What are heavy periods?

About 10 million women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding.1 Many women begin to experience heavy and/or irregular bleeding in their 30’s and 40’s, as they begin to get closer to menopause. Heavy periods are more than just a hassle – they take a physical, social, and emotional toll as well.

Studies show heavy menstrual bleeding can affect women in a number of ways:

Physical:

  • Many feel tired and nauseated
  • Many experience bad cramps
  • Many have headaches

Emotional:

  • 77% have depression or moodiness2
  • 75% feel anxious1
  • 57% report a lack of confidence during their period2

Social:

  • More than 60% have had to miss social or athletic events1
  • About 80% report avoiding sex2
  • 33% have been forced to miss work1

Ablation/Stop Heavy Bleeding

What to expect from the NovaSure procedure

NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation is the simple, one-time, 5 minute procedure trusted by over one million women – without hormones or hysterectomy.

  • It can be done in a doctor’s office
  • The entire procedure typically takes less than 5 minutes
  • It is performed without any incisions
  • There is no need for general anesthesia
  • Most women report little or no pain, and return to their regular activities within a day

An ablation is a procedure that can be performed in the operating room or, less expensively, in the office with just the cost of a co pay. Both are performed in the same manner. This 5 minute procedure is used to treat heavy bleeding. After the procedure, 90-98% of women are reported to be satisfied with the results. Approximately 60-70% of women will have little to no bleeding after an ablation procedure with another 20-30% experiencing lighter periods that are markedly improved from pre-treatment. Approximately 10% of patients will fail an ablation procedure and choose to manage bleeding as they have been doing, using hormones to control bleeding, or opting for other surgical treatments such as hysterectomy.

Prior to any ablation, hysteroscopy and D&C are performed to evaluate the lining of the uterus. Dr. Simigiannis will use a device called Novasure to permanently remove the cells that grow a lining in the uterus. Each month during a period, the uterine lining is shed and a new lining starts to grow. By preventing the re-growth of this uterine lining, we can stop periods permanently.

Dr. Simigiannis is committed to providing you the best experience possible by having a Board Certified Anesthesiologist available. She uses both oral medications such as Valium and IV medications during the ablation to achieve relaxation and assist with any cramping you may experience.

Following the procedure, you might have some moderate to intense uterine cramps that can last 4-6 hours following the procedure. We ask that you take your prescription pain pills upon arriving home after your procedure so that you can sleep and reduce any discomfort you may experience. Most people find they sleep through a majority of the cramping and awake feeling little discomfort. For some fortunate women, they do not experience any cramping at all.

You may return to work the day following your procedure, but we ask that you avoid sexual intercourse for 4 weeks to avoid infection of the uterus. You may have a watery or bloody discharge for up to 6 weeks following your procedure until the uterine lining heals. If you are not happy with your bleeding pattern after 6 months, you may opt to try hormonal therapy, consider a repeat ablation, or consider a hysterectomy to control your abnormal bleeding.

It is also important to understand that while ablations may stop your periods, ablations do not prevent pregnancy. Dr. Simigiannis encourages her patients to consider permanent birth control such as Essure, tubal ligation, or vasectomy prior to having an ablation procedure. If a woman opts not to have permanent birth control, she is at higher risk for an ectopic or tubal pregnancy or a high risk uterine pregnancy.

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