This post is Part III of my decision to undergo NovaSure ablation, also known as endometrial ablation. If you would like to read why I chose to have the procedure, please visit: My NovaSure Decision and My NovaSure Experience.
No One’s Talking About It, But You’re Wondering
I know you’re out there. I know your periods are out of control. I know you’re wondering how on earth you can take one more month of bleeding out. I know you’re at the end of your rope and are considering the NovaSure ablation procedure to manage your periods rather than having a hysterectomy.
How do I know? I am constantly receiving comments from women just like you who are researching the NovaSure procedure and wondering if they should go through with it. They keep seeing scary stories and doomsday accounts… and they wonder if those online stories are real and reflect other people’s experiences.
Their friends have often wondered why they can’t just suck it up and deal with their periods… they do after all. The expectation is you’re a woman and you have to suffer through your periods. But there is a significant difference between not enjoying your periods and truly suffering through them.
Today, I am sharing my personal story about why I chose to have the NovaSure procedure and my experience with the procedure. These are all my personal observations and shouldn’t take place of any medical advice and information your doctor provides.
You’re Not Alone
From the comments I’ve been getting, women are either scared of the procedure itself or think that they have to muscle their way through the craziness of their periods. I’m going to share some of their comments so you understand that you are not alone:
“My GYN also recommended this 2 years ago and I have been hesitant. But I am 43 and my periods have gotten so bad. I have days where I go through super plus tampons & pads every 20 minutes.”
“I was told two years ago to have it done and I’ve just put it off. I’ve heard mixed reviews and I’m still on the fence.”
“I have awful periods. I ruin underwear and furniture too! And the pain is out of control. I’m really hoping this works for me!”
“Thank you for sharing your experience! I had this procedure scheduled, but then cancelled it because of all of the horrible experiences I read. I have been bleeding since April 9th, so I went ahead & scheduled the procedure again & am having it done Monday.”
“My doctor recommended this procedure two years ago and I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to do something I regretted. I am so happy I had it done and hopefully I never get my period again.”
“As for the procedure itself, this was the easiest “surgery” I’ve ever had!”
“You don’t realize how much your period affects your life until it, and the accompanying anxiety, are gone.”
My NovaSure Outcome: A 1-Year Update
First off, let me start by saying that if you haven’t read why I chose to have the procedure, please visit My NovaSure Decision and My NovaSure Experience. Okay, with that said, let me give you an update.
It has been almost one year since I had the NovaSure albation procedure myself, and I haven’t had a single period since. That’s right, not a single period. My doctor told me that about 40% of the people who have the procedure never have a period again… and lucky me I fell into that category! For most of the other women who undergo NovaSure, they have significantly reduced periods.
Now, just because I don’t have a period doesn’t mean I don’t get some mild PMS symptoms once in a while. The procedure takes care of your uterus but doesn’t kill your hormones, which means that your hormones are still at work. So there will be a day or two where I notice that I’m feeling a little more emotional than normal or feel a bit bloated, and I think… oh, this must be when I would usually get my period. But that’s it.
I am so pleased that I went ahead with the procedure. It has freed me from the constant worry that I’m going to bleed out somewhere, and I no longer feel tethered to the house.
Your NovaSure Questions Answered
Because so many of you have asked questions over the last year, I thought I would take a moment and answer the most common ones. Please remember that this is my personal experience with the procedure. If you have specific medical questions, be sure to ask your doctor.
How is the recovery period?
The pain is just temporary for about day and every person is different. The nurses told me as long as I stayed ahead of the pain with the pain medication I would be okay and they were right. I took the medicine regiment they subscribed. I felt cruddy for the first day but after that was up and about without any pain.
I had some random waves of cramping that went away just as fast as they came on. That didn’t last for more than several days. Also, you will experience cramping before the procedure because of the medication they give you to dilate your cervix. It’s completely expected.
Do you still get PMS?
I still have PMS… if you can call it that compared to what it was. I used to be practically incapacitated. Now I’ll notice that I’m a little bit irritable and wonder why and then it will hit me… oh, this is what it’s like after the procedure.
Did you have tubal ligation at the same time of your ablation?
I did not, which was completely a personal choice. If you do have the procedure, you need to take whatever steps work for you to ensure that you do not get pregnant.
When were you able to resume normal activity?
By the next day, I was up and about… tired out but physically I felt fine. Within several days everything was back to normal.
Have you experienced any side effects?
People have asked me if I’ve had any weird side effects — such as ongoing back pain or weight gain. No, I haven’t it. And it seems strange to me that people would connect either with having this procedure. I also haven’t experienced a change in Ph balance or developed discharge.
How the sex after the procedure?
I can’t remember how long you have to wait until after the procedure to have sex. What I can say is that because my ovaries are intact (as well as all those great hormones) my sex drive has gone UP because I’m not dealing with all of the monthly nastiness. My husband and I no longer have days where we can’t enjoy each other because of my periods.
What’s the biggest take-away from this procedure?
You don’t really understand just how much your life is run by your periods and how much the daily anxiety gets in the way of enjoying the day until you have the procedure. Once those issues went away for me, I felt absolute relief.