My Experience with NovaSure Uterine Ablation

March 13, 2012 410 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: http://www.novasure.com

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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410 Comments

  1. tonya May 11, 2014 at 5:41 PM - Reply

    update to my 1-28-14 post… i had novasure done in august. pretty much had bacteria infection for 5 months after procedure. went back to dr every 3 weeks or so. was put on more antiobiotics. it would go away and come right back. she finally prescribed boric acid suppositories at bedtime for 2 weeks. now when you research boric acid , it is very scary. cause its roach poison. but i was desperate. i did the boric acid and started taking a probiotic vitamin everyday. and fingers crossed , have been infection free for about 4 months. the reason i got the ablation, was due to spotting about 3 out of 4 weeks. was constantly spotting. had to wear a panty liner all the time. so for the last 4 months i have spotted 3 days. all three days together. and the rest of the time no spotting. so i will have to take back the statement that i wished i would have never got it. its really good at this time.

  2. Dawn May 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM - Reply

    I’m 48 and about 165 lbs. I started bleeding in January and didn’t quit until I started taking 4 BC pills a day. I had been through similar when I was a teenager and my hormone were fluctuating. I had the Novasure procedure done on May 8 in the doctor’s office. I was given a valium and two percocet and did fine. It hurt and there was cramping but nothing worse that when I had heavy periods. Came home, slept took two more percocets and that was it. I was up and about the next day, with a little cramping that 800 mg motrin took care of. It’s only been two weeks but so far I am happy.

  3. Sharon June 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM - Reply

    Hi,
    I’m having the Nova sure procedure in two days time. I still have the mirena coil which I am having removed at the same time. I’m having it done at the local hospital with a local anesthetic. Will keep you posted of my experience.

    • MommyB June 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Sharon! Thinking of you and hoping your procedure and recovery go well!!!

  4. Jen June 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM - Reply

    I actually had this procedure done today. It was at women’s hospital. They put me under general anesthesia for the procedure. I went on while on my period (they said that was OK) and I actually woke up from the procedure with a sense of relief because my heavy period was gone already! I was a little tired today and have very dull cramps (actually not even as bad as cramps I usually have on my period). I can’t imagine doing this procedure awake! I feel great so far, but hoping this isn’t a “honeymoon phase” as I have read about!

  5. Denise Bonin June 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM - Reply

    Hi! NovaSure seems to be working great for me. The only unfamiliar thing for me is extreme hot flashes that leaves me with sweaty chills afterwards. It kind of creeps me out and sometimes worries me.
    I go to see my gyno in a month or so for my check up. I will talk to him then about the hot flashes. I also must mention that after the ablation there was not shedding of the vagina lining. I had the NovaSure in April 2014 and it is now June 2014.

  6. Denise Bonin June 14, 2014 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    Sorry, I had the NovaSure in February 2014 not April 2014.

  7. Tanya June 15, 2014 at 9:49 PM - Reply

    Hi- I had the Novasure, Essure (metal coils put in to prevent any pregnancies in the future because of other health issues), and 3 large tumors removed from my uterus all in the same day during the same procedure process. In the hospital. My procedures were done on May 20 of 2014. I have no children and have been married 12 years and just turned 32 and have been waiting for the “right time” to have children. Obviously, I was having a lot of issues with my body. Very long heavy periods lasting months long. Still healing but overall pretty good. But my heart is the part that needs the most healing at this point. :( But the NovaSure process so far has worked! Thumbs up! I “missed” my first period so pretty happy about that part.

  8. kimberly June 21, 2014 at 10:09 PM - Reply

    I had the nova sure procedure 3 weeks ago this coming Monday. I had my period when I went in for the procedure. I bled transparent discharge with a pinkish hue. I developed an infection with high fever for 3 days this occurred 5 days after Novasure. For the past 2 days I have been bleeding red, as if having my period, just not heavy. Has anyone experienced this and can tampons be used 3 weeks out? Thanks.

    • Martha June 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM - Reply

      My Doctor expressed no tampons or anything for two weeks. I bled heavily for a week after the procedure but that was it. I was told that should be expected directly afterwards. I think you should see you GYN.

  9. Martha June 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM - Reply

    Hi, I had the nova-sure done on May 16, 2014. I had my procedure done at the hospital under anesthesia. When I awoke I had absolutely no pain and still haven’t had any til this day. Before the procedure, my cycle was extremely heavy and clotting, the worst. Now it is slightly there. I have to wear a pantyliner at best. I do have a question for anyone. When it was time for your first cycle after the procedure, did anyone else have all this “gunk”, I am guessing is lining, coming out of them? I hate to be so visual but…

  10. Martha June 23, 2014 at 7:08 AM - Reply

    I think I spoke a day too soon. Yesterday was the first real day of my cycle since the procedure and seems that the only thing that stopped was the clots but I gained cramps. The bleeding is practically the same, :(. I’ll let you know if the days shortened or not. I had the procedure done because of extreme anemia. I don’t really know if I want the hysterectomy but….

  11. Virginia Morton June 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM - Reply

    I had the surgery 8yrs ago & everything was wonderful for about 3yrs…. for almost 5 yrs now every month I have terrible cramping like lab or… intense labor!!!! I have spent the last 5yrs as a regular at the ER because of the intense pain…. the only thing they can tell me is its my uterus trying to heal….. I do bleed occasionally with the cramping but its extremely light…. a high price to pay for no bleeding & the other option…. hysterectomy :( loved it the first 3yrs but beware the long term effects

    • Martha June 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM - Reply

      Hi,
      Are you will to elaborate on the long term effects?

      Thanks

  12. Alicia July 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM - Reply

    Had the procedure done in April 2014, had light discharge for 2 weeks then my period came as scheduled after the 3rd week. It was a little lighter than normal but not much. Unfortunately every 4 weeks since, I’ve had a period just as heavy as before but less clotting. I’m so disappointed especially since Novasure had such good reviews online. I don’t understand what went wrong. :( My doctor acted surprised that it didn’t work and said maybe I had fallen in the small percentage of those that it doesn’t work on.)

    • Rita July 15, 2014 at 2:29 PM - Reply

      Give it some time! It took about 6 months and my periods are getting better!

  13. Leah July 8, 2014 at 12:16 AM - Reply

    I was informed today that I am good-to-go for the procedure. (Tubal and ablation). I’m so excited to be rid of these horrible periods!
    I will be so let down if I have a period after this procedure.

  14. Jen July 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM - Reply

    Well, I started my period right on time a few weeks after my surgery. I still have the tiredness, bloating and cramps. I’m hoping this isn’t the case for months to come.

  15. Michelle Bennett July 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM - Reply

    Hi, I had the novasure ablation on mon 7/7/14 omg I was told I had local anaesthetic but I couldn’t handle the pain and I’m not soft in last 4 years I’ve had my large bowl and rectum removed latter living with serve colitis for 16 yrs, period due on mon so will have to see what happens will keep informed

  16. dcal July 9, 2014 at 4:56 PM - Reply

    Wow, surprised this procedure is still being done. I had this procedure on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 because of heavy bleeding the 1st and 2nd day for the same reasons as you had. I was 49 at the time. I had it as outpatient surgery at Saddleback Hospital in Laguna Hills, CA. I didn’t receive any medication prior to the examine. I was sedated for the procedure. The doctor gave me a D&C before the procedure. Then he used the machine. I would start to bleed and the machine would shut off. There was a second NovaSure machine and he used that as well as calling the 1-800 number. The doctor had performed this procedure many times prior. The 2nd NovaSure Machine Shut off when I started bleeding. When I woke up, the doctor told me that the procedure did not work for the reasons I mentioned above. Fast forward the following week on Tuesday evening, Dec 13, 2005. I started hemorrhaging in the grocery store and went back home. I went to the rest room, I called the doctor. He told me to rest and lie down. I stopped bleeding. I woke up in the middle of the night, Godfather Style…remember? I went to the hospital. The doctor gave me something to stop the bleeding and an ultra sound was performed. They rushed me into surgery (yes, ahead of scheduled surgeries). I had an emergency hysterectomy with many transfusions…4 bags worth. I was very weak. I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed in the beginning and this was a laparoscopic procedure. After I left the hospital after 5 days, I had a hard time with the experience (which I won’t go into detail here). I called the NovaSure Company and asked if this had happened…and complications happen for people. The NovaSure Support Group made it sound as if I was the only one who had issues. I have always said one day there will be a class action suit against NovaSure…and I will join.

  17. Angelnina July 10, 2014 at 1:45 PM - Reply

    I had this procedure 5 years ago, I was 44. I had been anemic and having heavy periods that gave me severe cramping, anemia, and fatigue. I was pretty much unable to function for two to three days per month. Immediately after the procedure, I took a vicodin, but only one that day and another the next morning, then I was fine. My GYN used Novasure, I had some cramping and weakness for a few days, but nothing like I had had with my cycle. The main reason I had this procedure is because I was anemic and even intravenous supplementation was not enough because my iron levels would drop after my next period. I wouldn’t say I was carrying towels or extra clothes around like some women, but I would go through over 30 maxi pads in two days. Changing almost hourly to every other hour. I have never had a period again since the procedure. I had about 3 episodes of pressure in my lower abs, but nothing came of it. I did seem to go through menopause early and fast, according to my blood tests a few years later, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am relieved to have my energy back, and no more cramps or worry and anemia. My doctor told me that small petite women (I’m 4’11″ and weigh 99lbs) usually never have a period again, but larger women sometimes do. Although, the woman who checked me in for the procedure was full figured and taller than I, said she had the procedure and no cycle again either. I have also been told that you should only see a GYN who has performed this procedure hundreds of times. I know all women are different, so I’m sure there are many different results.

  18. felicia July 12, 2014 at 10:50 AM - Reply

    I had nov sure the year agoand now I’m suffering severe cramps monthlylike if I’m still having a periodI wish I never would have gotten it

  19. Vicki July 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    I just had the novasure procedure done eysterday in the office. Was given vicodin, valium & a toradol shot followed by numbing of the cervix with lidocaine. No pain at all. My questions is this….I have no discharge whatsoever….no bleeding. no watery discharge…..nothing. Is that normal? I thought something should be coming back out?

  20. Rita July 15, 2014 at 2:22 PM - Reply

    I had the procedure done in December 2013. The procedure was done in the hospital under general anesthesia. I only had pain in the hospital for a few minutes after in recovery. After I went home I spotted for about 5 weeks (pantyliners only). I got my first period about a month after I stopped spotting and thought that the procedure didn’t take. My period was about the same using 20-25 tampons and heavy bleeding for a day or two (couldn’t leave the house for fear of an accident) and then at night too (using what I refer to as a “female” diaper and a towel under just to not ruin my bed). In April things changed for the better and my period is lighter, shorter with a few days of light spotting. Hopefully this is a got indicator of better periods to come. Will keep everyone updated. The posts have been very helpful!

    • Rita July 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM - Reply

      Wanted to add that I am 46 years old 5′ 8″ and 190lbs and have had 4 children. Thanks!

  21. Kris July 16, 2014 at 8:18 AM - Reply

    I’ve been considering this procedure for a couple of years and a lot of the reviews I’ve read the women indicated a decreased desire in sex afterward. Has that been anyone’s experience?

    • Jennifer Bullock July 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM - Reply

      Kris, not to give too much information but I feel like my experience has been the opposite. There is no lack of desire here.

    • Eva July 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM - Reply

      Kris – I had this procedure done more than a year ago and I’m happy to say that I have not had that experience at all. The desire is still there and then some :-) I’m very happy I had this procedure done, periods are so much lighter – 3-4 days of very light flow (pantiliners only) although the cramps are still there, just not half as bad as before. Good Luck!

  22. nancy July 17, 2014 at 11:38 PM - Reply

    i just had novasure done just because i had one slightly bad period. no heavy bleeding at all.

  23. Daisy July 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM - Reply

    I’m considering this procedure. Concerned it will effect natural lubrication. I’ve never had an issue in that department and I don’t want that to change. Has anyone had any issues like that? I don’t want to have this done and dry up like the Sahara if you know what I mean. A friend has had it done and has no issues and is happy with her results.

    • Jennifer Bullock July 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM - Reply

      Daisy, from what I understand that is not a side effect of this procedure, however I am not a medical professional.

  24. Chris July 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM - Reply

    I had the NovaSure procedure done in May, 2013. Very horrible and painful experience; my physician’s pain management protocol failed miserably. Additionally, like another poster had mentioned, I, too, began to experience hot flashes/night sweats within a couple of months of the procedure. However, have found Estroven to be a significant relief for those symptoms. I think that my anxiety has increased as well and am currently managing that as well. That said, to date I have been period free. While I have noticed some physical/emotional changes (I should mention that I quit smoking and drinking heavy liquor around the same time as the procedure was done), I think the trade-off is worth it, and if it keeps me from having a hysterectomy, even better.

    • Chris July 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM - Reply

      P.S. No noticeable decrease in libido or increased dryness since I had NovaSure, either. Also, I’m 47 yo. Hope my experience helps someone else! Good luck!

  25. Leigh July 23, 2014 at 5:06 AM - Reply

    I would like to thank MommyB for launching this forum. I am scheduled to undergo 2 procedures of removing polyps and cysts from my right ovary. The physician encouraged me to undergo “Novasure” but I opted against it and after reading some of these posts, I feel even more confident in my decision. Even though my periods have become increasingly difficult (heavy bleeding and cramping), I just think at my age, it would be trading one set of problems for another set to undergo Novasure. My plan will include more exercise and eating better. I think a more natural approach is my best option. Though I do look forward to the removal of the polyp and cysts. God bless!

    • Jennifer Bullock July 23, 2014 at 11:36 AM - Reply

      Thanks Leigh for stopping by! Love that this post and the comments are helping you make your decision. Please do come back and let us know if anything changes, if you see really different results with your diet and exercise. Best wishes on your polyp and cyst removal!

    • TONYA July 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      Leigh, i had it done about a year ago. and have had bacteria infection off and on ever sense. and it you google nova sure and bacteria infection. you will get a ton of info on ladies dealing with non stop bacteria infections. i would never recommend nova sure. and regret having it done.

      • Leigh July 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM - Reply

        I’m so sorry Tonya. Is there not an antibiotic you could take that would rid the recurring infections? I wonder about natural remedies too…

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