My Experience with NovaSure Uterine Ablation

March 13, 2012 560 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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560 Comments

  1. cym December 10, 2014 at 6:33 AM - Reply

    im having the novasue done this morning. Nervous and excited.

  2. PAT December 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    I WENT AT THE HOSPITAL FOR THE NOVASURE PROCEDURE AND D&C AFTER WAKING I FOUND OUT THE DOCTOR COULDN’T PROFORM NOVASURE PROCEDURE DUE TO MY UTERUS BEING SO LARGE IT WAS TELLING THE MACHINE I HAD A HOLE IN MY UTERUS SO ONLY A D&C PERFORMED HAS ANYONE HAD THIS TO HAPPEN TO THEM AND IF SO WHAT WAS DONE?

  3. PAT December 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER OPTIONS BESIDES THE HYSTERECTOMY (PARTIAL). KIND OF SCARED ABOUT NOVASURE PROCEDURE AFTER READING THE POSTS DUE TO HAVING FIBROIDS NOW I AM FEELING MAYBE THE HYSTERECTOMY IS MY ONLY OPTION. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES OF HAVING A HYSTERECTOMY I KNOW FOR A FACT I DO NOT WANT ANYMORE CHILDREN.

  4. Jennifer D December 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM - Reply

    I am scheduled to have the Novasure procedure done on January 9th, I’m so hoping this helps. Thanks to everyone for posting their experiences, it’s certainly helped me prepare a little more.

    • Amy Botkin December 22, 2014 at 7:52 AM - Reply

      I was scared too..had mine 8 mths ago an so far doing well, other than small cramps. Hope it works out. I just had cramps after done for about an hour, but they gave me pain meds so no problem with much pain. I only had to take one pain pill on the way home. Just try not to stress over it..they say 90-96% of women have success with it.

  5. Amy C December 15, 2014 at 9:20 PM - Reply

    I wanted to post my experience with Novasure. I put off having it done for a couple of years because I was so scared due to negative feedback that I had read online.
    Due to my heavy periods I finally had the in office novasure procedure done on November 11, 2014. I was very nervous about the pain medicine but overall it was not bad.
    Two days before the procedure I had to start taking cervix softening medicine. The day of, After arriving at the doctors office, they gave me a pregnancy test to verify it was negative, then I took the medicines that I had filled, 2 norco, a relaxing med, & ibuprofen. They had my husband and I wait in a little room with a TV, recliners, magazines to let the meds go into affect.
    After about 30-40 min. I went to the procedure room, my husband went too, he sat by the door in the room during the procedure. The doctor numbed my cervix with shots, it did hurt, But not terribly. He did a camera view in my uterus after everything looked good, he started to novasure. He explained everything prior and during. He said it was only 90 seconds long and there would be a high pitch and it would get quieter as it got closer to ending. So that helped during the 90 seconds hearing it lessen in sound- knowing it would be over soon. I will admit that it hurt, I just breathed through it. It was not unbearable though, I even said afterward that it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t feel drugged up before the procedure, but right after I felt sleepy. I came home and ate, then slept, took a regular tylenol for cramping and put a heating pad on my stomach. I never needed to take any other pain meds. Later that evening, no pain, no cramping. I felt tired the next day still and actually felt kind of tired for about a week. But so far so good.
    I get mentrual migraines, so I will still get migraines but hopefully no periods. My first period was the other day and it was just a panty liner, very light. I’m hoping no bleeding at all for future periods. They say it can take 3 months to know.
    But… I would definitely recommend having the Novasure done. So far so good and I wish I would’ve had it done sooner.

    • Amy Botkin December 22, 2014 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      I had mine done April 4th, 2014 and didn’t have my period til now..I’m still getting small cramps. It’s good so far.

  6. Lisa December 20, 2014 at 7:13 PM - Reply

    Hi again, I posted back in August when I had just been to see my Gyno following increased pain following an ablation in April of this year. My pain increased from the first period post ablation and is now intolerable. I am due for my hysterectomy finally on Monday. I have been encouraged by so many posts of ladies who have had positive experiences of ablation therapy and I hope you continue to have a good result. For those of you who have had increasing pelvic pain, back pain and severe labour like pains with a period or around about the time your period would be due I empathise with you. I have always had painful periods but had no idea until after the ablation just how much more pain there was still to experience. I think I may have andomyois which is like endo but in the wall of your uterus. Unfortunately it is very hard to diagnose until after a hysterectomy. If you do have adeno then an ablation won’t work for you as you will still bleed in the wall of your uterus but the scarred lining of the uterus means that you will struggle to expel this blood. Your uterous, trust me, will try though and that is what leads to the intense contractions. I have had a scan since my ablation and I have pools of fluid in there, my uterus has also become enlarged- both point to adeno. Anyway you live and learn. If you suffer from very painful periods remember that this could be caused by adeno. My ablation wasn’t strictly speaking a failure because it only claims to reduce blood flow which it did. Zit doesn’t claim to fix painful periods. Also remember the younger you are when you have the ablation the more chance you have that your lining will regenerate and 1,2,3,4 yrs down the road you may bleed again. Mind you that may well be worth it- if I had had even a years break from pain I would have been grateful. Finally, if like me you are in the Uk then you really need to know that if this goes wrong then the wait for the hysterectomy has been horrific (over 3 months) I have been off work for so long it’s not funny and I have been beyond agony. If you are in the U.S. though it may be worth trying the ablation regardless because you guys seem to be able to get the hysterectomy pretty quickly if needed. Good luck ladies..

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