The Novasure endometrial ablation procedure is used to treat excessively heavy periods (metrorrhagia). This procedure uses electromagnetic energy to remove the lining of the uterus, lightening or completely stopping periods. It can be performed in a hospital without an overnight stay, or in some doctor's offices.
Patients usually go home within a few hours after the Novasure endometrial ablation procedure. Uterine cramping and mild lower abdominal pain are common for the first few days, and a watery or bloody discharge might persist for up to a few weeks. Patients usually can return to work within a few days.
Prescription or over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, can be used for discomfort related to the procedure. Patients should wear pads, rather than tampons, to absorb discharge.
Sometimes women who undergo this procedure experience more severe side effects, including very painful cramping during the first day after the procedure, nausea and vomiting, or heavy vaginal discharge or bleeding. Patients should consult their doctor immediately if they experience these symptoms. Rarely, damage to the uterus or nearby internal organs has occurred during the procedure.
Long Term Outcomes
According to a study published in a 2002 issue of Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, a majority of patients who undergo the Novasure endometrial ablation procedure continue to have periods, but the flow is no longer excessively heavy. Some women also experience less cramping and discomfort during their period.
While it is sometimes possible to become pregnant following Novasure endometrial ablation, patients should not have this procedure performed if they want to have children in the future. Pregnancy following any type of endometrial ablation carries great risk to the mother and fetus because the endometrium can no longer sustain a pregnancy.
- The Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, 2002, Issue 9, pgs. 418-428
- NovaSure official website - FAQs
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Robert S. Donovan
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