If your period produces bleeding so heavy and long-lasting that it disrupts your normal routine, you may have a medical condition called menorrhagia, or “heavy periods.” The primary characteristic of this condition is having a menstrual flow so heavy it interferes with your social, emotional, and/or material quality of life. Women with heavy periods can have them an average of 14 days per month, with physical and emotional consequences on at least seven of those days. About one in five women experience heavy periods.
Heavy periods cause more than abnormal bleeding. If you have this condition, you may feel depressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted during the heaviest days of your period. The symptoms account for an average loss of 1.5 days of work or school every menstrual cycle among women with heavy periods. Despite the significant impact of this condition, many women wait years before seeking medical advice or treatment.
Heavy periods are treatable. A consultation with an experienced gynecologist can help you understand the best treatment options for you. Gynecologist Gary Willen, MD, MBA, of Tahoe Women’s Care in Las Vegas, Nevada, provides innovative treatments that could reduce or even end the heavy menstrual flow that you experience every month. Dr. Willen is an expert in the administration of NovaSureⓇ, a treatment designed to relieve heavy periods.
What is NovaSure?
NovaSure is a non-surgical technique that destroys the lining of your uterus to relieve heavy periods. It attacks the cycle of heavy periods by removing the source of the problem.
You may benefit from NovaSure if you want relief from heavy bleeding and you’re not considering becoming pregnant after the procedure. While NovaSure doesn’t cause sterilization, becoming pregnant after the destruction of the uterine wall can result in an abnormal pregnancy.
How can NovaSure reduce heavy periods?
NovaSure uses precisely measured radio-frequency energy to safely remove the endometrium, which is the uterine tissue that builds up and sheds every month during your period. Estrogen makes the endometrium thicker, while progesterone makes it thinner. Women with heavy periods may have a hormonal imbalance that causes the production of too much endometrium. This results in the release of more than a normal amount of blood when the lining sheds.
Destroying the uterine lining with a controlled energy source reduces its ability to regenerate each month. For 77.7% of women treated with NovaSure, menstrual bleeding stops or becomes significantly reduced within one year of the procedure.
What’s involved in a NovaSure treatment?
NovaSure treatment consists of a one-time, in-office procedure. The procedure lasts about five minutes. You’ll remain awake during, though you may receive anti-inflammatory medication to reduce discomfort in your cervix.
The procedure involves the following steps:
- A slender wand is inserted into your cervix
- A triangular-shaped netted device expands from the top of the wand and conforms to the size and shape of your uterus to fully cover it
- The netting delivers precisely measured radiofrequency energy to the uterine wall for about 90 seconds
- The netted device is collapsed and pulled back into the wand
- The device with the wand attached is removed through your cervix
What happens after treatment?
Your reaction to NovaSure depends on your symptoms. For a day or two after treatment, you may experience temporary side effects. These symptoms can include cramping, nausea, vomiting, spotting, and/or vaginal discharge. You’ll likely feel ready to resume your normal activities within a couple of days after treatment.
Dr. Willen advises patients to avoid taking baths or participating in other activities in which you’re immersed in water after treatment. You’ll have to avoid intercourse and using tampons for a month. Remember that you’ll have to use a reliable form of birth control until menopause to avoid getting pregnant.
You can expect to see results in about three months after treatment. You’ll notice very light periods or even the absence of periods. Some patients experience fewer PMS symptoms and period pain after NovaSure.
Don’t suffer in silence with heavy periods that interfere with your ability to live normally. Schedule an appointment online or call our office to arrange a consultation.