Your heavy periods can be successfully treated without a hysterectomy. Traditionally, heavy periods have been treated with a hysterectomy — when hormone treatments and oral contraceptives have failed. A hysterectomy presents serious problems including the inherent risk of this surgery; long recovery time; sexual dysfunction; long-lasting pain; and inability to become pregnant.
Nevertheless, in 2005, over 250,000 hysterectomies were performed in the U.S. as a treatment for heavy periods. Every year, hundreds of women die from complications linked to hysterectomies.
A woman who suffers from extra heavy periods that interfere with quality of life may hear from her doctor that she should consider a hysterectomy. However, there is yet another alternative that a woman should check out.
In 2001, the FDA approved a treatment modality, and even though this was nine years ago, many women who suffer from heavy periods don’t even know about it, and sadly, too many doctors are not aware of this less invasive, much safer treatment for abnormally heavy periods.
The FDA approved the NovaSure Impedance Controlled Endometrial Ablation System for the treatment of abnormally heavy periods.
This system relies upon radio frequency to permanently remove endometrial (uterine) lining. It is the uterine lining that causes menstrual flow. In the days leading up to menstruation, the uterine lining becomes engorged with blood, to support the anticipated embryo. When the embryo never comes, the uterine lining begins breaking down: menstrual bleeding. Abnormally heavy periods can disrupt a woman’s life.
The NovaSure is an outpatient procedure that takes 90 seconds for the actual ablation treatment. The entire process, however, takes under five minutes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends this endometrial ablation system.
How well do women fare five years after receiving the NovaSure treatment? The Journal of Reproductive Medicine (2007) published a report: After five years, 75 percent of treated women experienced cessation of their periods, while a whopping 97 percent experienced reduced bleeding from their periods — enough reduction that a hysterectomy wasn’t even considered an option at that point.
Of course, if a woman desires to become pregnant, this treatment may prevent that. On the other hand, a hysterectomy definitely would render a woman unable to become pregnant. The NovaSure procedure won’t necessarily prevent pregnancy, however. Nevertheless, if a woman wishes to have children, she should put the endometrial ablation treatment on hold. In fact, if a woman who has had this treatment gets pregnant, the pregnancy could pose hazards to her and the baby.
Source: Hologic; Schwartz Communications