My Experience with NovaSure Uterine Ablation

March 13, 2012 686 Comments »

** Warning this post is about menstrual cycles, and may or may not contain TMI, {depending on how open of a person you are}, but either way, “Beware the Ides of March”watch yo back son,  er just so you know in advance…shall we begin?

Menstrual CycleAfter having Baby C my regular periods turned into those from a nightmare. Once I was done nursing and my period came back I was hoping the flow and pain were extra heavy because my body was still regulating my hormones. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. My period continued and won the title of “the worst time of the month”, oh wait, it already owned that title, make that, “one of the worst times in my life”, yes it was that bad.

It was hard for me to take my girls anywhere for fear that I would leak though my “protection”, even though I was doubling up and still leaking within the hour, {not so convenient}. The excruciating pain turned me into the not-so-great-mom who let her kids watch lots of movies and too much tv while I scrunched into the fetal position with my ibuprofen and heating pad. Mind you, normally I can battle though a lot when it comes to not feeling well and taking care of the girls , but this was simply unbearable. Do you ever feel like that?!?!

Time to get down to business – the doctor visit

Obviously after months of dealing with “nightmare period”, I knew something was not right and that I had to see my gynecologist. To rule out any serious causes of my abnormal bleeding my doctor scheduled a sonogram and biopsy, neither we’re pleasant but thank God any signs of cancer or other issues were ruled out during this visit.

Okay what next???? Enter NovaSure:

Here are a few quick statements from their website:

What is NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation?  

NovaSure is a quick, safe, and simple procedure to lighten or stop your periods, without the side effects of hormones or the risks of hysterectomy. The NovaSure procedure is for premenopausal women with heavy periods due to benign causes who are finished childbearing.

Why choose the NovaSure procedure?

  • It’s Safe: No pills. No hormonal side effects
  • It’s Effective: For 90% of women, menstrual bleeding is dramatically reduced or stopped¹
  • It’s Quick: NovaSure is a one-time, five-minute procedure that can be done in your doctor’s office

The NovaSure procedure works by removing the lining of the uterus using a delivery of radio-frequency (RF) energy. Your doctor will insert a slender wand in through your cervix which extends a triangular mesh device into the uterus. The mesh gently expands, fitting to the size and shape of your uterus. Precisely measured RF energy is delivered through the mesh for about 90 seconds. The mesh device is pulled back into the wand, and both are removed from the uterus. No part of the NovaSure device remains inside of your body after the procedure.

Because not all women are good candidates for NovaSure my doctor wanted to make sure I knew that the procedure was best for women who were done having children, CHECK hubby and I decided that we were done having biological children and I had my tubes tied. And of course she had already ruled out the chance that there could be any benign or even malignant causes of bleeding, CHECK test results came back a-ok. We also chatted about some temporary side effects including cramping, nausea, vomiting, discharge and spotting

I was given the option to have the procedure done at the hospital under general anesthesia or in their office {at a later date} with local anesthesia. For recovery time and cost I chose the office. NovaSure’s website touts that in some cases the procedure is as affordable as a copay, this was not so in my case. We ended up paying a few thousand dollars on top of our copay, this could be the way my doctor’s office runs, be sure to check with your office before the procedure if you are concerned with the cost of NovaSure.

NovaSure Procedure – My Experience

A couple of days leading up to the procedure I was instructed by my doctor to take some medicines that would allow the procedure to run a bit more smoothly. Upon my arrival I checked in and changed into a hospital-type gown and was lead into the room where my procedure would take place.

This was many months ago however I remember waiting for the procedure to start and once it did looking forward to it ending. I believe I was given local anesthesia to numb the pain, however nothing I was given was working and I felt, what seemed to me all of the pain from the procedure. I am not sure if I am more sensitive to pain than others or if the anesthesia didn’t work as well as it should have, either way the procedure itself, for me, was an incredibly painful one.

Woman Sleeping

After the procedure pain medicine administered to me made me very groggy and I slept most of the day, even though I was in an extreme amount of pain, {luckily hubby was home taking care of the girls}. My husband called the doctor and we ended up switch pain medication and even after still having some intense cramping for about a week.

I assumed for me, that this would be a very simple and easy procedure, as I’ve seen in some online videos of other people’s procedures or heard from friends, unfortunately I think my experience may have been worse than the majority, however I know there were people who were saying their recovery time and pain was similar.

After 3 weeks of discharge and cramping I started to feel more normal. I still have bloating and mood swings common to a period because NovaSure does not remove the hormones we have in our bodies that contribute to those traits, but I can say that I do not have my period, not one little bit. So for me the procedure itself was successful.

For a while during my recovery I wondered if I had made the wrong decision when I chose to go with NovaSure {I think my husband wondered too}. Now that I am period-free, looking back it was worth it. If I could change anything about the procedure I would have gone to the hospital and would have had them put me under anesthesia all the way and checked out cost a little more, in my case it was a little pricey, but in the long run between buying feminine products I guess it evens out.

If you are considering NovaSure talk to your doctor to make sure you’re a candidate, make sure you do your research, and prepare for the worse case scenario, in case your procedure experience or recovery are like mine.

Interesting sidenote: I was surprised that @heavyperiod aka Novasure on Twitter was very helpful with information and “concerned” tweets before the procedure, but as soon as I mentioned my issues and side effects they went silent. I understand that could be a legal thing, but I definitely felt a little abandoned at that point.

The opinions expressed in this post are my opinions from my own experience, I do not and have not worked with NovaSure and am not receiving any compensation for this post. I do hope that my experience helps others even if their experience is not the same as my own.


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  1. angel September 19, 2015 at 12:27 PM - Reply

    I had my nova sure done on August 25 2015
    In the office ( wasnt gave the option for the hospital) medication and anixety medicine and a shot. Then had started the process. It was horrible I felt everything. I couldn’t even get dressed afterwards. On the way home I had a drink that’s it. Got home the cramping was terrible dr gave me tyenol with codeine and to alternate with ibuprofen. I tried to eat like Dr said. Started throwing up. I tried the medication but kept throwing up and wouldn’t stop. Finally my husband called the dr. Called in a prescription to stop it. It finally stopped in the middle of the night. The next 2 days was cramping and discharge. Now I have been spotting every other day since with back pain. I had my follow up. Dr said get it another here I am wondering what should do.

  2. Shalonda October 4, 2015 at 11:48 AM - Reply

    I had the procedure done 9.2.2015. After a year of researching and reading horror stories I held off (even after going through all the testing to see if I was a good candidate). I have a wonderful doctor who is amazing – I have never felt more comfortable with a man doctor before than now. I’m 40, 2 kids (ages 22 and 4 – not a typo) last child by c-section and got my tubes-tied. My periods became severely heavy and even heavier from stress at work. They would last 3-4 weeks at times. I dropped clots, having to change pads so frequently and then I got tired, depressed, stressed more, and I loss sooooo much blood that anemia set in and I was back talking to my doctor. Every woman is different and every woman’s body may respond differently. I was on my period when I had the procedure – and I was bleeding heavy. I was put under anesthesia and woke up in pain. Did procedure on a Wednesday and took a few days off. It was rough the first 1.5 weeks; discharge, light bleeding, cramping, sharp pain. Now at week 4….no bleeding…..a slight discharge and I mean slight not frequent. I did get normal period symptoms since my period is due but nothing yet. Have a good relationship with your doctor. Ask questions and do it for yourself. I’m hopeful that I will be able to enjoy activities without feeling tired or bleeding all the time. Best of luck to everyone.

  3. Kellina October 8, 2015 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    Hi I hadnthe d&c uterine ablation with novasureh done Tuesday Oct 6th in the hospital with general anesthesia I had started my horrible period on the first (this btw was my 8th period since may 2015) I had bad periods for yrs no energy falling asleep all the time. I had polyps and my uterus filled up with blood even when I wasnt on my period. Dr recommended hysterectomy or ablation i was terrified I just turned 40 my mom had a hysterectomy at 53 and had a mini stroke and my husband flipped out so I decided to go with novasure. I woke up had some cramping nurse gave pain meds. I went home bout 6 pm that night a few hrs later no more period (since may I started bleeding like 8 days or more using 60 to 80 pads per month) now I have a light brown discharge minor and no pain. Fingers crossed even if I have a normal period in ok with that Cruz I haven’t had a normal period seriously since my last child was born in 96 i ended up with abnormal uterine bleeding bleed for 4 months after having him and a tubal. Hit 34 and periods got worst not having insurance a was forced to go to a free clinic who would send me for ultrasounds and then the next time another free dr would be there wouldn’t check my results and then I would end up going several times to get results and all they told me is our uterus is over sized bigger than normal no diagnosis then another clinic told me the same thing then Obama care came a dr said i had polyps and needed hormones then another didnt tell me nothing but lets do mirena hell no i don’t want that! Then found this dr one ultrasound she found 4 diagnosis of what was wrong and boom within a month i had my surgery. Im hoping and crossing my fingers. Dr said my uterus is still good and was able to have novasure so lets see. I will check back with you in a few months and let u know if it was a success or no. Good luck to all going to have it. I know having a horrible period for 5 yrs is hard so I pray for all of u.

  4. Michele October 12, 2015 at 11:17 PM - Reply

    I had my Novasure on Nov of 2008. I’m an RN who didn’t have time to take off for a hysterectomy due to pain, twice a month periods and cyst issues so I went with the ablation. Had it done in the hospital I worked at and had pain and cramping for 2 days. I had already had a tubal in 2002. After that I was period free for 6 years. Then the ablation failed and unpredictable bleeding and pain occurred worse than before. I now have fibroids and incomplete blood shedding due to it getting trapped in the uterus. I have read in journals and talked with other MDs and it comes down to this, about 1 in 4 women will have a hysterectomy after an ablation due to complications. The problem is that sometimes not all the lining may get burned causing regrowth and endometrial thickening, blood may get trapped or issues such as fibroids may complicate the issue. My ob/gyn does the procedure less and less due to this. It is definitely not a procedure for everyone so make sure to read up on the procedure and talk over everything with your doctor. It was great being period free for several years but now I’m back where I started and will have a hysterectomy at the beginning of the year. (Don’t want to recover over the holidays.) At the time it was the option I choose but now I wish I would have had the hysterectomy and been done. Every procedure has risks, just make sure you are well informed and read the fine print.

  5. Jen October 13, 2015 at 10:11 PM - Reply

    I go in for this procedure Tuesday 20th ..

  6. karen October 14, 2015 at 12:39 AM - Reply

    I am 45 from Pennsylvania and had this procedure done mon oct 12 its now wed oct 14 and so far all is well. I must admit the day after (tues) was a painful and tired feeling day. But nothing worse than i experienced with the heavy 6-8 day periods I was having..I think I made the right decision though and ill keep updating my progress. I go back to work on friday and im nervous (im a cna) it requires alot of lifting stretching ect but ill try to be careful I have slight bleeding as to be expected and I won’t know for sure how well the procedure worked for about 3 months as my body heals and as I was advised it will take normally that long. Best wishes and prayers for all who are going to have this done and who have had it done

  7. Sharon October 18, 2015 at 12:51 AM - Reply

    I had my procedure in Sept 2014 under general anesthesia. I had cramping following surgery for a day or so with mild discharge for a month…I only ever needed a panty liner. I haven’t had a period since. I was 45 when the procedure was done and am hoping it lasts until I enter menopause. It is my understanding that the results of the procedure vary greatly for everyone, but they typically only last 5 years at best. I still feel pms every month, just no periods. My periods before the procedure were heavy and I had breakthru bleeding in between cycles. So my experience has been positive so far. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have had a poor experience.

  8. Mary October 18, 2015 at 7:51 AM - Reply

    I had the procedure two years ago at age 51 and had discharge only with no other problems. I have not had a period since then, my general physician thought it was a good idea that I had it done as I may never have another period. So far so good. It is wonderful being period free.

  9. Marie October 19, 2015 at 3:09 PM - Reply

    I had the procedure in March 2014 under general anesthesia on a Thursday and experienced no discomfort from the procedure whatsoever. After reading so many horror stories about complications other women had experienced I was pretty nervous about having the procedure. While my procedure and post procedure experience wasn’t traumatizing, intercourse has been another story all together…. Sexual penetration has been extremely painful for me. My first pap-smear post procedure was excruciating. My vaginal walls are snug to begin with, but after the Novasure procedure, it has become more snug, great for my partner but torture for me. My doctor said that there was no sign of any damage, but that my vaginal walls were snugger than usual. I have to use lubricant during sex to lessen the pain of insertion. I’m thinking the procedure some how narrowed my vaginal opening. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I’ve been searching the web for post procedure pain and it appears that I’m the only one :-(

    • Kellina October 28, 2015 at 2:39 PM - Reply

      Hi Maria had mine done as you can see above out 6 th 2006 I did contract 3 infections but caught it right away and all was well my husband who couldn’t wait we had sex like. A week and a half after it was normal and no pain so I don’t know and have sex since then no problems my dr informed me after the procedure she looked at my uterus it seals completely and beautifully and today I had an ultrasound I’m healing fine and my uterus has went down from 11 lbs to 4 lbs and my ovaries actually came out to be seen today as well but as for u pain u better get an ultrasound doesn’t sound normal for the pain (also for all the know it alls reading this I got my infection before sex like 3 days after procedure so don’t try to blame it on sex)

  10. Ann October 21, 2015 at 6:45 PM - Reply

    I had the procedure today 10/21/2015 outpatient at our local hospital. My doc said it would be too painful to do it in the office. I was worried about going under anesthesia but of course felt nothing. I woke to some mild cramps. I drank 3 bottles of water and drank coffee. I was discharged by 1130am (surgery was at 8am over by 825am) My husband got my rx, some light lunch, I went for a mammogram too at 1pm. I got home, took 4 Advil and slept until 4pm. I’m having a little bit of bloody discharge and some light cramping so far. Hoping I continue to have mild post symptoms. Looking forward to no more heavy bleeding and I have heard it only lasts up to 10 years. I’m 43. Take care all!

  11. Lisa October 21, 2015 at 7:51 PM - Reply

    I am scheduled to have my Novasure on Monday, November 30, 2015. Although I will be in hospital, I am not going under general anesthesia. I will have to insert two tablets in my vagina to soften the cervix the night before, take anti-inflamitories the night before and the day of, and take a Percocet and Atavan an hour before the procedure. I am trying to keep calm about the fact that I’ll be awake, but reading these stories isn’t helping. On a positive note, I did not feel pain with the inter-uterine ultrasound, and it was difficult to get at my cervix because my uterus is tilted. There was a bit of cramping later in the day, but nothing too terrible.

    Since my procedure is scheduled for a Monday, and I will not be going under general anesthetic, should I plan to go back to work on Wednesday or Thursday? I am a teacher and spend a lot of time on my feet, but there is no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise with teaching English. :-)

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