By Matt Harris
As medicinal knowledge and technologies improve, so does our understanding of many health issues, especially those with attached stigma. In his March 26 lecture titled “Your Period Doesn’t Have to Be a SENTENCE,” Dr. Steven Rabin focuses on the somewhat taboo and often misdiagnosed and misunderstood issue of heavy vaginal bleeding. It affects nearly 20% of women and is known as menorrhagia. This can be a serious burden to a woman’s daily routine, as she may be hesitant to leave the house for fear of an accident or too fatigued to go to work. Ignoring heavy bleeding will almost surely lead to medical complications and could range in its long term seriousness to a woman’s health. Over years of women generally normalizing it and doctors’ misdiagnoses, Dr. Rabin will tackle the issue, putting his 20 years of gynecology experience to work.
Several factors contribute to the dismissal of heavy bleeding in the health community. For one, women ignore it out of fear that many doctors will recommend only the most drastic measure: a hysterectomy. “There’s a sort of fear that any complaints related to menstruation will ultimately result in a hysterectomy,” Dr. Rabin says, “When in reality there are many other less extreme measures that can be taken.” Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States every year and there is a lot of speculation as to how many of those are entirely necessary. Studies indicate that 2/3 of those hysterectomies may be unnecessary, and Dr. Rabin focuses on being open to many other, less invasive steps. “The last thing you want to do is make any decisions out of fear.”
Dr. Rabin believes that dealing with the problem of heavy bleeding begins with an accurate diagnosis. “There are a few different reasons a women could be suffering from heavy bleeding,” Dr. Rabin states. “Among those are anatomical problems, hormonal disturbances, or just simply lifestyle choices.” After the diagnosis, decisions should be made that best suit the individual woman’s needs. Dr. Rabin makes it clear that no two cases are the exact same, and that this health issue needs to be individualized, not normalized. He also firmly believes that more time should be spent with patients to fully understand their needs and figure out the best options unique to them.
In treating heavy bleeding post diagnosis, Dr. Rabin focuses on minimally invasive procedures that are becoming more and more proficient due to the development of consistent technologies. These procedures are far less extreme than a hysterectomy and tend to be very predictable, with many of them having an 85% success rate and above. With such a variety of causes of heavy bleeding, Dr. Rabin thinks it only makes sense to offer a wide range of procedures to best suit his patients.
Dr. Steven Rabin is an integrative gynecologist on staff at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. His upcoming lecture on Tuesday, March 26, from 6-7:30 p.m. will be held in the Hope Conference Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center located at 501 S. Buena Vista St. in Burbank. RSVP to this event by calling 1-888-HEALING [1-888-432-5464].
Dr. Rabin’s private practice is located at 2701 W. Alameda Ave., Ste. 303. For more information, call (818) 843-3100 or visit gyn1.com.