Tag - surgeries

My Experience with NovaSure Uterine Ablation

** 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.