My Experience with NovaSure Uterine Ablation

March 13, 2012 476 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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476 Comments

  1. kim September 8, 2014 at 10:23 PM - Reply

    Just a follow-up comment. Today marks 5 weeks and is the first time I can go without a pantiliner for spotting-hooray! Also having somewhat fertile mucous again, so in a couple weeks will see how period number two post novasure goes.

    • Leah September 8, 2014 at 10:59 PM - Reply

      Kim, I am 4 weeks today since I had the ablation and I still need a liner, but I’m hoping this is the end. My period is due in 5 days. We will see what happens. Honestly….there can’t be anything there to release!

      • kim September 9, 2014 at 9:01 PM - Reply

        My doctor did say my lining was thick, so I did have a period around 3 1/2 weeks after. It was incredibly light (one pad and then back to liners). I feel not much has come out since the procedure, so not sure what to expect. Have you had much bleeding? I didn’t have any bleeding until the period, just reddish tinged mucous. I would be thrilled with light periods like the first, but I guess there’s even hope they can still improve months later. Yay!

        • Leah September 9, 2014 at 10:19 PM - Reply

          Kim, My lining was thick too and she said my uterus was large (I guess due to carrying twins). Have I had much bleeding??? YES! About a week after the procedure I started bleeding and it lasted for 20+ days. Up until this last week, it was so heavy, I was wearing 3 pads to try to keep from leaking (to no avail). Today is the first day that I’ve had almost nothing. My period is due to start in 4 days. I pray it doesn’t! As my doctor said, hopefully this was its last “hoo-rah”.

          • kim September 11, 2014 at 4:24 PM -

            Isn’t that weird that I had almost no bleeding? I’m wondering why I didn’t. Let me know how your first period goes (or not).

          • Melanie Rowland September 11, 2014 at 7:23 PM -

            I’ve hardly had any bleeding either and its been 2 weeks today and my doctor also said my uterus was very thick???

          • Leah September 11, 2014 at 9:30 PM -

            Well today and yesterday, I haven’t had anything!!! Thank the Lotd! 20+ days after I thought I would be done forever…is NOT COOL! My period tracker app says I’m 3 days away. Praying it doesn’t come!

  2. Kim Turner September 9, 2014 at 9:18 AM - Reply

    I had the procedure done I think in 2010. I don’t remember any pain. I did not have any break through bleeding or anything. Nova sure saved me. I was using 3 pads connected from end to end soaking them in an hours time. I thank god for Dr. Noel my Gyn doctor. I know of two ppl who were given hysterectomies, they told me their doctors never even suggested the procedure to them. I went in telling my doctor please give me a hysterectomy. He said NO! I have several procedures that I try before a hysterectomy. Again, I thank him so much for Novasure. Please get the word out because it’s not that well know. The “Novasure” procedure.

  3. joanie September 9, 2014 at 5:17 PM - Reply

    I am thinking about doing the novasure.Had baby number 3 in 2011 c-section and tubal ligation and it completely changed my life for the worse. I went on birth control pill in 2012. it helped my periods and i stoped taking them in 2013 and today makes 10th day some days flow is worse than others. i have an appt the 26th..so i am thinking about this seriously.

  4. Courtney September 11, 2014 at 9:41 PM - Reply

    Ok everyone!! My procedure is scheduled for Tuesday the 16th and I’m feeling really good about it. I’m having NovaSure and tubal ligation under general anesthesia, which should take about 30-40 minutes. Recovery should take 2 hours to check for issues and bleeding. I was told to wear a dress by a few people and not pants so it doesn’t press against incisions. Also told to buy motrin, Tylenol, and a lot of pads ahead of time to be prepared. Any other advice to prep ahead of time and make home life easier the day of the procedure? I will update after I have it done :) Thank you everyone!!! :)

    • Leah September 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM - Reply

      Good luck! I couldn’t believe that I had no discomfort from the tubal or ablation. I even started wondering if I had anything done! Lol! I had the unfortunate bleeding a week after that lasted for 20+ days! but that’s not the norm.

      Good luck and keep us posted!

    • Eva September 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM - Reply

      I had the exact same thing done under general anesthesia. When I got home, I was in a lot of pain, felt like really bad bad cramps. I took the pain medication (from my doctor) and slept all afternoon and evening. My advice would be to have someone stay with you that evening. My boyfriend was with me and was wonderful although I think I scared him – lol. You may not have the same pain but it would help just in case, especially if you have little ones to take care of, luckily I did not. Just something to think about. Good luck to you – it has been worth it for me, I hope you will feel the same way. Take care.

      • Courtney September 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM - Reply

        Thank you so much. I have my husband who will be with me the whole day. My girls are 7 and 9 so they should be ok and not jump on me lol. My mom is going to help as well that night and the next day just in case. Did you get nauseous or were you just in pain? Any issues eating or drinking anything? I’m in health care so I think way too much about before, during, and after ;) The major thing I’m worried about is the pain. How long did it last for you? (The worst of it anyway). Thanks again!! :)

        • Eva September 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM - Reply

          Thats good that you will have him there with you. My mom and sister came with me also and they brought me soup to eat but I honestly could not eat anything. I dont think I was nauseous, I just wasn’t hungry at all. The pain lasted till about 8 or 9pm that evening but I slept through most of it because of the meds, thank God! After I woke up, I was able to eat just a little bit and the pain was not too bad at that point. I slept most of the night as well. The next day I was a little sore but nothing that was too bad and I was able to get up slowly. By Sunday I was much better and I went back to work on Monday. (I had it done on a Friday) So, it wasnt too bad. Just don’t plan anything for a few days. Maybe you won’t have the pain that I did, you might be one of the lucky ones. I’ll pray for that for you :-) I hope that helps!!

      • Melanie Rowland September 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM - Reply

        I had the procedure done on Aug 28th under general anesthesia and I agree I would have someone stay with me for the first day but I had very minor cramping and I do not handle pain well. The whole procedure was great and so far its been one of the best things I’ve ever done! Good luck! I’m sure you will be fine:)

  5. Jessica D. September 12, 2014 at 1:58 PM - Reply

    I just want to say thank you for your review! I was very hesitant about getting the procedure done b/c I am a GIANT pain baby. Tooth pain brings me to my knees and to tears. Terrible!! My doc explained the whole procedure and put me at ease. I had the Novasure procedure today!! I was having it done locally, with xanax, viocodin and 800mg Ibuprofen for pain management during the procedure. They also gave me a shot in the back end for extra relaxation. Prior to the procedure, they gave me lidocaine to numb up the cervix, and that enhanced the already active pain meds. That was awesome! The procedure itself only lasted 80 seconds!! It was uncomfortable, a little crampy, and one brief moment of intense crampiness. It all was over so quickly that I wouldn’t even say it was painful. Uncomfortable, yes. Painful, only slightly. I can handle discomfort much better than pain. Overall, if this takes care of the irregular periods, it’s more than worth it for me. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. Brenda Herderhorst September 12, 2014 at 10:34 PM - Reply

    I had Nova Sure done on 9-4-14. I had no pain at all, I too was beginning to wonder if anything was even done to my body as I was put completely out for my procedure. The days that followed were the same as before the procedure , Heavy bleeding and just miserable. After a few days, I called my doctor and she prescribed tranex acid for five days. Happily, it stopped my bleeding after a day, this is day 2 of no bleeding for me after heavy bleeding for the past 35 days. just hoping it did the trick, I really do not want to have a hysterectomy.

  7. Krist September 14, 2014 at 9:57 PM - Reply

    I had my procedure done in my doctors office on Sept 11 so I am only 3 days post procedure. I was advised to take 3 prescription pills (1 for nausea and 2 for pain) 30 minutes prior to arriving. When I arrived, I was given a pain shot and a sedative shot. By the time they took me back to the room, my husband said I was laughing like a little girl which I am rather embarrassed by. All I remember is changing and laying on the table, the procedure starting and the procedure ending. Next thing I knew the nurse was helping me get dressed then walked me out to the car. I was in the office less than an hour start to finish. I had moderate cramping on the way home but was still in and out of it. When we got home, I got in bed with a heating pad and slept for a few hours. I have been very tired the last 2 days but my cramping and spotting has been very minimal. So far, I am very happy with the procedure. We will see how the next few weeks go.

  8. jkp September 17, 2014 at 2:03 AM - Reply

    I had my Novasure procedure coupled with a D&C in November 2012 as an office procedure but with general anesthesia. Had no pain after, just the usual discharge. I was 43 at the time and already experiencing small changes in my cycle. Haven’t had a period since, nor have I experienced residual back pain. Best $35 I ever spent (co-pay).

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