycles.
Have all your paps been normal?Did they check for any poylps?Do you have any these will make you bleed at abnormal times.If your not cmfortable with the advice you are receiving get a second opinion but if not then I would go with the surgery or ask if there is any other procedure to help with your need

1 mom found this helpful

I would get another opinion before you do anything. You did not mention how old you are but there are side effects to hysteroctomies. I has similar issues in my early 40's but the pill solved them. There is something called esure or assure that a doctor inserts to stop having periods. Lisa Gardner does them in office rather than at hospital. Might be worth looking at. Good luck, I know you must be miserable.

1 mom found this helpful

I just had the novasure(ablation) done yesterday. My doctor does it in his office so ded does not apply. I only had to pay $35 copay. His name is Patric Allen & I love him. I was only there for a hour & had mild cramping after. Today I feel fine...so far. Good luck with you decisions. Dr. Allen is at N Hills Hosp in NRH. ####-###-####. If you have any q's you can email me. ____@____.com

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

I am so sorry you are going through this! I would speak with the doctor and see if there is a way you can do a cash discount or what they can knock off of the price. You should be able to get cared for without having to pay so much. Also, maybe they would write a letter to your insurance company stating this is a absolutely needed procedure and that they should cover you for it. If those don't work, what about going to a low cost/free clinic and speak to the obgyn there-they may be willing to do it for free or a super low fee if they know your circumstances. Best wishes and I hope you stop bleeding soon!
One last thing--have you tried homeopathics, or acupuncture? Both work really well, I would give it a try if you haven't already.
M

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know a lot about the financial/insurance side but I would think that most places will work with you about paying it off. Just take the time to talk to them in person.

about the ablation vs the Hysterectomy, here is my story. I have periods that last about 12-14 days long, and since I turned 43 they got VERY heavy for the first 2-3 days, like can't leave the house heavy!!! I debated (for about a year) getting an ablation and in the end I opted for the ablation, I was told they were 90% effective and I posted about them on this board and had great responses and so I went ahead and had it done... lets just say I'm in the 10%, I still have periods for 10-14 days and they are only HEAVY for about 2-3 hours, (not days like they used to be) the rest of the time it is just normal flow for 7 days and spotting the rest of the time, so it has been an improvement but, still something I have to deal with every month.

Based on your story I think I would choose the hysterectomy (uterus only). but I would discuss it with the Dr and get a second opinion. I'm okay with my decision because I am better, but I can only imagine if I were in your shoes and I only got "better", how would I feel, knowing what I know I think if I were bleeding 24/7 I think I would opt for the sure thing.

1 mom found this helpful

This sounds like what my sister is going through, but she doesn't have her tubes tied. Her ob/gyn recommended thinning the lining. It has a 2 day recovery time. She was told that it would help her out tremoundsly and it was a lot cheaper too! If you want me to I can find out more from her about it and get back to you. Just PM me.

1 mom found this helpful

The out of pocket maximum and your deductible should be to completely different things. After you pay your deductible then you pay a co-insurance for us it is 20/80 you pay 20% insurance pays 80%. Some are 30/70 or 10/90 or even 50/50 just depends on your insurance. That is until you hit your out of pocket maximum of 2250 at which point the insurance will pick up 100% of allowable charges. So you would pay your deductible and co-insurance. You are still looking at somewhere around 1000 dollars but not near as bad as 3000. The hospital will allow you to make payment arrangements and for that matter you doctor should too.

1 mom found this helpful

No idea if this will help or not. I was at the stage where I was bleeding every three weeks or so, then spotting some. They did a few ultrasounds and blood work and everything was normal. She put me on LoEstrin24Fe and it got worse. Not much heavy bleeding but only stopping for maybe one week a month. At my friend's recommendation I asked about Nuvaring. I am on month two now and so far it is great. I only bleed when I am supposed to and NOTHING in between. No idea if it would help you or not but I guess the pill they had me on was not enough to make a difference and so far this has helped. Good luck. I know what a pain that is.

1 mom found this helpful

C.,
I had similar issues--having a D&C, birth control pills, etc. Nothing medical helped. The supplements I finally tried cleared it up. Let me know if you are interested.
If the bleeding gets bad, seek immediate medical attention!
Good luck and God bless.
V.

1 mom found this helpful

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