Austin Women's Health Center Blog&Inspiration

What to Know About NovaSure Endometrial Ablation

January 26, 2023
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We offer in-and-out same-day Novasure endometrial ablation at Austin Women’s Health Center as a part of our Austin, Texas Gynecology care. We are one of the only providers in central Texas that offer in-office intravenous (IV) sedation to help make you comfortable during the procedure. NovaSure is a safe, fast, non-hormonal, one-time procedure. It lasts about 5 minutes and is minimally invasive, with no surgery or need for a hospital stay. 

What Is NovaSure?

NovaSure is a medical procedure that removes the uterine lining permanently. NovaSure was approved by the FDA in 2001 and has treated millions of people with uteruses for over 20 years.

A 2014 10-year study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health examined patient experiences with NovaSure compared to other endometrial ablation types. The overwhelming majority, 85-94%, were satisfied with the procedure. Compared to other global endometrial ablation procedures, NovaSure ranked highest in patient satisfaction. Few complications are reported for endometrial ablation. Rates in the efficacy of NovaSure are also widespread, demonstrating a reduction in heavy menstrual bleeding compared to other ablation procedures.

The procedure is convenient for avoiding lengthier interventions that require more recovery time. It also can be performed at any point during a menstrual cycle. 

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NovaSure is a wand-shaped device that is used by a provider via transcervical insertion. During the procedure, a healthcare provider will gently dilate the cervix. Next, a doctor inserts the device through the vaginal canal and cervix into the uterus. The mesh device expands to fit the shape of your uterus and uses radiofrequency energy to eliminate the endometrium; this lasts about 90 seconds. The provider will then remove the device from your uterus. After the procedure, you’re able to go home.

We offer in-office IV sedation so that you will experience the minimal amount of discomfort possible. You may feel mild cramping or no symptoms at all. 

Pros and Cons NovaSure Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial ablation removes the lining of the uterus, also called the endometrium. NovaSure is the most common type of endometrial ablation. 

Pros of Novasure Endometrial Ablation

– Less invasive than a hysterectomy

– It’s a 5-minute in-office and one-time procedure

– Menstrual periods lighten or stop within a few months

– Minimally invasive

People may have endometrial ablation to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding or if they do not want children. Some might elect for endometrial ablation if they have longer periods, experience bleeding between periods, or have low blood count because of heavy menstrual bleeding. A healthcare provider may also recommend an endometrial ablation for other reasons.

Menstrual cycles with heavy bleeding are one of the most commonly reported problems for people with the capacity for pregnancy, affecting more than 10 million Americans per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heavy bleeding is defined as needing to change your menstrual product after less than two hours or passing clots larger than the size of a quarter. Heavy menstrual bleeding can severely impact the quality of life. It can also cause anemia or lead to other health issues.

Endometrial ablation is a less invasive procedure than a hysterectomy and avoids the hormonal changes that accompany total hysterectomies, or the removal of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and sometimes, the fallopian tubes. A menstrual cycle is the shedding of the endometrium. Because an endometrial ablation eradicates the temporary lining of the uterus that would be shed with a period, bleeding is lighter.

There are several forms of endometrial ablation: hydrothermal, electrical, balloon therapy, microwave, and cryoablation. NovaSure is the most common form of endometrial ablation; 7 out of 10 endometrial ablation procedures are with NovaSure. 

Cons of of Novasure Endometrial Ablation

– Not for those who might want to become pregnant

– If pregnancy occurs, though rare, the risk of miscarriage increases

– Serious risks are rare but include infection, perforation, and thermal injury

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnancy after endometrial ablation is unlikely but can still occur. A pregnancy after receiving NovaSure increases the risk of complications such as miscarriage, as the uterine tissue cannot support fetal development. If someone wants to become pregnant, NovaSure is not recommended. For sexually active individuals after NovaSure, contraception is still recommended. 

Who is NovaSure right for?

NovaSure may be right for you if:

– You experience heavy menstrual bleeding with no underlying causes

– You have longer menstrual periods 

– You’ve completed childbearing or do not wish to become pregnant

What to Expect After NovaSure

After NovaSure, you might experience cramping, increased urination, mild pain, nausea, or vomiting. Sometimes, people experience a light watery, or bloody discharge for a period of time after the procedure; this is normal. It’s recommended to wear a pad but not to use tampons after the process. While complications are not very common with NovaSure, symptoms such as fever, increased pain, trouble urinating, a change in vaginal discharge, increase in bleeding, clots, or abdominal pain that persists after normal bleeding should warrant a call to your provider.

Often, people can resume normal activities within a day of their procedure. Endometrial ablation is effective quickly. Typically, within two months, patients can observe a reduction in menstrual bleeding or an absence of bleeding altogether.

NovaSure may be the right option for you if menstrual bleeding is getting in the way of day-to-day life and you do not want children. Shorter periods can provide a decrease in stress and the ability to participate in activities previously avoided because of heavy bleeding. A provider can evaluate to see if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, and they will rule out any potential underlying causes of heavy menstrual bleeding before recommending NovaSure.

At Austin Women’s Health Center, we offer care that honors your choices around family planning and bodily autonomy. We are proud to provide our patients with choices and medical options so that they can make the best decision for them. We also offer NovaSure within our office, and you can return to the comfort of your home after the procedure. If you’re interested in NovaSure but funding is an obstacle, we have funding options available.