Is your period so heavy that you need to change tampons every hour or two? Does your period last for more than seven days? Do you have blood clots the size of quarters? If so, you may be one of the 10 million women in the United States who have menorrhagia, the medical term for heavy periods.
Heavy periods are one of the most common conditions that women report to their doctors, affecting one in five women. Heavy bleeding is more than uncomfortable or inconvenient. It can interfere with your life, forcing you to change your schedule and making you reluctant to leave your house. It can disrupt your sleep, your social life, and your sex life. It can also lead to health issues such as anemia, which leaves you feeling tired and listless, and painful cramps.
Our medical staff at Associates in Women’s Health explain the options for treating menorrhagia.
Fortunately, there are many treatments to help you reduce your menstrual flow so you can get back to living your life to the fullest. Treatment options include drug therapies (such as ibuprofen), hormone therapy, and surgical procedures. Our doctors usually recommend starting with a non-invasive treatment, depending on the cause of your heavy periods.
If medical therapies don’t work or the side effects are too problematic, your doctor may recommend NovaSure® endometrial ablation, which is a safe and effective FDA-approved minimally invasive treatment to stem heavy periods.
NovaSure endometrial ablation uses gentle radiofrequency energy to destroy and remove your uterine lining, which is the part that causes the bleeding. This is a quick outpatient procedure, lasting only about five minutes, and your doctor gives you a mild anesthetic to ease any discomfort.
NovaSure is a safe option with a high success rate for premenopausal women who suffer from heavy periods, but it’s not the right treatment option for all women.
If you are not finished having children, then NovaSure is not an option for you. While your uterus is still intact — unlike a hysterectomy — it is dangerous to get pregnant after an ablation. Take precautions and use birth control after your procedure until you reach menopause. A NovaSure procedure is not a sterilization procedure.
It is also not a treatment option for women who may have an active genital, urinary, or pelvic infection, use an IUD, or suspect they may have uterine cancer.
As with any medical surgical procedure, there are risks, but they are rare. They include thermal injury, perforation, and infection.
Temporary side effects may include cramping, nausea, vomiting, discharge, and spotting. Most women return to normal daily activities within a day or two, but your body takes about three months to fully heal. At that point, your menstrual cycle should return to a regular schedule. Your period may stop altogether or you may experience light bleeding.
A bloody or watery discharge is normal after the procedure. This discharge may last for a couple of days or a couple of months, every day or sporadically.
To find out if NovaSure is a good option for you, call us at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, or make an appointment online.