Endometrial ablation seems to be the latest “bag of tricks” in the treatment of women’s gynecological problems. It is an increasingly common procedure used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. The procedure is premised on the notion that if the endometrial lining is destroyed – ablated – bleeding can no longer occur. Problem solved. But is it? Does endometrial ablation work? Does it resolve the heavy menstrual bleeding and prevent the “need” for a hysterectomy as it is marketed, or does endometrial ablation cause more problems than it solves? The research is sketchy, but here is what I found.
Short-term Complications Associated with Endometrial Ablation
For any surgical procedure there are risks associated with the procedure itself. Here are the short-term complications for endometrial ablation reported in PubMed: pelvic inflammatory disease, endometritis, first-degree skin burns, hematometra, vaginitis and/or cystitis. A search of the FDA MAUDE database included complications of thermal bowel injury (one resulting in death), uterine perforation, emergent laparotomy, intensive care unit admissions, necrotizing fasciitis that resulted in vulvectomy, ureterocutaneous ostomy, and bilateral below-the-knee amputations. Additional postoperative complications include:
- Pregnancy after endometrial ablation
- Pain-related obstructed menses (hematometra, postablation tubal sterilization syndrome)
- Failure to control menses (repeat ablation, hysterectomy)
- Risk from preexisting conditions (endometrial neoplasia, cesarean section)
Long Term Complications of Endometrial Ablation
Endometrial ablation to block menstruation. In order to understand the long-term risks of endometrial ablation, one must understand the hormonal interaction between the uterus and ovaries. The endometrial (uterine) lining builds and sheds in response to the hormonal actions of the ovaries. Ablation scars the lining impeding its ability to shed. But ovaries continue to send the hormonal signals necessary for menstruation and the uterus attempts to function normally by becoming engorged with blood. The problem is, the blood has nowhere to go. It is trapped behind the scar tissue caused by the ablation. This causes all sorts of problems.
Retention of blood in the uterine cavity is called hematometra. If the blood backs up into the fallopian tubes it’s called hematosalpinx. Hematometra and hematosalpinx can cause acute and chronic pelvic pain. Some data suggest that about 10% of the women who have had endometrial ablation suffer from hematometra. The pelvic pain in women who’ve undergone both tubal sterilization and ablation has been coined postablation-tubal sterilization syndrome.
“Any bleeding from persistent or regenerating endometrium behind the scar may be obstructed and cause problems such as central hematometra, cornual hematometra, postablation tubal sterilization syndrome, retrograde menstruation, and potential delay in the diagnosis of endometrial cancer. The incidence of these complications is probably understated because most radiologists and pathologists have not been educated about the findings to make the appropriate diagnosis of cornual hematometra and postablation tubal sterilization syndrome.” Long term complications of endometrial ablation.
So although ablation can have the desired effect of reduced or even absent bleeding, it can be a double-edged sword. This relief from heavy bleeding may, in the long-term, be overshadowed by chronic, debilitating pain caused by the ongoing, monthly attempts by the uterus to build and shed the lining.
Ablation leads to hysterectomy in younger women. The younger a woman is at the time of ablation, the greater the risk of long-term problems that can then lead to hysterectomy. A 2008 study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 40% of women who underwent endometrial ablation before the age of 40 years, required a hysterectomy within 8 years. Similarly, 31% of ablations resulted in hysterectomy for 40-44.9 year old women, ~20% for 45-49.9 year old women and 12% of women over the age of 50 years required a hysterectomy after the endometrial ablation procedure.
Another study, reported a similar link between endometrial ablation and hystectomy. “On the basis of our findings one third of women undergoing rollerball endometrial ablation for menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) can expect to have a hysterectomy within 5 years. If the linear relationship noted during the first 5 years is extrapolated, theoretically, all women may need hysterectomy by 13 years.”
Post ablation tubal sterilization syndrome. A 1996 study of 300 women who underwent ablation found an array of pathological changes in the uterus including: hematosalpinx, endometriosis, chronic inflammation of the fallopian tubes, and acute and chronic myometritis. Eight percent of the women developed intense cyclic pain that necessitated a hysterectomy within 5-40 months post endometrial ablation.
Informed Consent That Isn’t
Recently, Hormones Matter has begun to explore the legalities of the medical informed consent, here and here. With all the adverse effects associated with endometrial ablation, especially the need for hysterectomy later, one must question whether women are informed about those risks. As I have found when investigating this topic, there are few long term studies on endometrial ablation. Many of the articles cited for this post come from paywalled journals that are not readily available to either the patients or the physicians – the costs are prohibitive for both. So it is not clear whether the physicians performing these procedures are aware of the long-term risks associated with ablation. And as one physician suggests, neither the pathologists nor radiologists responsible for diagnosing post ablation pathology are trained to recognize these complications. Without data or access to data and without training, one wonders whether it is even possible to have informed consent for a procedure like ablation.
You know the sayings “never mess with mother nature” and “you never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” We need to heed those words at least when it comes to treatments that can’t be reversed or stopped! At the very least, we have to become thoroughly educated about the risks and benefits of any given medical procedure.
This post was published originally on Hormones Matter in May 2013.
Had a bisalp with an endometrial ablation. No pain, no periods and that for well over a decade. Zero regrets, but would’ve preferred a hysterectomy.
I am at the end of my rope. I’ve seen two gyns. I’ve had heavy bleeding since age 11. Breakthrough bleeding on birth control. When I stopped birth control, it’s been 49 days of heavy bleeding. Dr tried progesterone at different doses, a very traumatic hysteroscopy, testosterone, and doxycycline. She has been trying to push me into an ablation since day 1. The second dr said the same thing.
I have so much pain on my left side that I’m sure it’s hormonal/ovarian related, but no one will listen. And how many second opinions can I get??
I sympathize with you Hun. You said you had a horrible hysterectomy? Did they leave your ovaries and fallopian tubes? I’ve also had several doctors tell me my only options would be either ablation or hysterectomy. I’m not a doctor, but would say I’m well educated… And I just can’t see how Cauterizing or burning my insides, is going to fix my problems. I’m not positive who discovered this “technique”, but if I had to guess, I’d put my $ on it being a man. Cause I can’t imagine any woman thinking to herself… I could get a full hysterectomy and just be done with it… But I wish there was a way I could still keep it, even though it causes me so many problems, even if I can’t get pregnant I still would want it…oh I know! I’ll just Burn it and all the tissue in there, that’ll do the trick. No more bleeding… Um, no. Then you have a burnt ablated organ in you.. burn victims don’t bleed, but guarantee they still hurt, and still have the scars. If I were you, I’d go for the FULL hysterectomy Hun, and just be done with it once and for all. There’s a good likelihood that you’ll end up there in the end anyways, so why put yourself through all the extra pain and complications, to still end up needing a hysterectomy? Whatever YOU decide that’s best for you, I just hope you feel empowered enough and educate yourself enough, that YOU decide what happens to your body. Doctors Know best, most of the time.. but not always. And this is still a newish procedure, that you can see the data on so far, and it doesn’t look too promising. But either way, they work for You, and YOU know you’re body. Don’t be bullied into anything. Trust your own judgement.❤️good luck Hun and stay safe. 💜Prim
I have always poured with terrible cramps I had 2 kids before finding out I had pcos was wanting to have a tubal was told there is no reason you have so many cyst you will never be able to have anymore kids I started working out lost 40 lbs got in a car accident found out I was preggers got the tubal when he was born I was fine normal bleeding really heavy probably heavier and 5 years after my tubal ligation started bleeding heavy heavy for a month at a time stop for a week or a couple days and start again that went on for 6 months my dr said we are doing the ablation well here I am 2 years later in an out of the hospital for the past year nobody could figure out what was wrong told me I had gallstones kidney stones a lesion on a kidney possibly bladder cancer my gallbladder was bad went to different emergency room and they did an ultrasound from my tubes being done and blood having no place to go from the missed cells in the ablation the thickening of tissue it’s backing up in my tubes when I tell you me my husband and the drs thought maybe something happened and I some how mysteriously got pregnant and I’m in labor I was in so much pain I’m going to have a partial hysterectomy and said it might turn into a full hysterectomy no dr would listen when I kept saying it had to be my reproductive system they would tell me well I have to follow my medical evidence and it’s not your reproductive system listen to your gut no matter what cause if I could go back I would have never had my tubal ligation or the ablation I wish they would have told me the stuff that can happen or did a hysterectomy instead of going threw all this
I’m 47 years old and had a Mirena IUD inserted about 6 months ago to control peri-menopausal flooding that made me so anemic I was passing out. (My hemoglobin was down to 7) I’ve been dealing with some side effects, no libido for the first time in my life, and itchy hive like rashes that are driving me crazy. Ablation has been presented as an option. Everything I’ve been reading about what real women have experienced is frightening. Wondering if you have any alternative suggestions to deal with heavy flooding, it was seriously affecting my quality of life. The reason I was open to Mirena is that I can have it removed if side effects are unbearable. Ablation seems extreme and there’s no going back. Most women it doesn’t work for seem to end up with hysterectomy. Thanks for such an informative article!
Melissa – I’m glad you found this article before resorting to ablation.
This article – https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/managing-menorrhagia – lists the treatments for heavy bleeding. One option is a non-hormonal Rx med called tranexamic acid that typically reduces bleeding by “up to 60%.” Rx strength NSAID’s can also be pretty effective as discussed in this same article.
I am 51. I have uterine fibroids and endometriosis. After suffering for 5 years. Doctors did not even tell me what I have and were/are pushing for hysterectomy, I even did not know why I was in so much pain and also increased bleeding in the amount and days. They were and still are pushing for hysterectomy even after I told them that I started using NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) and discovered pleasant changes. It works.
At this time I cannot trust doctors.
What do you think about NAC? Are you familiar with this supplement?
I use NAC (N-ACETYL CYSTEINE). Do research about it. There is a research that was done in Italy and Iran about this supplement/strong antioxidant.
I have fibroids and endometriosis. Debilitating pain and had a lot of bloody days.
Even-though there are claims that it (NAC) is good for lungs but I think it is not so: I am having sometime difficulty breathing and take simple expectorant to counter that (bought from a dollar store, not expensive, must be one single active ingredient in order for it to work and I also used it when I had difficulty breathing at the time when I had Covid-19).
I bought NAC on Ebay (250 coated caplets for $12.99, Horbaach brand but there are many other brands. I just picked one that is less expensive per caplet/doze/strength)). It says 1200 mg but it is for 2 caplets. Taking sometimes 1 caplet in the morning and one in the afternoon separately from other vitamins and medications…not much information about interactions so I assume there are some just to be safe. Have to drink lots of water because it is a known side effect that I also experience from it. To my surprise (and shock) I saw and felt the difference just few days later after I started taking NAC. On January 11 I got NAC,… started taking it on 12th…on 15th my periods came…to my surprise not as heavy (heavy but no flooding) and had them only 7 days instead of 10 plus 5+days of spotting. Now 7 days of periods and I am clean. Still have pain but not as bad and debilitating as I am trying to walk more. Cannot jump though…yet.
I am still taking NAC and will keep taking NAC. Doctors against it and pushing for hysterectomy which now doesn’t make any sense to me. What I experience is a fact …what doctors say it is just a lie to me ,…cannot trust them at all. Try it as a supplement. See how your body reacts to it. Listen to your body before making any decisions/damages that you wont’ be able to reverse.
Have your tried Transemic acid? TXA? Not sure I spelled it right. But I just got my ablation 4 weeks ago. Because of the exact problems you have. I had to have iron transfusions due to extreme low hemoglobin. Anyways,for the 3 months before surgery,they prescribed me to TXA & it did work. But the prescription was only 30 pills,3 times a day. I actually needed more than that. Can’t hurt to try. Good luck!
I had my ablation December 2017. I was bleeding so badly it was literally shooting out of me with huge clots. I was also anemic from the bleeding. After several tests and biopsies, it was found that I had a polyp. I was told years prior to this that I had a severe heart shaped uterus and that I would not be able to have children, knowing this and all of the issues I’ve always had with my period, I begged for a hysterectomy! I was told that the ablation was truly the better way to go and the gyn told me he would recommend this to his wife too. Because I couldn’t get anyone to agree to the hysterectomy I had the ablation. I had some bleeding here and there but nothing compared to last month and now this month. The cramping only started this month. I have an apt with my new gyn this week and I’m hoping she says I can have a hysterectomy! The bleeding is light but it’s lasting for 14 days with about 20 days in between. Since my last period I have had non stop mild cramping! I’m not sure if my lining grew back and this is a normal period now or if this is ablation failure! I’m now 43 and ready to be rid of this!
Caroline – Just make sure you understand the repercussions of hysterectomy. Lots of articles here – http://hormonesmatter.com/search/hysterectomy. Best of luck to you.
WS please join this Facebook group.
Other women who want to be informed.. please join as well.
Hi, I found this page after searching for info on HRT after ablation. I had a Novasure uterine ablation 4 years ago at age 44 due to heavy, flooding periods. My ablation experience was fantastic. I had it done in hospital, by an excellent obgyn. I recovered quickly with no pain. I never had another period since. No pain and no problems at all for the past four years. It’s been beautiful. Still no problems. Just going through menopause now and looking at HRT for hot flashes, etc…. I just wanted to add my voice here to this discussion, because there ARE people who have successful, good outcomes from novasure. I’m one of them. I think the people who have good outcomes just don’t go online to talk about it, as they are off enjoying their lives. So just a comment to say that although there are many people on this page who have had unfortunate experiences with ablation (and my heart truly goes out to everyone) …. There are also many people who have wonderful experiences with it.
Thank you for this.
I thought I had a wonderful experience, I had mine done in 2014. I started HRT last year and in the last 3 months I have had horrible pelvic pain. I went in and I have exactly what this article covered. A large area of pooled blood behind scare tissue and a Fallopian tube that looks like a sausage. Now I have been advised to have a hysterectomy.
SO thankful to read this positive report, as I just had this procedure today, and in my resting, ran down the rabbit hole to read some more and started really regretting my decision. My OBGYN suggested this route , not only for my heavy cycles, but also because I was having a horrific cramp episode once per cycle that was completely debilitating. She said that many have found relief from similar symptoms after NovaSure, so I’m really hoping that is the case. I have a brain condition and the cramp episode has become so bad that we fear it literally could cause me to have a stroke if ti continues to occur. I needed to see a positive report among the many negative. Thank you!
June, 2019, I had the Nova Sure procedure for heavy menstrual bleeding. 6 months later, I had unexpected severe pelvic pain. I went to Urgent Care and I was sent to the emergency room since my pain was extreme. I was given a shot of Toradol which eventually stopped the pain. When pain subsided I was given a cat scan to ccheck for kidney stones but the results were negative. I was sent home saying everything was fine. Two days later the pain was back so I called my OBGYN and begged for a sonogram. It was determined that I had Hermatometra, medical condition involving collection or retention of blood in the uterus. This can cause the feeling of labor pains.
Hematometra may develop as a complication of uterine or cervical surgery such as endometrial ablation, where scar tissue in the endometrium can “wall off” sections of endometrial glands and stroma causing blood to accumulate in the uterine cavity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematometra
A few days later I was scheduled for surgical cervical dilation to drain the blood from the uterus. This was an insanely barbaric and painful procedure where they opened my cervix and drained the blood. I felt traumatized from this procedure.
At this point, I am waiting to hear back from My OBGYN to see the next steps. The chance of this was never explained to me and I feel devastated. The last thing I want is a hysterectomy so I hope there are other options. I am now 54 and I feel should have been told to let menopause run its course rather than taking this chance with Nova Sure. Would I recommend Nova Sure? NEVER.
EPI, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this after effect and that you were not informed of this possibility. It is shocking that the majority of gynecologists fail to inform women of the risks and negative effects of so many of their procedures – tubal sterilization, ablation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy / castration. Of course, these procedures are big money makers so why would they? As the saying by Upton Sinclair goes “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Since it seems you would be very close to menopause, maybe this won’t continue to be an issue. With all the negatives of hysterectomy, you want to avoid that too. I recall reading a woman’s account of her post-ablation pain and how she found a “cocktail” of vitamins to help significantly. I have not been able to find that post.
I wish you the best in getting help. Keep us posted.
I had a Novasure ablation in November 2019. The procedure was sold to me as a miracle cure for heavy painful periods caused by fibroids. After the initial bleeding which lasted a couple days post ablation, I’ve only had a week without either spotting or having a full period. I am having my third period since November??? In other words I have been bleeding for over 5 weeks nonstop. Thankfully they are light and the cramps are nothing compared to before. Sadly there’s been a very foul odor in the blood as well. I went to my doctor who kept telling me the bleeding and odorous discharge would work itself out within 3 months or so. This outcome was never mentioned before. However, he prescribed Provera to “see” if it will stop the bleeding. I am terrified of taking it because the last time I took hormones I bled fist sized clots for weeks and weeks which is why I got the ablation in the first place. Please give me any advice on whether this prolonged bleeding is normal and what I should do next because I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Fitoverforty, I am sorry you are experiencing this. Maybe the HERS Foundation could provide some guidance.
I feel like I am reading a post that I would have written. I had an ablation and polyepectemy in mid November because I had been bleeding uncontrollably since the start of September and they found cysts in my uterus. After the ablation, my right leg and ankle have been very swollen (to the point of not being able to wear normal shoes – just crocs) and the pain in my groin area when I turn my foot out or lift my leg is excruciating. I have been wearing compression socks but the swelling never goes down… only increases. You can’t even see that my ankle has a bone. I’ve had blood and urine taken, and they checked for a DVT but all look normal. I’ve been told the spotty bleeding should stop but I need to give it more time. I started researching complications of an ablation and am horrified by all of the problems. The 2 doctors (my family med. doc and the OBGYN doc) claim they haven’t seen anything like this but to give it time. JUST today, the swelling has gone down and the pain in my groin area has decreased.. I’m able to lift my leg up without it feeling like my hip is broken. BUT – that came along with my period coming back – not just spotting! There must be some connection. I’m hoping someone else might see this and reach out to let me know if they had the same complication. Not sure where to go next. I’m bracing for the crazy bleeding to start up… which made it impossible to even teach for the 45 mn class periods at my high school before bleeding through into my pants. I’m 45 with 5 kids (2 C-sections and multiple DNCs) I feel your pain 🙁
EPI, I found that link – https://forums.webmd.com/3/gynecology-exchange/forum/12649?pg=4. However, there are 17 pages of comments and I don’t know which page contains the comment about the “cocktail” of supplements. The HERS Foundation may have some suggestions for relief.
EPI, I found that link – https://forums.webmd.com/3/gynecology-exchange/forum/12649?pg=4. However, there are 17 pages of comments and I don’t know which page contains the comment about the “cocktail” of supplements. The HERS Foundation may have some suggestions for relief.
The exact same thing happened to me, I had my Novasure ablation 5 years ago. I am 42 and my excellent OBGYN told me the only way is to have a Hysterectomy. This is awful I am young and was never told this could be the case. I am horrified. My appointment is in 2 weeks.
I had my ablation over 3years ago and while I’m grateful that I am not confined to my home any longer I’m suffering another ways. My bleeding was so horrific that at times I couldn’t leave my house or I would have to leave work. I ended up with embarrassing murder scenes in public bathrooms. So yes I’m very grateful that I don’t have to deal with the severe pain, heavy bleeding and huge clots any longer but I now have other problems. My hormones are not the same after. I have next to no feeling down there. Every time I have sex I now tear and then get constant infections. My body feels completely different. Sensations that I had before are gone and my nipples hurt all the time. I still get all the symptoms of having a cycle. Bloating, cramps, acne and feeling very weak. It seems like every time we do something to try and fix a problem and just end up with other ones.
Deanna, I’m sorry you are suffering these adverse effects of ablation. I suspect your doctor failed to inform you that these are possible and probably fairly common consequences. It is time that doctors be held accountable for not providing informed consent for treatments especially procedures that are not reversible, unlike taking a medication that you can always stop taking.
Wow I had the same procedure done to have The same Exact symptoms you’re having super depressed about it
I wish I had come across this article before having the ablation procedure done. Like others it was going to be procedure to end years of heavy periods, instead I suffer all the symptoms and side effects. Yes the bleeding is much lighter and period lasts fewer days. However the pain can be very debilitating and unbearable at times, the only pain relief that seems to offer any relief is Panadene Forte, but I try very hard to not take it as that has it’s issues too. My gynecologist sold this procedure very very well, hardly any mention of the procedure not working and now I’m looking at having the alternative done. Never once was it mentioned to me that I was probably too young to be having it done given that menopause was probably at least another 10years away. I’m angry at myself for not having done the research better on this and I will tell anyone that this certainly isn’t the way too go should your issue be that of experiencing heavy periods. I was so ill-informed, maybe I was one of the unlucky ones and it has worked for others, but at times I would rather put up with the heavy periods, at least I didn’t have this detrimental pain. I feel like a fool.
Renee – I am sorry that you too were deceived (and possibly lied to) by a gynecologist. It is reprehensible that women are not provided with the necessary information to make an informed decision. Gynecologists need to be held accountable for harming women via their destructive procedures – ablation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, Essure, etc. I wish you the best.
I have just unwent an novasure ablation. I’m literally 6 days post op. I was told the procedure went without a hitch and in the gynaecologist notes, uneventful. To now be told, she inserted a coil which I told her I didn’t want. Now she’s been challenged she is back tracing and said she put the coil in as she was only able to do a partial ablation now I’ve made a complaint. I am going to see the head gynaecologist next week to see what she actually did and get the coil removed. After research I’ve found out the doctor is paid by the company who produce the coil and is paid for everyone she implants… I feel sick to my stomach this is happening to me.
Alison – It really is disgusting that we are merely $$ to some doctors. Gynecologists are a surgical specialty and that is how they make their living – doing procedures regardless of whether or not they are needed and how harmful they are. They also take advantage of the fact that we trust them due to our long-term relationships with them. Please post back and let us know how your appointment with the head gynaecologist goes. I wish you the best.
I caution against an ablation as I don’t think doctors are taking necessary steps to ensure success. I am 3 years in and like so many having unbearable pain. I’m no sissy when it comes to pain, I delivered an almost 11 pound baby and I delivered my 3rd with no pain medication at all. That was all a walk in the park compared to the pain I am experiencing now. I went back to the doctor and they redid my ultrasound and found that my uterus is not shaped correctly and the ablation would never have been a success because of that. Why in the world didn’t they come to this conclusion from my ultrasound BEFORE my ablation??? Would have saved me a ton of money not to mention the pain and suffering. I thought this was going to be a less invasive route than a hysterectomy, but it just cost a lot of time, pain, and money to circle back to now having a hysterectomy. Buyer be ware!
Laura – I am sorry you are suffering this horrific post ablation pain. I recall a woman posting somewhere that a “cocktail” of supplements was a big help for her post ablation pain. But I do not recall the details. Hysterectomy has its own set of permanent negative effects but you may not have any other options.
Gynecologists need to be held accountable for their lack of informed consent and deceit regarding the damaging procedures they do – ablation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, etc. I wish you the best.
I am a victim of Novasure endometrial ablation. It was presented to me as a cure-all for difficult periods 8 years ago (two years after my second c-section). I now have such horrific pain every 3 weeks that I am scheduled for a hysterectomy. Had someone told me of this risk 8 years ago, I NEVER would have had the ablation. The pain is worse than labor (12.5 hours with my son has nothing on the 2 days of white-knuckle pain I’m in every 3 weeks of my life now). If your doctor is recommending Novasure, say no and find a new doctor! Protect your body from this torment!
Shauna – I am sorry you are suffering this horrific post ablation pain. I recall a woman posting somewhere that a “cocktail” of supplements was a big help for her post ablation pain. But I do not recall the details. Gynecologists need to be held accountable for their lack of informed consent and deceit regarding the damaging procedures they do – ablation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, etc. I wish you the best.
Oh my God you poor woman. My mammy always said it was a mans man’s world so very true. I hope you get the relief and help you desperately need. These stories are shocking. Plz dont let them away with what they have done. Xoxox
I was considering an EA but am now questioning it after reading this article. I am 51 and started having very very heavy, long periods (one was 6 weeks long) with the onset of peri menopause 3 years ago, which has also caused anemia. I am currently taking 200mg of micronized progesterone which has pretty much stopped my periods altogether, however it often makes me dizzy so I don’t really want to take it for too long. I tried taking only 100 mg but still had quite heavy periods with that. I just need something to get me to the completion of menopause. Don’t want the side effects of IUD or birth control either (hubby had a vasectomy years ago).
Would love to hear what worked for other women in my similar situtation/age.
Kaylee – Being that you are 51, it seems menopause should be around the corner. Do you take the progesterone at night? Another option may be to use a vaginal progesterone. That may eliminate or alleviate the dizziness. You wouldn’t need as high of a dose. Some women use Prometrium vaginally after pricking it and squeezing out some or all of the contents although it may dissolve fine as is. Of course, that would be an “off label” use so you may want to check with your doctor. Some women use a compounded progesterone vaginally in a dose lower than 100mg. If you don’t want to take the progesterone any more, you could take Rx tranexamic acid (brand name Lysteda) during your periods to reduce the bleeding. It’s supposed to reduce it 50% or so.
Thanks for your reply and yes I agree, seems menopause “should” be around the corner but up until now I’ve pretty much still had periods on a quite regular basis and my sister who is 54 is still not in complete menopause. My mom, aunt and Grandma all had issues so they had hysterectomies in their 30’s and 40’s and surgical menopause at that time. Thanks so much for your other suggestions! I will discuss those options with my gynecologist. Also thank you for saving me from having an endometrial ablation!
Hey, I just had my ablation done today and am thrilled. Yes. Just 8 hours post op. I am 39, DH had a vasectomy, had a Merena IUD for 6 years (along with a neverending light period for the same time), had it removed and stopped my period at 20 days today. For 6 of those days I was bleeding 140mL in 24 hours. I bought and used a DIVA cup to more accurately measure. For the remaining days I bled between 55mL and 100mL. I had severe anemia and extreme fatigue and brain fog. Also, during the heaviest part I am fairly sure I developed a small blood clot in my left calf as I had a 4 day neverending charliehorse. I may end up needing a hysterectomy but now I have time to plan for missing work and arranging child care where as with this I will miss 4 days total. I missed 2 preop and 2 post. I have minimal cramping. My dr ran a ton of blood tests to rule out other problems to treat the underlying issue as well. Those results will be back in 2 weeks but I have quality of life back now. If hormones don’t work well for you, this is definitely a sound option. (I researched for 2 years before this nightmare period convinced me.)
Good luck with that, see you on this forum in a few years
This is the shittiest comment I’ve ever read on the internet. It essentially translates to “I hope your good fortune fails and you find yourself in terrible pain in a few years.” More women have success with this procedure than those who don’t. Let’s hope she doesn’t find herself back here in a few years.
I’m so glad I came across this article. I am 51 and have been considering an endometrial ablation to relieve heavy, long periods (one lasted 6-weeks straight) which have caused me to become anemic. My mom, aunt and Grandma all ended up having different issues that resulted in all of them having a hysterectomy before they were my age. My Dr. did a biopsy to rule out any other issues that would be causing the heavy bleeding, and since this just started 3 years ago, we believe it’s related to being perimenopausal and he offered the EA as a simple procedure that would most likely solve my issues until I am through menopause.
He did prescribe 100 mg of micronized progesterone which helped a little and then he increased it to 200 mg which I’ve been taking daily for the last 3 months and that has basically stopped my period because it’s supposedly just preventing any lining from building up. However, it makes me dizzy quite a bit, which can be one of the side effects.
I was considering the ablation because I don’t really want to have to take the Progesterone indefinitely but maybe that’s the lesser of two evils at this point.
Has anyone else been taking Progesterone for a long time as an answer to menorraghia? I don’t really want to have an IUD, which is another option. My husband had a vasectomy after our youngest was born so I haven’t taken birth control for 23 years and don’t want to.
Would love to hear from any other women in my same situation and similar age or who went through this and are now in menopause.
I had a Mirena IUD put in about 6 months ago. It was to control peri-menopausal flooding which was making me so anemic I was passing out. The Mirena has stopped the flooding, I don’t really have periods anymore, but the 2 side effects I’m dealing with are zero libido for the first time in my life (I’m 47) and hive like rashes which are driving me crazy. I’ve been researching ablation because that’s been presented as another option. Honestly I don’t think I can consider it very seriously because of the risk factors and if it doesn’t work hysterectomy would be imminent.
Hi ,I’m about to under go ablation . I’m 43 , 4 c sections last one 12 years ago . Sterilised 12 years ago . Very heavy periods with chronic pain . I’m reading these comments and starting to worry. Should I go down this route or ask for a second opinion .
The problem with procedures is that you are stuck with “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Many women who undergo tubals end up with heavy periods and, if they have Essure coils, pain and other problems. And heavy bleeding itself can cause cramping / pain. Have you tried non-hormonal prescription Lysteda / tranexamic acid? It significantly reduces bleeding although many gynecologists fail to offer it to their patients. Procedures are much more profitable. I hope this helps.
Yeah. I had mine in 2006 and now I have to have a hysterectomy. Hope you fair better than I did.
I have had extreme pelvic pain and retrograde blood and heamatometra. Been told only hysterectomy will fix it . I am not having . What else can I do as I also get fluid overload and can’t breathe when the body reabsorb all the blood trapped in the uterus. I was very healthy and am a recluse now at 38
Betty – How awful! I’m sorry you are suffering the debilitating after effects of ablation! I recall reading a post on WebMD years ago from a woman who found a cocktail of vitamins that helped her post-ablation pelvic pain. I don’t recall if I made a note of it. I did a web search for it not long ago and couldn’t find it. If I find it in my saved info, I will post it here. I hope you can find a remedy that gives you relief!
Betty – One other thing. If your cervix is stenotic (which can be caused by ablation) and all the blood isn’t trapped behind your scarred lining, it may help to have a periodic in-office procedure to stent your cervix to allow the blood to escape. This article may be helpful – https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/women-s-health-issues/noncancerous-gynecologic-abnormalities/cervical-stenosis.
Thank you so much .I live in Australia and am struggling to find a doctor that will do a stent for me . I might have to travel to America to do it . Do you know any good Doctors there ?
No I don’t. You could contact the HERS Foundation – hersfoundation.org. They may be able to guide you. Best of luck!
I’m sitting here in tears. I can’t believe I never found any of these message boards before my surgery. 5 months ago I had a tubal and an ablation surgery. Sex before surgery was the best it had ever been in my life. Yes, 2 weeks out of every month sucked because of my period but I would have rather dealt with that over shitty sex the rest of my life!!!! I can’t believe I’ve destroyed any chance of happiness for the rest of my life. My doctor did nothing but assure me how safe this was and that the complications are rare and minimal. Everything I’ve read is that complications are not rare. I’m just devastated….
Casandra – I’m so sorry that you were also a victim of harmful gynecologic procedures (in your case, a tubal and ablation). Sadly, the overuse of damaging procedures and lack of informed consent are “par for the course” in Gynecology. I hope you can “overcome” this horrific betrayal as well as the permanent harm done to your body and life.
I had both done,my tubes tied and burn in 1989, and 2003 had the endometrial ablation done,,, yes it help my period but now I have complications now…doctor have said they have found abdominal cells,walls of my uterus is thick,want to put me on premature cream,use it once and it cause cramps,,,so now I’m 51 going on 52 in 3 months still having light periods but my breast get tender before my period comes and cramping all over..Need to know what the next step
Prizelter – I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Do you mean to say that your doctor found abnormal cells (hyperplasia) in your uterus? If so, you will want to get a copy of your pathology (biopsy) report and research your options. There are different types and “levels” of hyperplasia and it can oftentimes be cured with medication. Premarin cream is not what they prescribe for hyperplasia. Did he prescribe something else… a progestin of some sort?
For more information about Novasure and the side effects, please join this facebook group. There are many women who have had this procedure and suffered the side effects. One of the biggest issues is that women are not told in advance what may happen. If you are considering this procedure, please learn more and join this facebook group. Thank you.
I am sorry if this is not the right place to post, but reading about this ablation is scaring the heck out of me and I’m wondering if I’m in danger because of some form of it. Here is what I mean: An ob doctor did an endometrial biopsy on me WITHOUT discussing ANYTHING about it or about dangers as a result of it.
I am now wondering if I have scar tissue that can cause the normal shedding and bleeding to not happen and that somehow I’ve got blood that is backing up in my uterus or in my tubes. I am worried because I had this biopsy a month and a half ago and my last two periods are very different. I used to have heavy periods, now they seem like a half of what they were before.
I am wondering if this punk doctor messed me up! I think he was VERY UNETHICAL for not explaining anything to me. And after the procedure, he said oh, by the way you have to sign this consent form.
Kim – I’m sorry your doctor failed to inform you about the endometrial biopsy. Every patient deserves to understand their testing and treatment options along with all risks and benefits. It’s shocking that he had you sign the consent form after the procedure!
Was it an in-office biopsy without anesthesia versus a D&C biopsy done in a hospital or surgical center under anesthesia? The in-office one should have little to no effect on your cycle. And I would think any changes should only affect the first period. A D&C can lighten periods but usually not in the long-term.
You may want to get a copy of your medical records to see what exactly was done (assuming he was accurate and thorough in his documentation). Let us know what you find out.
I have the same concern. A surprise in office biopsy when I never gave consent!. I have severe pain for 3 months now and wondering if there will be scar tissue as he did multiple biopsies as I had such a thin lining.
Julie, Did you have an ablation and are now having symptoms? Why was a biopsy done? A thin lining can cause spotting due to instability but a thin lining has a lower risk for hyperplasia or cancer.
Hi, I have decided to wait for menopause to happen. I have read all the posts looked at the research and decided heavy periods for two weeks every month are more bearable that an ablation or a hysterectomy. They had diagnosed adenmyosis and ovarian cysts last year. But now the cysts have self healed. So hopefully the adenmyosis will to. I have changed jobs to lower the stress in my life and i am trying a new occupation part time thus year. That was a tough decision as i spent 10 years training at university to gain entry into that field. But i am 47 years old
My children are in their 20’s and I have decided I owe it to myself to try to stay intact and self heal. I have no faith in the medical profession. When will the medical profession actually investigate how to treat women’s health conditions?
I thought I researched. But I realize now I did not. My mother and friend both had one and swore by it. Told me they had no regrets. Now my friend is actually thinking her “death pains” during her period are from her ablation as I’ve sent her many articles on the side effects. Now I’m suffering daily dull aches down there and my sex life is done. I’m 38 and I’m numb down there 🙁 5 months out of surgery and I’m realizing I may have ruined my life!!!
Hi, I’m glad I found your site. I had an ultrasound today and it seems I have some polyps in my uterus. My doctor is recommending a D&C and also mentioned the Novasure procedure. That he could do both procedures at the same time. I am leaning against the Novasure. Do I have any alternative to the D&C for the polyps? I’ve had abnormal bleeding ever since my periods resumed after the birth of my final child who is now 13. It’s basically a normal period and then spotting for several days after that. I haven’t had any problems with anemia. Just curious what your opinion might be. Thanks so much!
Please join this fb group.
A doctor did total resection which I told him prior to surgery that I did not want ablation and didn’t sign consent for it only for d&c and hysterscopy and had my period when he did it. Can I sue the doctor? Also he told me at follow up visit that I couldn’t have children and I specifically told him I didn’t want ablation done and he did worse than ablation. He left no tissue and cauterized bleeding points going into uterus. I had yellow discharge and severe pain and still do 9 years later. Can someone help me about this as my uterus shrunk and grew together. Please help me to find a lawyer.
Audrey – I’m sorry that your doctor performed a procedure to which you did not consent. However, if it was not in writing then chances are that no attorney will take your case. And if I understand correctly, it has been 9 years since that was done so you are way past the statute of limitations (which in most states is 1 or 2 years). However, if your discovery of this unconsented procedure was recent and is still within the statute of limitations, you could talk to an attorney.
A doctor did total resection which I told him prior to surgery that I did not want ablation and didn’t sign consent for it only for d&c and hysterscopy and had my period when he did it. Can I sue the doctor? Also he told me at follow up visit that I couldn’t have children and I specifically told him I didn’t want ablation done and he did worse than ablation. He left no tissue and cauterized bleeding points going into uterus. I had yellow discharge and severe pain and still do 9 years later. Can someone help me about this as my uterus shrunk and grew together. Please help me to find a lawyer.
Omg that sounds ust horrendous. You oor woman. These gynecologists (usually men) are worse than butchers. They take away what good that we have left and its so wrong on every level. I hope you find a good solictor who gets you help and try to repair the damage done by this so called doctor. Take care of yourself and God bless xox xoxox
Kristen – I’m glad you researched ablation and found out about the potential long-term negative effects. If I understand correctly, your periods aren’t particularly heavy; you just have some spotting after they end. If that is the case, ablation seems overkill but it’s risky regardless.
The polyps may not even be the cause of your spotting. I’ve read that 25% of polyps disappear within a year. A procedure called polypectomy can be done to “snip” them off but they have to be removed at the base or you can end up with worse bleeding. The HERS Foundation has a lot of info on their site about gyn conditions and treatments.
If you do end up having a procedure make sure you clearly state on the consent form what can and cannot be done and have your surgeon sign off on your changes. Don’t wait until the day of the procedure because they will sometimes start sedation and then present the consent form to you. 🙁
So happy to find this site.At least I know I’m not alone. I had a Novasure done in 2012 at 48 for heavy bleeding. I did not want procedure done because I researched abalations and found it can cause scarring and make it hard to diagnosis serious issues later. I was done child bearing so wanted hysterectomy. Fast forward to present and here we are with something growing that appears to be endometerial cancer but they have not been able to get to it with traditonal biospies, even under anesesthia in OR , due to severe scarring . After 3 months of doctors not able to figure what to do and get to it. I am now being referred to cancer center to try and figure what is growing in uterus and will wind up with hysterectomy. This so frustrating. I DO NOT recommend an Abalation procedure. Talk to your doctor about other options if they won’t listen get second opinion.
emg – I’m sorry for your bad ablation experience that may require you to have another harmful procedure. Has D&C been offered as a possible option to get a better biopsy to see if you really do have endometrial cancer in which case hysterectomy would be warranted?
In my case, the D & C was unsuccessful–still unable to diagnose due to too much scarring.
This experience is almost identical to mine! I had an ablation 7 years ago. On Monday this week the dr. was unable to perform a biopsy in his office; yesterday he tried again, under anesthesia in the OR, and again was unsuccessful due to scar tissue. Like you, I am now being referred to an oncologist and am being told that since there is little hope of eliminating endometrial cancer as the cause of my (very occasional) bleeding (I am 54) they will recommend a complete hysterectomy. I HATE the idea of removing body parts for an illness I very well may not have!
Had an endometrial ablation in 2012, and like many women, I am now completely numb in the vagina and have no sex drive, also like many who have had the procedure. No informed consent. My biggest regret in life. My dead! My marriage is dead.. Shameful… Please do not get this procedure. Get homone treatment before this. You will regret it unless you like being asexual.
Mimi – I’m sorry ablation destroyed your sex life! I was not aware of this after effect although I am not surprised by it nor the fact that gynecologists fail to inform women. If you have articles, studies, or other women’s experiences about this after effect, please post the links. Gynecologists need to be held accountable for all the harm they are doing to so many women.
How did an ablation destory your sex life? The procedure is done in your uterus and you have sex in your vaginal canal area. A penis should never even get close to your uterus or cervix.
I dont mean to be rude but it seems like a lot of ppl on here are not talkig about conplications from the procedure, but from bad doctors and surgeon errors.
The penis actually bumps up against the cervix usually increasing pleasure for both man and woman. Ablation can scar the cervix (as well as the uterine lining) which can reduce sensation.
Omg I’m reading this and I’m in front of my 2 children so I don’t want to cry but I had a tubal and an endometrial ablation 5 months ago and I too am numb down there now 🙁 I also feel this is my biggest regret in life. I was NOT informed of this as being a possible side effect or risk factor. I’m devastated!!!!! I’m only 38 and newly divorced! What da heck is my life going to be like going forward?? 🙁
some may have some numb feeling for awhile but it should come back
What are the options if you have heavy bleeding due to large fibroids? It was recommended to me to have EA, and tubes tied. Is there no option for just fibroid removal with nothing else added on to that surgery?
CJ – Have you tried or been offered the non-hormonal prescription drug, Lysteda (tranexamic acid), to see if that reduces your bleeding? It seems it’s underutilized.
There is a surgery to remove just the fibroids with no other procedures / alterations. It’s called myomectomy. But it seems a lot of gynecologists don’t have the skills and/or it isn’t as profitable as other procedures. There’s also a radiology procedure called MRgFUS (magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound) but I’d heard that it’s not always covered by insurance.
If you think you’re close to menopause, it may be worth waiting it out.
Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 ttspw
I had the NovaSure procedure a little over eight years ago when I was 37. I wasn’t really told about long term effects. So far though all my experience with it has been positive. My recovery only took a day (only took pain relievers (over the counter) for a day and since then my periods have been normal. I do not have the heavy bleeding anymore and only mild cramps (when I am exercising more no cramps). I had gotten to the point before the procedure that the pain from my periods was so bad I couldn’t function even with medication. Plus my periods have been like clockwork (before the procedure they were irregular). I knew at that time I wasn’t going to have children (haven’t before that) and my doctors made sure I had no fibroids so it seemed like a good choice for me. One unusual thing is that my doctor opted to put me under for the procedure (she did that for all her patients), plus that was a really good decision since my uterus is curved. I wonder if by doing it that way that helped me not have any complications and prevented scaring. Or maybe it is the fact I never had children that made me a good candidate. So far so good. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever have any complications, I am 46 now so there is still time for something to go wrong. In the end though I don’t regret the decision, because it has meant no pain killers for my periods and if I end up having to have a hysterectomy that is where I was headed anyway if my periods could not be managed. I am glad I read all this since when something does go wrong I’ll at least know to make sure the doctors know I had the procedure and to start there. Good luck to everyone.
Hi. I have just had a novasure ablation and looked up how long I should wait to do exercise. I have taken a week off of work but am now feeling pretty ok. I am very active and want to know when I can start exercising again. Having found all these posts however, I am now really scared that I made the wrong decision to have the ablation. It is reassuring to read that you have had a positive experience. Unfortunately it is the only positive comment I have seen posted in relation to the ablation. If there are other people out there with positive stories, it would also be good to hear them so we can get a balanced idea of the potential outcomes from the Op. I am really worried at the moment. I had polyps, and cysts on my ovaries, very heavy periods and mid cycle bleeding. I have a prolapsed uterus too although still not bad. I am 43 so young so was offering the novasure as a way to stave off hysterectomy for a few years. Please tell me your positive stories If you have any?!
Rachel I just read your post and wanted to try to provide some encouragement. I had an endometrial ablation 6 yrs ago when I was almost 39. I had very heavy and painful periods and signs/symptoms of endometriosis. My Gyno suggested meds or an ablation. I opted for the ablation (novasure) after much research, prayer, and consideration. I’ve had very positive results since the procedure and haven’t had a period, not one drop of blood, since the procedure six yrs ago! I do still ovulate so I have mood swings, but I got my quality of life back without having a hysterectomy. Now that I’m about to turn 45, I feel like I’m having Perimenopause symptoms but it’s so hard to tell since I don’t menstrate and that’s usually first sign of Perimenopause when your periods become irregular. I hope this helped. I have never regretted having the procedure…it gave me my life back! Just talk to your gyno if you have any questions, concerns or problems.
Hi, I’m 42 and have irregular periods. Sometimes I’ll go for a couple of months not having one, then I’ll have two very long periods within six weeks that sometimes have clots. Fortunately, I’ve never had consistent, debilitating pain associated with my period — just more and more nuisance of unpredictable bleeding. I have had the Mirana for four years as birth control and it has failed to stop my periods but I’ve had no other problems with it.
After hearing from so many friends about successful ablations, I mentioned it my APRN and she said I was a perfect candidate. She then referred me to a trusted gynecologist who could perform the surgery. When I went for a consult with him, I was surprised when he tried to talk me out of it. He said that if I insisted on the ablation, he would rather just skip straight to a partial hysterectomy because there was good chance the ablation would not solve my problem and that would be the next step. When I told him that seemed pretty extreme for irregular bleeding, he agreed and told me he would like for me to first try some alternatives. He has prescribed Naproxen (which I notice has been recommended a lot on this site) and also Norethindrone, both to take along with the Mirena which is already in place. He did say he is very big proponent of the Mirena. Then he told me to do some reading up on ablations. After seeing all these comments, I’m really glad I did! Needless to say, I will definitely not be having either surgery.
My question is this: what do you think about the Norethindrone in conjunction with Mirena? I’m not a fan of a lot of medication and I’m wondering if this is hormone overkill. I’m also wary of possible associated weight gain, as I have struggled with this due to having Hashimotos Disease, for which I’m also being treated. Something else to note is that my mother started menopause when she was in her mid 40s. Is this something that I should just suck up and see how it plays out before adding in more hormones? What is a reasonable course of action to stop the bleeding, or at least considerably reduce it?
One final thing, is the Naproxen meant to be taken daily (as prescribed) or only when I’m on my period to reduce the bleeding? I’ve heard it can cause liver damage if taken long term or too frequently.
Thank you so much for all the warnings against ablations and hysterctomies. I’m so glad I found this site! Hopefully my questions are not too off topic.
I’m so glad you found my articles before undergoing any procedure! I wish this would be the case for more women… most find the articles after they’ve already been harmed. I agree that taking naproxen and Norethindrone seems a bit much. Why not try the naproxen and see how you do with it and you can always add or switch to Norethindrone. You only need to take the naproxen at the start of your period and then until it ends. If the suggested meds don’t work, non-hormonal prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid) is another option that you take only during your period. I may have included this link in my article… cannot recall. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly
Since your mother went through menopause in her mid-40’s you’ll likely go through it around that age too. You surely don’t want to undergo a procedure that can cause a whole new set of problems. Sometimes it’s best not to mess with mother nature! Make sure your iron levels are adequate because that can worsen bleeding and cause more iron loss. It’s a catch-22. If you haven’t tried a menstrual cup, those can be helpful when bleeding is excessive. They’re supposed to hold quite a bit of blood but I’ve heard they can initially be tricky to insert.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much. This helps tremendously!
I underwent just Hysteroscopy for abnormal bleeding and signed for this procedure and D&C, but the doctor probably did ablation (she removed a polyp and a LOT of endometrial tissue, too much in my opinion and by symptoms), just because she could. Now I am dealing with more issues. And I retained a lawyer firm. Maybe one by one we can teach them to not make us sicker.
E – I’m sorry you’re suffering from a gynecologic procedure whether it be a D&C or ablation. D&C’s can cause harm too since they can cause Asherman’s syndrome. I’m glad you were able to retain an attorney. Very few women can get anyone to take their cases for gynecologic procedures including the many unnecessary and damaging hysterectomies and oophorectomies / castrations. I wish you the best with the whatever adverse effects you’re experiencing as well as with your case!
I am scheduled for ablation on friday. I came across this page while searching because I’m just one of those rare cases to my OB. and i dont want this to be a mistake.
Here is some of my situation I am 40 years old with extremely heavy periods. I tried the mirena and I experienced full body rashes and it came out with my first heavy period having it. I then tried a low dose birth control pill and a high dose one as well and some in between and none made the bleeding better. Im severely anemic and do weekly iron infusions and had to recently have a blood transfusion. I dont know what else to do besides the ablation. But im afraid of the ablation making things worse as i have read here. Any suggestions?
I was in your situation too, at 37. Ablation worked great for 3 years and then it didn’t and all hell broke loose. Had to get a hysterectomy. Have learned since that there are any number of reasons for heavy periods, mostly nutrient deficiencies and diet issues, often with comorbid but latent genetic issues like MTHFR mutations which make absorbing certain vitamins difficult and so things cascade. There is no one-size-fits-all or magic pill. The totality of your health/chemistry has to be untangled and then you have to start connecting dots and commit to figuring it out. Very few physicians think beyond surgery or drugs. Places to start, low ferritin/iron deficiency (can be both cause and consequence), vitamin b12 induced iron deficiency, vitamin d deficiency, vitamin b1 deficiency, folate deficiency. We have articles on all of these topics, some related to heavy bleeding, others just related to overall health.
MM, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It can be difficult to determine the underlying cause of heavy bleeding as Chandler stated. Fibroids are a common cause but I’m assuming you don’t have them since you didn’t mention it. A non-hormonal medication called Lysteda (tranexamic acid) has been shown to reduce bleeding by up to 58%. It seems many gyns fail to inform their patients of this option. Good luck in getting this treated without causing a new set of problems.
What can you tell us about fibroids? My doctor has recently referred me to a gyno and he has advised I have a fibroid in the top of my uterus which may be causing my bleeding issues (90 days + with period). He says I have three options mirena IUD, ablation or partial hysterectomy. After reading this article and the threads and having done some other research I am feeling like partial hysterectomy is best option. Just wondering about fibroids. Do they change? Do they keep growing? Am I eventually looking at removal anyway?
CuriousK – I personally would avoid all three of those procedures with hysterectomy being the most damaging of the three. And of course ablation can lead to hysterectomy as detailed in this article. IUD’s have risks too. Here are lots of articles on the harms of hysterectomy – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/search/hysterectomy/.
The fibroids themselves don’t need to be removed. But the bleeding does sound excessive. Could you possibly have a bleeding / clotting disorder? Have you tried medication to reduce the bleeding? There are options besides contraceptives. Two non-hormonal options are prescription strength NSAID’s and tranexamic acid / Lysteda. These have been shown to reduce bleeding by half.
MM, et. al,
MM, has your doctor performed a laparoscopic exam to identify what is causing your symptoms prior to scheduling you for ablation?
Here’s why I ask:
I am 32 years old and had an ablation in January of 2015 following 6 years of “unexplained” severe cramping and heavy bleeding following a tubal ligation in 2009. A little backstory for context… prior to my tubal would have described my cycles as “normal” meaning light lower back cramping followed by “average” bleeding. After the birth of my second child, I opted for tubal ligation as permanent BC following weird nuances with other forms of BC like you described with Mirena. Following my tubal my periods gradually became more and more painful, the bleeding heavier and heavier. I was in so much pain I had to take sick days off work and take T3 to cope with pain. In November 2014, after many many visits to my gyno, change gyno, and kept going in, my gyno offered ablation as an option. The first year was complete bliss! No pain, no bleeding, nothing. I was so elated that I finally resolved these issues. Towards the end of 2015, early 2016 pain menstrual pain and light bleeding resumed, though not as bad as before and I thought “its okay, I can deal with this if it doesn’t get worse.” Needless to say, it got worse. I finally visited my doctor last week and discovered that I have developed a hematometra caused by part of the uterin lining either failing to be removed by the ablation and or redeveloping following the ablation but is now trapped due to scarring from the ablation. I am scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on the 16th as this is my only option to resolve the hemotometra.
HOWEVER, we all know that every woman’s bodily functions and responses to these types of procedures are different (same is true for menstruation and pregnancies). There is no “one size fits all” solution for these types of things. For some women, an ablation is a wonderful relief. For other’s, further complications develop. I vaguely recall my doctor “informing” me of the risk and possibilities of ablation failures but these were described as a return of bleeding and possibly recurring menstruation. I am POSITIVE by doctor did not inform me of the study referenced in this article which results in women requiring a hysterectomy later:
“The younger a woman is at the time of ablation, the greater the risk of long-term problems that can then lead to hysterectomy. A 2008 study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 40% of women who underwent endometrial ablation before the age of 40 years, required a hysterectomy within 8 years.”
I now have a new doctor, and recently visited her for the pain, discovered the hematometra (of which the only solution for me is a hysterectomy) and after describing my medical history and procedures to her, she is utterly shocked that prior to my ablation the doctor did not perform a laparoscopic exploratory exam. Perhaps, had they, they may have learned that I may not have required an ablation but instead required a Salpingectomy (removal of Fallopian tubes), or possibly it was endometriosis causing all my previous pain and heavy bleeding…
My advice to all is to do your research, ensure that your doctor has explored every possible option (including an exploratory exam – not everything can be seen/found on an ultrasound), don’t hastily agree to a procedure because it sounds like it will resolve the issue, and understand ALL of the risks and potential outcomes so that you can make an informed consent to any procedure going forward. There is little research and understanding about postablation-tubal sterilization syndrome and I sincerely hope the gynecological community begins to explore and investigate these issues in more depth to better understand what women really need and to find some more viable options for treatment of women with your symptoms before they need an ablation and a hysterectomy.
Best of luck dear.
MAM, I’m sorry you’re experiencing post ablation syndrome due to hematometra. Is hysterectomy your only option? Would another ablation be worth trying? Have you read my other articles about hysterectomy and all its adverse effects? You mentioned salpingectomy (tube removal). It’s the latest gyn procedure at least for reducing risk of ovarian cancer (albeit in those of us with average risk, that’s moot). It hasn’t been used long enough to know the long-term effects. Ablation seemed like a great thing in the early days and we’ve since discovered it is fraught with problems in the long-term. Minimally, salpingectomy causes changes to ovarian function which is why it reduces OC risk.
WS, Yes we discussed a second ablation. Unfortunately, that is strongly discouraged by NovaSure (the procedure I used in 2015) and my doctor explained that this would only further damage the uterus muscle lining potentially leading to more pain. The only other option was to open and drain the hematometra, but that could potentially lead to the opening scarring and closing off again resulting in the same problems I have now within an indeterminate amount of time (could be months or years but likely hood to re-occur is very high). Only further complicating everything is the size and location of the hematometra, it is not possible to remove only that portion or uterus.
After I met with my doctor and she recommended hysterectomy, yes, I’ve read several of your other articles, scoured the internet, read every gyno medical article, journal, periodical and case study I could find on NEJMed, AMJMed, and every other professional databases I could find. I even Spoke a second and third doctor who concur with her conclusions. Spent hours awake reading blogs and articles, reached out to every female family and friend I could think to discuss this with. I feel I am much better informed of the risks this time around. It’s not my preference, but at least I am satisfied that I’ve already had children. I feel discouraged and disappointed that none of my previous doctors performed any kind of exploratory exam. I strongly feel this all started originally with the tubal ligation but all of my previous doctors flat out said “no, its not” or “no, that’s not the way it works.” They’ve even laughed at me when I mentioned post tubal ligation syndrome. I’m not a medical professional so who am I to argue with a OBGYN with 20+ years experience? One doctor even told me that PTLS is a totally made up condition with no sound medical research behind it and that it is used as a ploy to get women to pay for very costly elective tubal reversals. I can’t help but wonder is it possible had someone looked or investigated or listened to me more a tubal reversal or even salpingectomy might have been a viable solution? I could even have other underlying issues that were not previously known or checked like endometriosis (which i was never checked for). I’ve only ever had an ultra sound to confirm or in my previous doctors case, deny my conditions. Unfortunately, even if I have endometriosis, the hematometra has already developed to the point where my only real option left is the hysterectomy…
I only hope to share my experience, not encourage or discourage anyone’s choices. I feel the more information that is available for other people to absorb, the better informed they can be.
MAM, Most gynecologists are quick to do procedures without doing proper diagnostics to determine the underlying cause. That’s why so many of these procedures are unnecessary and then we’re left with all the after effects. I’m not surprised that doctors claim that PTLS doesn’t exist. They are not going to admit to the harm of these procedures that make them so much money. Plus it’s then an admission that they did not provide informed consent. Many women complain of heavy and prolonged bleeding after tubals so it’s obviously a real condition. And any time you alter part of a system, there can be negative consequences. I wish you the best with your hysterectomy.
You may want to join this fb group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264368540364822/
Hello. I had an ablation 2 years ago, I was 24 at the time. I had the ablation done because I had periods 25 days out of month, ridiculously heavy and extremely painful. The only birth control I had not tried over the years was the iud and implant. I had gotten to the point I just wanted it all out, my gyno said that because of how young I was she would not be comfortable doing a hysterectomy. She pushed for the ablation. I can’t remember the name but my lining was burned. All I was told was that because of the extent my periods were that I could possibly bleed still.
2 years prior to this I had, had a leep done because of cancer cells on my cervix. Because of the leep my cervix was a mess. My gyno had to completely close everything.
Within 2 weeks of the ablation I felt amazing! No bleeding, virtually no pain, I was so happy.
About a year after the “surgery” I started getting pains. It felt like one of my periods. Lower abdomen, right side, all the way into my back. No bleeding though. My gyno said it could be a phantom period. Well about 2 months ago I ended up in the er because the pain was so bad I couldn’t move. They said it was nothing and sent me home with ibuprofen 800s. I called a new gyno and got in last week. He did a quick pap, pushed on my cervix and pelvic area. When I screamed in pain, he said he wasn’t even going to waste the time on tests, he felt a lump where he was pushing.
He said that the ablation didn’t work, I was still shedding the lining but because my cervix is severely scarred it has no where to go and it’s been sitting there and most likely became infected. He can’t do a stent because of the scarring so my options are birth control to hopefully slow down the bleeding or to have my cervix, uterus and possibly tubes removed. He said unless my ovaries are riddled with cysts he refused to touch them and he’ll only take my tubes if I have endometriosis. Which he said given my history it’s almost guaranteed.
I’m completely scared. I’m only 26, I feel like my life is being given a time stamp already.
Kar, I’m sorry that you’re already suffering with post ablation syndrome. In my opinion based on everything I’ve learned, your prior LEEP made you high risk for these problems since the LEEP would have scarred your cervix. On top of that, the ablation can also scar it as well as scar the lining such that the blood can get trapped behind the lining. Are you even sure you had cervical cancer? It’s rare especially at such a young age. Pap smears aren’t even recommended until age 21 because most HPV infections resolve on their own in young women hence not requiring any intervention / treatment. I am shocked by the epidemic of overtreatment by gynecologists… most are procedure happy to the detriment of their patients.
Hysterectomy has many negative effects, some short-term and others long-term and progressive. You may want to read all my articles before resorting to this destructive surgery. Even if you keep your ovaries, there’s a good chance they will shut down or produce fewer hormones increasing your risk for many health problems as detailed in some of my articles. So it would be a good idea to exhaust all other options beforehand. Here are my 13 articles – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
I wish you the best in getting the help you need!
Women are encouraged to join a facebook group to learn more about NovaSure.
I am a 34-year old woman in Canada with a hypermobility syndrome diagnosis that contributes to a major intolerance of oral hormonal birth control – the progesterone dose required to knock out my cycle turns me into a ragdoll very quickly. I have never wanted children and am determined to never have any. I am a primary live-in caregiver for my aging and very ill parents who also maintains fulltime employment outside the home. I am also involved in the care of my grandfather, who is a resident in a nursing home and experiencing increasing decline.
I have had 2 awesome GPs over the last decade and am dealing with a Gynaecologist over the last couple of years who seems reasonable. I am overweight and have carried varying amounts of excess weight most of my life despite being at least moderately active and eating reasonably well. My cycle has generally been regular if brutal since it began, though over the last couple of years the regular part is less reliable and beyond intolerable cramps, my grief the breast pain! I have no history of fibroids or cysts and hormone levels are fine though I dance with anemia. Typically for between 12 and 36 hours at the onset of bleeding I get debilitating pain. The flow is heavy and over the years I have tried a variety of meds/supplements that help some but whose effects are overwhelmed by the bad cycles and have never resolved this matter adequately: Acetaminophen, NSAIDs and muscle relaxants are a regular part of my life given the HMS. Mefenamic Acid, Tranexamic Acid, magnesium, iron, B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, Evening Primrose oil, and calcium have either been tried and stopped or are currently being used. Am on an SSRI and there are benzodiazepines as well as narcotics to help manage the pain and essentially knock me out for the periods of spasm and nausea inducing pain. The duration of my bleeds is increasing to up to 2 weeks.
Having explored a lot of options Gynaecologist and I lately settled on an endometrial ablation and IUD as my next treatment option. Given my age I expect to have a hysterectomy at some point as I want this ongoing ordeal gone (I only half joke about being ready to resort to ether and a rusty spork) and see the EA as a means of delaying as much. Have a surgery prep appointment on March 22 and the surgery is scheduled for April 11. It’s happening as a surgery because Gynaecologist expects shape of my uterus and nulligravida status to make the placement of the IUD a little more involved.
Going into this I think I am fairly well informed of the risks from discussions with a Nurse Practitioner, my GP, and Gynaecologist as well as reading a decent amount online from both official medical sources and sites like this about the experiences of women who have had the procedure. I have questions for Gynaecologist and Anaesthetist about the method (thinking the NovaSure will be rejected if the proposed) and I want to discuss the hormonal vs non-hormonal IUD options given concerns I have about progesterone. Am not ruling it out but want the numbers for how much lower the progesterone dose of a Mirena is compared to doses of oral contraception I have experimented with in the past. Beyond that and known issues I have with types of sedation – given experiences people have had – am I missing anything? Is anything jumping out to people that I am oblivious to that needs to be considered?
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. There are a couple of thoughts that come to mind. With you being so young, the risk of post ablation syndrome (chronic pelvic pain) is quite a bit greater than if you were near menopause. Have you considered just getting an IUD and seeing if that helps? Also, if you do want to proceed with the ablation, I would think you’d want to have an endometrial biopsy beforehand to make sure you don’t have any abnormal cells (hyperplasia or cancer) since one should not undergo an ablation if they had / have hyperplasia as an ablated endometrium can mask abnormal cells (hyperplasia or cancer). As far as hysterectomy is concerned, please make sure you understand the many repercussions of having the uterus removed. The uterus, as well as the ovaries, have lifelong functions and the after effects can be life shattering for many women even if they are lucky enough to have their ovaries continue functioning properly. Best of luck to you!
The hyperplasia inquiry suggestion is appreciated. That had not occured to me at all.
Regarding the IUD tried on its own, both types are fairly commonnly used in my circles of friends and I genuinely doubt my ability to withstand the significantly worse cramping/unending bleeding that seems common within the first several months while continuing to care for my family.
Also, until this most recent appointment I hadn’t considered the hormonal IUD very seriously because progesterone scares the daylights out of me; subluxation and dislocations leave lasting impressions. I quite appreciated the Gynaecologist underscoring the difference in doses between the methods but that’s still on my list of questions to hash out.
Once again, thank you. These posts as well as thr response sections have been helpful.
Hello! I am in a very similar situation to you. I would love to chat with you about your experience! Would you be comfortable contacting me or having me contact you? Please consider emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging me on Facebook (Katelyn Pertile). Thanks a million! I really hope to make contact with you!
As a gynaecologist I am inserting a mirena at the same time as performing ablation. Our studies are demonstrating a 91% ‘cure’ rate. in theory it should also prevent post ablation syndrome as the cavity of the uterus will be unable to seal up after. Just a thought.
JP. BM.BS.BMedSci FRCOG MD
Dr. Jon, Ablation damages / scars the lining, Mirena inserted or not. So I disagree that Mirena insertion will prevent post ablation syndrome. And since Mirena typically reduces menstrual bleeding why not just insert the Mirena? Doing an ablation seems overkill / over-treatment. Do you ever use tranexamic acid in your practice? Granted, it’s not the money maker of Mirena insertion / removal or ablation but can be quite effective for some women.
Hi Doc- Question. Will the IUD get lost of implanted in the scar tissue that novasure causes? I would imagine after the burn it is almost like an open wound, as if you were to burn your skin. So Im just wondering if the IUD would be encapsulated by the scarring once the burn has healed and formed scar tissue. I am Just curious on this. Ive never heard of this being done. Thanks for sharing!!
Jess, You make an excellent point! It sure would seem like the open wound would heal around (encapsulate) the IUD making it impossible to ever remove.
Actually, as a gynecologist, you should not be inserting the Mirena IUD into a woman on the same day as ablation because her insides are raw from 3rd degree burns and the Mirena will become embedded in her uterus. This doesn’t stop doctors like you nor do you disclose all the risks associated with Novasure.
Would you like to write an article about ablation risks for us and then you could link to the FB group within the article.
I had the Hydrothermal Ablation- and not the Novasure (which is strongly pushed).
I had my tubes tied at 25 and just had Tis ablation done at 36 – on January 6, 2017.
The reason for the Hydro, as opposed to the Novasure, is because I have a few fibroid tumors. Due to the tumors- there are crevices my doctor said the Novasure wouldn’t reach. Using the Hydro method, the doctor was able to be sure the saline got EVERYWHERE. With Novasure- it is more likely to miss some of the lining of you have polyps or fibroids- resulting in more of a chance of continued bleeding. I would recommend you push for the Hydro option if you have fibroids.
When I woke up from surgery I was in excruciating pain – makes sense- they just boiled my Uterus?
Two days after that- I was fine and just had watery discharge. The next time I was due for my period- it was very heavy – my doctor said that would happen – my body still had to discharge all of the lining that was destroyed.
I was due for my next period 4 days ago. I had some pms and some minor cramping…. And then nothing. I had no bleeding.
I hope things stay well for me and I hope the best for the rest of you.
So sorry you are dealing with this. There is a facebook site that may be helpful and you can talk with other women going through. ThermaChoice has been removed from the market.
Smart girl. 🙂 HTA is a procedure marketed to physicians only. Novasure markets to consumers so doctors are more inclined to use it bc patients literally come in asking for it. The makers of HTA don’t want to market to consumers bc they want doctors to make the best decision for the patient based on their judgement. HTA is truly the safest ablation modality there is. It is a longer surgery time so docs hate that. HTA takes 10 minutes. Novasure takes a few minutes so they can treat more patients a day using novasure. Sad truth. I am a PA and a true advocate of HTA. I have rarely seen cases where novasure or minerva (new ablation modality) ablate or treat the entire endometrial lining. When you don’t treat the entire lining you will still bleed. The problem with that is novasure will burn your uterus so severly that it sort of scars it shut. So if the novasure wand does not touch, lets say the top of the uterus (which it usually does not), then the top of the uterus still bleeds but the blood will have no place to exit your body bc it would normally escape through your cervix during menses…. but if novasure burns the bottom half of your uterus then the bleeding at the top cant get out due to scar tissue blocking the path to escape. This creates severe (and I mean SEVERE!!!) pelvic pain 1, 2, or 4 years post op. Then, guess what… that hyst you were hoping to avoid comes knocking real hard at your door. There is no cure for the blood pooling and pain except to take it out. I wish more docs would look at the post op effects of novasure instead of being satisfied with “no bleeding” 1 year post op. there is no bleeding bc of the damage they are doing with that novasure wand. Soooo, that was long. Sorry. 🙂 I highly recommend the HTA procedure. It takes a little longer but it is so very much worth it. Good luck gals!!
I would think that any type of ablation can cause chronic pelvic pain (post ablation syndrome) in the long-term. In most cases, the ovaries will continue to produce hormones in the normal cyclic pattern. This will cause the lining to build. If the entire lining is scarred, the blood will get trapped behind the scarring. If only part of the lining is scarred but the cervix is scarred shut, the blood will pool in the uterus. Both can cause chronic pelvic pain. One woman was told by a doctor that ablation should not be done on women under age 50.
I am 42 and have a scheduled ablation next month. However, I am so on the fence about it. I had my tubes tied 10 years ago. My periods have always been regular but since the tubal they have become extremely heavy to the point of being severely anemic. My hormones are fine, just two very small fibroids that don’t cause me any pain. There isn’t really an explanation that the doctors can find as to why I’m bleeding so heavily. I have been offered Deprovera shot but I don’t think this is a good option being that my hormones are fine. I take iron with vitamin C for better absorption. My iron goes up, then I have a period and it drops again. I have taken transexamic acid and it does help a tiny bit. But not enough to make a huge difference. My Gyne said ablation would be my best option. But after reading about what can happen post ablation, I am not sure. Would love to hear about an ablation that went well…anyone? I can’t go much longer with this heavy bleeding and am running out of options.
Angella, I’m sorry for your troubles! Heavy bleeding seems to be a common after effect of tubal sterilization. Thank heavens you had them tied versus getting Essure which has caused additional problems for many women. It’s a shame tranexamic acid hasn’t helped much. Have you tried mefenamic acid (Ponstel) or some other prescription strength NSAID? I assume you are taking a good absorbable iron supplement along with vitamin C? Best of luck to you in getting a handle on this!
I had my tubes tied a couple of years ago and ablation July 1, 2016. I would suggest not having ablation. In my case scar tissue built up and I am having period like symptoms only way more intense. Blood is trapped. With tubes tied and scar tissue build up its a closed system. Pelvic MRI is the best to diagnose this. Scheduled hysterectomy for Feb 14. Doctors make ablation sound good but scar tissue build up presents a huge problem and intense pain. Hope this helps. I wish I would have just had hysterectomy in the first place. Then I would have only needed 1 surgery instead of three surgeries.
Tara, I’m sorry you’re suffering with post ablation tubal sterilization syndrome. Sometimes it’s just a scarred or stenotic cervix that traps the blood in the uterus since oftentimes part of the lining isn’t scarred from ablation. Some women have undergone periodic in-office procedures to stent the cervix to allow the blood to escape. I didn’t know if you were aware of this.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to read my articles about the adverse effects of hysterectomy. You can find all my (12) articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you.
I have the same problem. But my gyno is recommending an IUD to control/stop the bleeding. I am 45 and my cervix is closed. Hysterectomy with a lot of scar tissues poses a risk of injuring an organ. Gyno would rather try IUD first and hysterectomy as a last resort. Good luck
Debi, I hope the IUD works to address your issues. If at some point you are considering hysterectomy, be sure to read my other articles to fully understand the repercussions. They can be found here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Don’t do it!!!!!
I’m 31 with 6 kids and just had an ablation and tubal ligation (removed my tubes completely) last Friday Feb 10, 2017. I wish I would have found this info prior. After baby delivery last July, my OBGYN ripped out my placenta and left 1/3 of it still in there. I bled heavy for 10 wks post partum and he kept telling me it was because I was nursing. What?! I almost bled out one day, went to the ER, had an emergency D&C, by then it was an encapsulated infection which got into my blood stream, I went into septic shock, almost died, and was in the ICU for 3 days. 2 weeks later I started to bleed AGAIN and so switched OBGyns. The new Dr recommended a hysterectomy or ablation. I’ve heard horror stories about hysterectomys (incl my own mothers) so I opted for an ablation which sounded great. I wish I would have found this group and info sooner. I did not realize how misinformed I was. The surgery went well, but it’s been a week and I still feel like my uterus was ran over by a truck. The discharge papers say I’d feel washed out for 1-2 days. I’m light spotting which is normal, but if I’m up on my feet for more than 30 mins, I get horrible cramps and lower back pain. I usually never take medication, and I’m still taking perkasets every 4 hours. Again, it’s been 6 days. Not sure if that is normal. I’m sick of feeling drugged. It sounds like everyone is different – but after reading all these comments, I’m starting to regret my decision. However, something had to be done because I hadn’t stopped bleeding for almost 7 straight months because some placenta was STILL in there! Crazy. It seems like ALL the options suck.
Anyway, this probably doesn’t help much – but just sharing my story- maybe it will help someone somewhere. Good luck to you.
hello – I had the novasure in Nov 2016 due to severe anemia. I requested the rollerball ablation due to the pill the coil having mad effects on me after just three days. I wanted something that wouldnt affect my hormones so much. I am 47 and not pre – menopausal. The op was put off until I had discussed in full with gyny and i decided on ablation. The day of the op the surgeon left theatre to discuss/advise me to have the novasure. I felt pressured and agreed. I have now put a stone on and my hormones are mental…i feel mad, this is very difficult for me as none of the discussion boards have discussions about the changes of hormones – but your periods stop so how can there be no change? They are going to complete an ablation within the next couple of weeks to ‘fix’ this. Feel upset. I personally wouldnt have it – this is not what i was sold. i would rather be tired then this sad and upset all the time.
Sarah, I’m sorry you’re suffering negative hormonal effects! I think any time we mess with “mother nature” it can turn out badly. And yes, it would make sense that a procedure or even medication to stop the menstrual cycle could affect hormones. It’s disturbing doctors have no accountability on fully informing patients.
Are you saying they’re going to do another ablation to try to fix the hormone problems? I don’t see how that could help and it would seem to put you at further risk for post ablation syndrome.
I had the Novasure and have gained almost 60 pounds and can’t lose weight. My hormones are so messed up and doctors are very passive about helping. IT is so frustrating. I was only 38 when I had it done and have been dealing with this for 6 years.
Hello- It appears as though you are referring to NOVASURE endometrial ablations. Scarring/hematometra, the deaths, etc. are VERY common in regards to Novasure. Novasure is an extremely unsafe procedure that is WIDELY used bc of their marketing to consumers. Patients walk in and ask for a novasure procedure bc of the add they saw on facebook or in cosmo. Bc so many patients ask for it, doctors adopt it and do it. Scary.
NOVASURE is a BLIND burning on the uterus. The procedure goes as follows… insert an RF probe (blindly) and vacum suction the uterine cavity down onto the probe and burn the hell out of it. Lets think about this…. an extremely hot probe is being stuck inside you to burn your uterus. First, this should not be a blind procedure. If someone is burning anything of mine internally, I need them to be able to see what they are doing. Second, the uterus is being vacum sucked down onto the burning hot probe so when the burning time is done and the probe is removed from uterus it is ripping tissue out with it. What happens if you burn 2 fingers and let them heal stuck together? They scar or fuse together. This is exactly what happens with a novasure. Additionally if a perforation (hole poked in the uterus) happens during this procedure and you heat the probe the energy from the probe is going to burn the bowel and patients have literally ended up with colostomy bags bc of this (alot of them). Lastly, I urge you to visit this website. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/search.cfm Type in NOVASURE into brand name section, choose your dates and read the adverse events that have happened with this procedure. You will be disgusted.
With that said, there are other endometrial ablation technologies out there that are VERY different than novasure and actually work. Hydro thermal ablation is a VERY safe ablation procedure and the doctor can see what they are doing during the entire procedure as they use a camera to visualize the uterus the entire time and the patient outcomes are much more signifcant in comparison to Hydro thermal ablation. The down fall the hydro thermal ablation is that the pocedure takes 10 minutes in comparison to novasure’s 90 seconds. However, if you ask me, id rather be sedated for 10 minutes and know im being treated with the highest level of care than to have my insides burned out and possibly die with novasure. Just some thoughts here….
Benny, Thank you for your post. While some ablation devices may be less risky than others, there are risks of complications with all ablations. And any procedure, including ablation, that alters the body’s normal functioning is inherently damaging. Are you by any chance a radiologist or gynecologist?
I was told by my OBGYN that the wand has a safety feature that runs a test inside of the uterus to see if there are any punctures or holes. If there are any punctures at all, the wand won’t turn on and the ablation cannot be done. Not trying to stick up for the procedure – just some info.
If you are referring to ThermaChoice, it is now off the market.
Hello. I thought I had done enough research prior to my EA (which took place this past Friday, January 13) and I also thought I could trust my OB/GYN to lead me to only do things that would help not harm me. I’m not really sure how I am feeling right now. I will tell you that the biopsy performed a week prior about killed me. Worst pain ever! Still unsure as to how some “SUPER-WOMEN” have little to no pain at all and compare it to a “routine pap”…clap of hands to you ladies! The Friday morning I went in for my Novasure procedure I explained to the doctor that I STILL had mild cramping from the biopsy (of course she looked at me like I was out of my mind, but I know my body best right?!). The procedure didn’t take long at all, and I was in recovery room within 15 mins. She did a D&C prior to the Novasure to “help get some extra lining out to ensure better results”. I had bad cramping after for the entire evening, taking percocets and Motrin 800 back and forth every 3 hours like instructed. Woke up the next day to my surprise of MUCH lighter cramping and light spotting as well. My problem now is and continues to be this strange overwhelming bloating feeling that is causing nausea as well as acid reflux. I keep taking my culturelle and drinking lots of water but NOTHING is relieving it! I feel miserable! Cramps are still very mild, spotting also. Haven’t taken any pain meds since first day. I’m expected to start (or at least prior to having this done) my period this next weekend. I’m very nervous as to what to expect. I have never had bad cramps previous to Novasure, just extreme bleeding and clots for 2 weeks out of every month since 2002. Has anyone else experienced the bloating, nausea and acid reflux? And will I have a period this soon? Thanks in advance!!
Jen, You’re still recovering from the procedure. I have heard of women having symptoms like yours. Hopefully, they will abate and you won’t suffer any of the long-term negative effects.
I am 43 years old. I had ablation surgery when I was 38. It was wonderful being able to stop taking birth control pills. I lost 25 pounds, had no periods (or symptoms) and everything was great! Fast forward five years and I am having every symptom of a period except I am not bleeding. I have constant cramps, sore breasts, headaches, moodiness, and I have gained 15 pounds. Thinking I was going through menopause, I went to my Gyno who told me the ablation was only good for 5-7 years. No one told me this before my surgery. Honestly I am not sure if it would have made a difference in my decision but it would have been nice to know. I guess my question is – is weight gain and all the crappy period symptoms normal? Is there any literature I can read explaining what my body is going through? I have searched and searched for a website such as this and I am sad these women are going through issues worse than mine, but I am happy to know that I am not alone!
I had an EA in Oct 2015. I had all the symptoms and still do and are getting worse. I was advised to have my uterus removed but I didn’t want to be down that long. I am regretting it now. I am having non stop bleeding and a never ending pelvic pain. I have fibroids and it made me bleed heavily for a month straight. Now I am spotting all the time and my breast hurt even a majority of the time. Going to a new OBGYN on Monday. I am telling her to take it out if its not too late.
Pennie, I’m sorry you regret having the ablation. As I believe was cited in the article, the chances of problems after ablation are greater if fibroids are present and aren’t removed. Many women are not informed about this nor the other risks of ablation (or other gyn procedures for that matter).
Please make sure you understand the negative short and long-term effects of hysterectomy. I have quite a few articles here about that subject. You can find them all here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. Best of luck to you!
Hi there I also had an East on Fri 13th Jan 2017 and am suffering from an extremely bloated and uncomfortable stomach. I have a watery discharge that doesn’t smell to nice either. Am debating whether to go to the go for further advice.
I am coming to this forum after my own intuition and resulting to listening to my body led me to internet searching. I was the ” perfect” candidate for Nova Sure ablation back 10 years ago. I was a young mother of two who worked from my home studio while managing our home and children. I was a runner and collegiate athlete who was now chasing her children around while working and being very active in our family farm.
I began having irregular periods and very heavy bleeding. My periods were always light but could be irregular or alternate with light or a little heavier. I was always active and in good health. When I was 36 I began having heavy periods that would dictate my day or activities. I was one of three girls who all had their issues with Mother Nature; no periods but mother of four my youngest sister, my other sister has painful heavy periods but could not conceive and adopted and my mother had a hysterectomy at 36 after her 4th child.
I would get up from sitting and be blood soaked, meetings, my son football games, anywhere anytime. After a year it became normal to me and for 6 more months while I tried to find a solution it was worse. A period that never ended, maybe 1 day a month.
Pads were never absorbent enough and would be soaked thru so quickly, tampons which I used were not an option anymore. I had taken birth control for just a few years between children but my husband had a vasectomy a few years before my ablation because I did not want to remain on the pill. I had an in office removing or scraping my lining which was painful and did not work, medications until finally the ablation was introduced to me and I scheduled the out patient surgery that visit. I had no polyps,cysts,or fibroids and according to my
OBGYN I was the perfect candidate for the ablation procedure. I was looking for a solution to what had become an everyday problem with my health not to mention a very unfulfilled sex life at such a young age.
I went in had the procedure and never had another period for 10 years. Last Tuesday night I was going to bed after the holiday break and having school the next day. A dull pain that had been low in my left to right lower abdomen area, would also radiate around my lower back, down the groin and tops of my thighs. I had had a dull pain before that went down my right hip but I thought it was just normal arthritis or muscle soreness because I was definitely an active person and muscles ached over many years of use. I was brought doubled over with an onset of pain that felt like a sharp labor pain shorting across my abdomen while still feeling the dull achy pain. I wanted to cry and believe me I have a high tolerance for pain. At my husbands insistance we went to the er, where they ran a full blood work panel, and urine panel which were pristine in results. The attending could not explain my pain and opted that it could be my appendix or I was convinced it was a kidney stone because my father and his side of the family were susceptible to them. The CT scan showed an abnormality in my liver which I am having rescanned but I also have HHT which causes blood vessel abnormalities, of which this is probably the reason for the liver abnormalities that showed up, as HHT can form clusters of blood vessels. The pain subsided and with no pain mess, I was a little nauseus but never was sick. The er doc really scared me with pet scan and talk of cancer, but really not knowing why or what was going on with me. It’s been 4days I have seen my family doctor who has ordered a scan for my liver but after discussing HHT feels confident this is the abnormality in my liver. The pain, the dull achy, right to left and around the back down the groin and tops of thighs comes and goes. So me not resting until I know something came to this forum to read about the connection to my ablation. I am convinced the pain from my er visit was from the post Nova ablation. I have read all the women’s posts and some of the shared symptoms are textbook. Including loose bowels sometimes and a dull to sharp pain in the lower right or left front lower pelvic area when having a bowel movement over the years. I wanted to tell my account as it may help someone else in finding answers to their questions. Thank you for this ongoing forum, I am following up but if the cramping, back leg aches remain or dissipate I am 48 and near menopause so it should subside but if not I will look into my options. Before 2017 I would have said 95% success rate with my ablation but it seems I had slight symptoms which I never connected to the ablation. Looking back my husband and I both were looking for the immediate relief from my bleeding 10 years ago and never were aware the post long term effects of ablation could have a delayed effect. I know everyone is different but I am so relieved that after reading this I was able to pinpoint my pain and explain it. My stress level has been over the moon, high be in the er and dr. office but now it seems to be under control again never any medication for bp but the stress of unexplained abdominal, back and groin, leg pain makes the mind wonder and stress can take over your mind. Thank you!
Leslie, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry these negative effects have caught up with you. I hope waiting it out or some sort of non-invasive treatment is all that’s needed. Hysterectomy is associated with all kinds of problems especially in the long-term so hopefully you won’t feel the need to go that route. You can read all about those problems in my other articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. Best of luck to you!
As I lay here reading the comments in the most severe pain that I have ever experienced, I am wondering what can be done about this, both medically and legally.
Tanya, I’m sorry you’re having post ablation severe pain. If blood is trapped in your uterus because your cervix is scarred shut from the ablation, sometimes an in office procedure to stent the cervix to allow the blood to escape helps. It would likely need to be done periodically. I recall a woman posting somewhere that a “cocktail” of vitamins / supplements helped her with the pain but I don’t recall the specifics.
Unfortunately, women are rarely given all the necessary information about gynecology procedures to make an informed consent. But it’s next to impossible to find a lawyer to take a malpractice case based on lack of informed consent or misinformed consent. Sad but true.
Hi everyone, thank you so much for sharing your stories. I’ve been dealing with extremely heavy bleeding the last three years and I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t get the anemia under control, I can’t leave my house the first three days of my cycle and I spend the rest of the month building my blood back up only to repeat again. I’ve tried all the natural ways of healing with no luck. I appreciate all of this information but if ablation and hysterectomy are bad options, what else is one to do? This has gotten to the point where it is controlling my life. I’m 43. Thank you for your feedback.
Jennifer, I’m sorry for your troubles. Have you by any chance been checked for a bleeding / clotting disorder? It seems many doctors, especially gyns, don’t think to rule that out. Although it may not matter treatment wise it would be good to know. Have you tried various medications, both hormonal and non-hormonal? One option that doesn’t seem to be typically offered is non-hormonal prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid). I assume you’re taking a good / absorbable iron supplement along with vitamin C and/or eating lots of iron rich foods to address the anemia? Best of luck to you in getting this resolved!
I had the EA 5 years ago. For about 2 years no problems, then one day I started having horrific pain on my right side, running down my right leg and hip and in my pelvis. The pain feels like something like something heavy is in my pelvis. My bleeding isn’t heavy, but I spot after my cycle (maybe 2 days after). I am constantly nauseated, especially a few days before my period. I am 44, I have had 3 C-sections, tubal ligation and the EA with D&C. When I had my last C-section 8 years ago, my Dr. mentioned that I had a lot of scarring. Of course at that time, that meant nothing to me. I had the EA due to constant bleeding, and embedded fibroids. I know I am a bit all over the place, but I have been miserable for the last 3 years. I have been back and forth between a Gastro Dr. to my Gyne. I am terribly frustrated and tired of being sick and tired. My Gyne did mention that the EA can cause some pelvic pain, but never mentioned any post problems like the ones I am trying to describe. My period comes every 17-19 days, the first day of my cycle, the blood is almost black, then it lightens up after about 2 days into my cycle. During my cycle, for some reason all the back, groin(pelvic)leg and hip pain and nausea are completely gone. Then the cycle starts again about 2-3 days after my cycle is over. This is repeated every single month, the only time I’ve skipped these symptoms, was when my period for some reason didn’t show up one month about a year ago. There are some months I feel like I have IBS symptoms leading up to my cycle, I get the colon and lower abdomen spasms. I am at a loss, and am tired of going from Gyne to Gastro, with no remedy at all. Any advise would help. Thanks and sorry for the bipolar post, but every month weird stomach(right sided symptoms) I feel quite numb and bipolar
Keisha, I wish I had some suggestions for you. It’s odd that you have a period every 17-19 days. It seems that more frequent periods are a common complaint after tubals but not typically after ablations. But then both procedures can disrupt natural ovarian hormones which can cause irregular menstrual cycles. The “almost black” blood is old blood that wasn’t expelled with the previous period(s).
As far as the pain, I recall a woman posting on some women’s health forum that she took a “cocktail” of supplements that did wonders to relieve her post ablation pain. I wish I recalled what supplements she took. Best of luck to you in finding something that helps!
Thank you for responding.
Sorry to comment again. After my last child, which was a C-section, followed by a tubal ligation (same day), my cycle was every 19-21 days, sometimes every 17. It seems the ablation didn’t really work for me. My period is still on the same schedule. It seems the only thing the EA did was reduce the heavy flow, but didn’t change the frequency. Thanks again for your quick response.
NOVASURE FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW – Pease join our facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264368540364822/
I suffered from heavy bleeding each month for 2-3 days. I had to change my tampon and napkin every 45 minutes and at night, I placed towels on top of my bed sheets. I had no cramping. . My doctor recommended NovaSure. In December 7, 2005, I had the procedure at a SurgiCenter right next to a major hospital under general anesthesia. My gynecologist told me the worse thing that could happen was that the procedure wouldn’t work. A week after the NovaSure procedure, I hemorrhaged. I was out in a grocery store and realized my blue jeans were soaked in blood, top to bottom. I went to the ER and I had an emergency hysterectomy on December 14, 2005. My doctor left my ovaries in tact (did not remove ovaries). I spent 5 days in ICU and had numerous transfusions. I can honestly say that this was the most difficult recovery that I ever experienced. This was not just due to the hysterectomy but the trauma that I suffered because of the NovaSure procedure.
I filled out a Maude Report (on the FDA site) last summer in 2015 when I learnedabout the report. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMAUDE/Search.cfm A representative from NovaSure (Julia Sullivan, a nurse) contacted me by email and wanted to get information and asked if it was alright to speak with my doctor who performed this procedure. I called Ms. Sullivan on the phone and told her my story and gave her approval to speak with my gynecologist. Normally, a medical professional needs documented approval on a consent form and not just verbal approval. Ms. Sullivan, the representative never called my doctor. I know this because I spoke with my doctor regarding this issue. I called Ms. Sullivan back and left a message. No phone call was ever returned. Not surprised as I guess my results wouldn’t help satisfy those statistics that Hologic, the makers of NovaSure want to put out in the press, on their website and pamphlets. NovaSure claims 97% of the woman who receive NovaSure would recommend this procedure after a year. Nonsense.
I want to know why the contraindications on the NovaSure.com website are not there anymore for women. It kept changing and then disappearing with only some simple explanation of when not to have NovaSure. Are you wondering what NovaSure is hiding?
I am an administrator of a Facebook Group called NovaSure Facts You Should Know. NovaSure is the most common form of endometrial ablation used by gyneocologists. I have found that often doctors give misinformation to women about this procedure. I am just amazed at the stories that I have read by many women. It is horrifying.
It was around the holiday season, eleven years ago when I dealt with the aftermath of NovaSure. I think it is very important FOR WOMEN TO DO THEIR OWN HOMEWORK. Otherwise, you may find out things you didn’t know beforehand. And please be open to information even though your doctor doesn’t mention these issues before your procedure. You should also be open to things that may occur now that you have had your procedure even though your doctor will deny certain things can happen.
I invite you to join a Facebook Group. NovaSure Facts You Should Know. This is a closed group and open to women who have had the procedure and women who want to research the procedure more than just what her doctor tells her, the NovaSure pamphlet and NovaSure.com website. Medical Professionals are also welcome to join. I don’t know who the writer (WS) of this article is but certainly, you are invited to join! I am also curious as to why you do not want to provide you name?
There are women who have had the procedure and have been happy. However, there are women who are happy until things change and go south. If I had to do it over, I would never have had this procedure or any endometrial procedure.
A very important fact to know is that that there are women who do not want this procedure at all! However, they have no choice since their Insurance Company is dictating whether they should have endometrial ablation or a hysterectomy. The endometrial ablation procedure is much cheaper than a hysterectomy which is why the Insurance companies push this procedure on women. Some doctors even perform this procedure in their office. NovaSure advocates this and states that it is a quick procedure and you can return to your patients much faster than if you performed this procedure in a hospital under general anesthesia.
Find out how the FDA protects this Class III Machine against lawsuits!
Any law firm that wants to take on a Class Action Lawsuit or specific lawsuit of an individual, should contact the administrator of this Facebook Group and I can give you contact information.
NovaSure Facts You Should Know! http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMAUDE/Search.cfm
Thank you for reading.
Would you write your story as a blog post? If we publish it as a blog post, rather than just a comment, more women will see it. You can think link to your various groups from there.
Okay. I was looking for this post. I have numerous women who continually find this article and I would very much like to do a blog post. Thanks again.
The facebook site is NovaSure Facts You Should Know. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264368540364822/
A Maude Report Indicates to the FDA the problems that arise with a product on the market. Often your doctor should write a report…but does not. So please do it yourself, to the best of you ability. The link to the website is above. Thank you.
D, What an awful experience! Gynecologists are very good at keeping women in the dark and even lying to get their consent for procedures that are permanently damaging – hysterectomy, oophorectomy, ablation, tubals. And yes, the FDA cannot be counted on either. Nor can our legislators. ACOG’s lobbyists have deep pockets as you can see from their “Advocacy” page – http://www.acog.org/Advocacy.
I’m glad to see there’s a Facebook page for this issue. I hope more and more women do their homework before resorting to any of these damaging Gyn procedures.
Thank you for posting. It would be great if you’d write your story for Hormones Matter.
WOW , Sure wish I had read all this prior to having the Ablation done last month!, I’m 46 , and my periods have been incredibly heavy for a long time very clotty. then for the last several months , they had been coming about every 2 weeks and with the full symptoms. they bad headaches , muscle aches in the neck and shoulders, intense cramping. The bad bleeding made working very hard, i work as a 911 dispatcher and couldn’t always go to the bathroom at the appropriate time. I broke down and went to the GYN and after the biopsies and ultrasounds he recommended the Ablation, over the Hysterectomy. It sounded great, however I was never made aware of these possible long term nor short term complications! I feel cheated I guess, I recovered well from the procedure. now Im about 1 month post ablation and have already had my 2nd period although very light, the other physical symptoms seem to be very bad although no regular cramping , but low pelvic pain that Ive never had before
I’m sorry you were not given all the necessary information to make an informed decision… seems to be more the norm than the exception. I’m sorry you’re experiencing some negative effects and hope it settles down and you are fine in the long-term!
After years of heavy bleeding, fatigue….. I asked my ob/ gyn for a hysterectomy and was told my only option was a uterine ablasion which I did want. I was told insurance require we try these methods first. Well still did feel good, had bleeding and now pain. Stull my doctor thought I should wait and see, try medication. Went to a different doctor and got a hysterectomy about six months after the ablasion. I knew the hysterectomy was a big surgery which went perfect but i was never okay with the immediate and long-term risk of an ablasion.
I meant did not want the ablasion
Some insurance companies require starting with the least invasive options first since hysterectomy is so invasive and expensive and associated with problems especially in the long-term. Unfortunately, as detailed in this article, ablation can have some serious long-term problems too especially when done at a younger age.
How long ago was your hysterectomy? How (if at all) has this effected sex? I’m facing this now. I had ablation about 3 years ago and now my blood is trapped in my uterus. My doctor now wants to do a hysterectomy and I am SO TORN on whether or not to keep doing stuff to myself. She wants to also take my cervix due to HPV and abnormal (yet stable) paps. I’m hearing this shortens your vagina and takes away from sexual pleasure. I’m 42. I’m not ready to lose my “womanhood” or my ability to enjoy sex. (emph)
Robin, I’m sorry you’ve suffered this complication! It’s a shame that so many women end up with worse problems than what they had prior to the procedure.
I’ve heard of women having an in-office procedure to stent the cervix and allow the blood to escape. Of course, this may have to be done periodically but it may be worth a try since hysterectomy has its own set of negative effects. You can read about how the cutting of all those ligaments and removing the uterus (a sexual organ) has negative effects on pelvic skeletal integrity (spine, hips, rib cage, figure), bladder and bowel function, sexual function, and ovarian hormone production. You can read all my articles here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you in getting proper / restorative treatment!
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I am 39 (40 in a month). In 1998 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I had a laparoscopic surgery and didnt really have any issues after for years. Well 7 yrs ago I got my tubes tied and noticed that I seemed to have to go to the bathroom much more frequently. I had just had a baby (my 4th) and chalked it down to that but over the yrs it became worse but my insurance will not cover repair for this. Well about 3 yrs ago my cramps returned with my periods so I got an IUD which worked very well (no cramps rare spotting) til this past May. Then the dr kept thinking I was pregnant. So over the summer I had 3 tests all negative. I began in June having 2 cycles a month with cramps. I found this odd as I have an IUD. In August I had to have an ablation on my heart due to a birth defect. In September I went to my gyn about my bleeding and cramps. He did an ultrasound and found that my endometriosis has spread to the inside of my uterus. He gave me 2 options. Either I can have a hysterectomy or I can have an ablation. He insists that I have the ablation due to the complications I already have with my bladder and because I just had surgery on my heart plus I am a smoker.
My concern is that if I have an ablation am I going to just end up back in his office for the same damn thing or having to have the hysterectomy anyway? He said he wouldnt be removing my ovaries if he does the hysterectomy but I have to make a decision which I want to do. I am a single mom and the father is not able to take our kids if something were to happen which seems to be the concern I suppose. I just know I am tired of cramping even when Im not on a monthly. It is daily and almost constant. Any advice?
I’m a little confused by the statement “He did an ultrasound and found that my endometriosis has spread to the inside of my uterus.” For one, an ultrasound cannot diagnose endometriosis and, secondly, endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue (uterine lining) OUTSIDE the uterus (instead of inside where it belongs).
If the endometriosis has spread again (which can only be definitively diagnosed by surgery), why not have another laparoscopic surgery to remove the endo? That worked for you before. Of course, you’d want to make sure a “true” endometriosis specialist does the surgery in order to get the best possible outcome.
Both ablation and hysterectomy are destructive surgeries and associated with long-term negative effects. Some women don’t end up having the chronic pain that can occur after ablation but at your age the chance of it happening is greater than if you were in your late 40’s or 50’s. It sounds like medication was not offered as an option? You may want to look into that. Although you have an IUD that quit working (I assume it had not expired and just needed to be replaced?), some other form of medication may work to regulate your cycle and the cramps.
Best of luck to you!
Tami, One other thing. There was a small study showing that high doses of vitamin D3 taken before your period can have a significant reduction on cramping. Here is an article about that – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/vitamin-d-menstrual-cramps/. It seems I have read somewhere that some other supplements may be helpful too.
I had an ablation just over 2 years ago & I’m not satisfied with the end result. My period has returned to exactly how it was pre ablation & I always feel sick during my time off the month. My ob somewhat pushed this procedure on me as I had no so great insurance at the time & I was not really given a great explanation of the outcome for post ablation. But I myself regret having the procedure as I’m now going to have to probably end up having a hysterectomy anyway. Good luck to you!
I’m sorry your doctor pressured you into an ablation and failed to adequately inform you of the negatives.
Please be sure you understand the adverse effects of hysterectomy before resorting to this serious surgery. You can read my other 8 articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws. Most of them are about hysterectomy. They include links to medical studies that would be helpful in understanding why this surgery is associated with long-term negative effects.
Best of luck to you!
Don’t have the ablation! It don’t work! I had it done in 2008, I still bled every month, which I was told I would not. After a year it was like I was bleeding very heavy along with lots of pain! I just had to have a hysterectomy Nov. 2016. Due to complications from scar tissue from ablation they were only able to remove my uterus only! They had to call an MD in to repair the damage that could have left me using a colonostomy bag forever! I wish i would have had my hysterectomy back in 2008, it would have saved alot pain and embarrassment. It was so debilitating, I couldn’t work or go anywhere due to the gushing of blood and horrible pain. Please ladies, don’t put yourself through all that, get a hysterectomy and live your life free of all the complications! Good luck, and God Bless!
After your hysterectomy, did it affect your sex life,
It very much affected mine. 🙁
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Thank you, WS, for your extensive work on this subject. I too have suffered from endometrial ablation. I had it in 2011. In 2012 I started having pain in my fallopian tube because I had a hematosalpinx. I also got adenomyosis and pelvic congestion. It is cyclic pain. I have avoided hysterectomy but have suffered in pain. I am now researching herbal remedies that would help with pain and bleeding. I have started taking Vitex and progesterone cream (natural). Do you have any information on herbal remedies that might decrease bleeding or decrease pain? Do you have any information about what might happen to my uterus and tubes if I do not get a hysterectomy? Is there an increased risk of infection or tubal rupture? Is it feasible to think I can wait this out another 5 years until menopause? My pain attacks are for about 3 hours. Nothing helps except narcotics.
I apologize for my delayed response. I’m sorry you’re suffering these post-ablation problems. I’m not aware of any specific herbal remedies for these issues. However, I do recall reading a post somewhere from a woman who found a “cocktail” of supplements to help her post-ablation pain. I’m not sure if there are risks with leaving the hematosalpinx untreated (e.g., tube rupture). You may be able to find some medical literature about that. I don’t think there is any harm in not treating the adenomyosis or pelvic congestion. When you consider that the uterus can expand to hold a full-term baby, I would think these issues would not be of consequence despite the pain they can cause.
Best of luck to you in finding something to relieve the pain and avoid a hysterectomy!
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In January 2013, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I was having a heart attack. Long story, short, my heavy periods were causing anemia and it was affecting my heart. My gynecologist suggested the NovaSure/Essure procedure which I had done in April 2013 (age 47). He did not discuss any of the terrible side affects discussed on this site. My periods did get lighter for a short time, and I even skipped a month or two, but then they began to come back. Now, at age 51, my periods are extremely heavy, mostly large clots, and I bleed for weeks on end (heavy, medium, light, stop, start all over again). I have not experienced pelvic pain, but occasionally have a little mild cramping. Last year, when I went back to my gyn for my pap, he told me that I likely had adenomyosis, and that EA doesn’t work for women with that, which is why I was still bleeding. I am glad to have found this site and hope that other women will read these posts before deciding on this procedure. It was presented to me as an easy solution, with little risk at all.
Connie, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry that your doctor failed to inform you of all the necessary information regarding ablation (including contraindications / poor candidate). It would seem possible too that ablation could cause adenomyosis but I haven’t searched the medical literature for that. Being that you are 51, it’s not unusual to have very erratic cycles and excessive bleeding. Hopefully, menopause is very near and this will all be over soon. I assume you are making sure you are getting enough iron with vitamin C.
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Looking for advice. I am 40 years old with heavy periods that are now producing large clots. I am also severely iron deficient anemic and low on other vitamins I need such as folate etc. just diagnosed with MTHFR a129 gene mutation meaning my body can’t absorb traditional sources of folic acid among other things. Gynecologist says I must do something to stop my heavy periods to stop the anemia. She recommends ablation( I can’t do any hormone related treatments as they will reduce my folate even more with the gene mutation). If ablation and hysterectomy are both bad for me, what would you recommend for me? I can’t live like this for 10 more years. I am doing everything I can to bring my iron up naturally and nothing seems to help. I have no idea how to proceed.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this! Are you aware of the non-hormonal prescription medication called Lysteda (tranexamic acid)? According to studies it is effective at significantly reducing menstrual bleeding. I believe one study says a 40% reduction and another says 40-65%! And the good thing with medication is if it doesn’t work well or the side effects are bothersome you can always stop taking it. With procedures, you’re of course stuck with the bad along with the good. Not much money for the doctor in prescribing meds but so be it.
As far as increasing your iron, I don’t know a lot about the various forms but I’ve heard of Floradix being a good one. Taking vitamin C with iron will enhance absorption and of course calcium may hinder absorption. If you can tolerate blackstrap molasses, it’s a good source of iron (1 Tbsp. provides 20% RDA). I personally love it… will drink it straight.
Best of luck to you in getting this treated without causing a whole new set of problems! I’d be interested in hearing what works so please post back.
I forgot to ask – Do you know the cause of your heavy bleeding? Have you been checked for fibroids, polyps, a bleeding/clotting disorder, an endocrine disorder such as thyroid? Did you have a tubal (which can cause heavy periods)?
Thank you for your insights. I have not heard of Lysteda, I will research this now! I have just discovered black strap molasses. I don’t love it but I eat it for my health. I also try to keep my vitamin c levels up throughout the day. My ultrasound was clear for fibroids, etc. I know blood work in May showed no problem with thyroid unless I should see an endocrinologist? No tubal. I had heavy bleeding in my teens and 20s until I went on oral contraceptives. But I’ve been off of those for about 8 years. Not sure why it is worse now but the clotting coupled with my anemia has me concerned.
I am 42 years old. Soon to be 43 in a few days. Due to occasional heavy bleeding, several/multiple periods per month every month, and severe abdominal pain during every period and extra period,I had an Endometrial Ablation/DNC/Novasure a week and a half ago. I felt great following the procedure, aside from the initial severe abdominal pain I felt upon waking up. The nurse said I was given morphine, and that I could take the ibuprofen 600, and Percocet #5 prescriptions that the Dr had given my husband to fill while I was undergoing the procedure, but that I shouldn’t be feeling any pain. She let it go at that, did not make any note of it and walked out to finish the discharge paperwork for me. I took the medicine my husband (my poor worried, oblivious, husband got big kudos for his sympathy for me) had picked up. The Dr told him the procedure went perfect. I slept the rest of the day. I woke up the next day (let’s call it day 1 post) feeling slightly crampy, but otherwise great. (Except my throat being in a lot of pain, as I was put asleep for the “surgery”) Day 2 post, I woke up feeling the exact same as Day 1 post; however, by the end of the day I was coughing and sneezing and my head was congested. I figured I picked up something at the hospital. By Day 3 post, I had not slept the previous night and before the sun rose took myself to the ER. My abdomen was severely in pain (from coughing and sneezing I presumed) and I was bleeding red vaginally, and I was having trouble breathing. After telling the ER staff about the surgery and my symptoms, and a quick once over by the NP they said I had bronchitis. Gave me a breathing treatment, and the steroid. Sent me home with a refill for my inhaler (I am an asthmatic), 5 days of steroid,Tussian pills for coughing, and a binder for my abdomen saying I pulled an abdominal muscles and strained my uterus. Skip to Day 7 post, I was finally feeling better. My abdomen was pain free. My cough was minimal, but mildly present. Discharge still flipping back and forth between clear and watery to fresh blood red… constant but not a worry some amount. Now at Day 10 post, the abdominal pain is back. Very low. Still have a mild occasional cough. Nothing that would strain a muscle or the uterus. I have IBS with constipation and diarrhea, and all that it entails but although my bowel movements haven’t seemed to be affected it is now horribly painful for my intestines (so it seems, just a guess) to function today. Also, I am in constant horrible lower abdominal pain (around overies and across lower area in and around my intestines and uterus it seems) not helped by the few Percocet I have leftover. I am already sick of the downtime this “procedure” has caused, and the seemingly mild complications from it! Everytime I turn around its something else. And although no one is pointing to the Ablation/being under/etc as the cause (they keep saying bad luck and coincidence) I wonder if the bronchitis was really bronchitis at all. Could it be a direct result of the tube used while I was under?? And could the constant pain in my abdomen, aside from coughing/sneezing, be a bell going off that it didn’t go as well as they think??? No one took an xray at the ER of my lungs, no one did a ultrasound at the ER of my abdomen/uterus/etc. And I am almost completely convinced I should have just had a hysterectomy. Please help. I would like to be told i am just being a worry-wort, but either way knowing SOMETHING would calm my nerves.
I also had a tubal in 2011 the morning after giving birth. (Just in case that information is relevant)
Lorena, You may just be taking more time than normal to heal from the ablation. I hope that’s the case anyway. Unfortunately, medical professionals don’t tend to admit that complications are the result of medical care. That’s part of the reason it’s so hard to get good medical care once you’ve been harmed by this same system.
Hopefully, all will be fine in time and you won’t need to consider hysterectomy. Please be sure you understand its many negative effects before going that route. You can read all my articles about hysterectomy here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Thank you so much WS! Its comforting to know I’m possibility just a slow healer. I appreciate you replying!!!
Oh my gosh!You poor sweet dear!? I’m currently 36 I had a ablation done on March 16,2015,however I had 2 living daughters,an an angel child in Heaven DoD September 17,2011?.With my last daughter being born in 2008 my husband and I signed the paperwork for a tubal ligation,which we were told the tubes would be cut and tied.Well that Doc lied he put filiche-clips on and that was that,now there is an Angel in He an my daughter or son who watch over us?,we got an x-Ray of my low back which is obviously taken from the front the right clip was COMPLETELY UNDONE THE TUBE UNCRAMPED AND FLOWING FINE!!!OK NOW THE ABLATION,I HAD GAINED 250 pounds,gotten diabetes,had leukemia,and on full time OXYGEN,also I had 2 pulmonary embolism,and was bond to a wheel chair.I needed to do a gun visit I carry :P,so it’s important that I did because I went to a new dr.and when my app came back with a bad wrap,we had to scrape away bad cells.At a weigh of over 400 pds.most the time you won’t have a period,and they could give me estrogens because I took Coumadin for the embolism,long story short on the very day my husband had a STROKE 3,15-16 on that very day the devil attacked us both I started hemorrhaging that morning trying to justify well this is a good thing,I told myself.I had not had a period in at least over a year.So as myself,and my ten year old daughter sat by his side at the hospital,I decided my 7 year old needed to be in school,because,she has some disabilities that needed regular attention by the school,and she only went til noon.As I sat ,I packed more to the bathroom changing maximum flow poise pads first every 15 minutes,then every 5,then I was gushing into the chair floor,pants all the way from my husband’s room to the bathroom.My daughter was stressed I as turned pale,and in my mind thought wow,I thought I was her for my husband.I urged my daughter to walk out to the front desk and notify the so lovely,and sweet lady at the nurse station of what was taking place all down her hall,the room,chair and my pants.She came in with a wheel chair and said HOP in I’m taking you to triage we are admitting you,this is serious!!!I BEGAN TO CRY,I HAD HELD BACK FOR A BIT,NOT ANYTHING BUT MY NAME,DOB,AND GYNECOLOGY DR,AND ASKED IF MY INS WAS CORRECT WAS ASKED OF ME!!I was put in a rather odd E.R. ROOM IT WAS LARGE,HAD ITS OWN BR,AND A HUGE SURGICAL LIGHT ON THE CELING TO BE ADJUSTED!!My new Doc arrived it seemed in minutes,I WAS IN PRESSED,I HAD ALREADY BEEN TYPED AND X,I HAD AN IV IN A LARGE VEIN WITH FLUID GOING,I REMEMBER BEING WHEELED TO A REAL FREEZING COLD SURGERY ROOM,I WAS SLID TO AN OPERATION TABEL.DR.G……,SAID THAT WE WERE GOING TO CARTERIZE THE UTERUS,BECAUSE I WAS BLEEDING OUT TO MUCH,THAT THIS SHOULD STOP IT!!#1.I WAS NEVER TOLD THIS IS USED IN PLACE OF A HYSTERECTOMY!!????#2.I WAS NEVER TOLD THAT I WOULD NOT HAD A PERIOD AGAIN!!??#3.I WAS ALSO NOT TOLD THAT THE ENDOMETRIAL LINING,CAN CAUSE BLEEDING INSIDE THE UTERUS,AND BACK FLOW INTO YOU FALLOPIAN TUBES CAUSING SEVERE PAIN!!???????????#4.I WAS ALSO NOT TOLD THAT THIIS PROCEDURE CAN CAUSE MISCARRIAGES,AND FETUSES TO NOT GROW PROPERLY OR WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO!!????#5.EITHER I DO SUFFER FROM THE MENTAL ILLNESS THAT THROWS YOURS BODY INTO FALSE PREGNANCY,OR IM CURRENTLY PREGNANT AFTER 2 first response ++,and 3 Clear Blue easy digatals,one being an error because I didn’t per enough on stick,other 2++!!???? Since I’ve not had a bleeding period since March 15/16.I believe I conceive around July 11-18 at some point,not sure I believe I’m eight weeks pregnant because I got GASTRIC bypass in May on the 16,16.I’ve lost well over ? Pounds,I lost 12 pds last wks,and I’m about to be at my 2nd goal by weekend end.One Monday ill be on my way to the third goal???soon ill be me again?!!Anyway I’ve been running fever and cramping down low,across my double re-election line,I can’t stand on my feet it makes it worse,I developed left heal planters fascia in my left heel oh my word,cooking,cleaning,laundry,dishes,helping my girls with school work at the kitchen table hurts my low abdomen so bad I cry…I JUST WANT —–ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE WHO READS MY POST,TO KNOW,THAT I HAVE PICKED THE EASY WAY OUT ON OPTIONS NOT ONCE,NOT TWICE,BUT THREE TIMES!!(2 of which the Dr. Decided to play God and mess up nature by QUICK FIX SCHEEMS)???I WANT YOU TO KNOW EVAN IF NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD YOU OR YOU RONT BELIEVE IT–YOU ARE VERY SPECIAL,FOR GOD TOOK MANS RIB TO CREATE YOU,YOU HAVE PURPOSE,YOUR PURPOSE IS FOUND AT THE CORNERSTONE–The Bible–IF YOU BELIEVE AND USE THOSE WORDS AND SPREAD THEM LIKE SEEDS IN A GARDEN,THE STONE WILL PROTECT,AND ANOINT YOU,IF YOU CHOOSE THEO BE STUBBORN AND NO LISTEN ,YOU WILL STUMBLE AND FALL!? I use this in reference to your body’s if possible stay as natural as possible,but if you require,or elect a surgery,Google web MD.,or any site providing you all info.,get a pamphlet,or a written letter from your doc. explaining what is wrong,what is the name of your surgery,short/long pros and cons and is this a fix it quick now,pay dearly latter!!GOD BLESS U ALL WITH ABUNDANTLY HEALTHY LIVES!!
Christina, I’m sorry for all you and your family have been through. It’s sad that patients are not provided with all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
Pease join our facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264368540364822/
I am 40 years old and had an ablation over 10 years ago. After the procedure, my periods were a little spotting and that was it. Over the years the spotting has increased a little but nothing like a regular period. All of a sudden, my periods have completely stopped. I don’t have any symptoms of a period. And no I am not pregnant. I am 100% positive of this. Should I be alarmed that my periods stopped all of a sudden so long after my ablation?
Amy, I’m not sure what to think. It seems the opposite is more common – periods stop for sometimes yeas and then start back up. Are you having any menopausal symptoms? Although 40 is young for menopause, it’s possible the ablation impaired your ovaries’ hormone production. This study (I did not search for others) shows that both ablation and hysterectomy impair ovarian function. Keep in mind too that some women have no or very few menopausal symptoms.
Hi ! I am 45 years old and have been bleeding since February. Went to my OB/Gyn and he scheduled an ultrasound. Found that I have fibroids. He suggested the Depo Shot to stop the bleeding, I took his advice. Made the bleeding worse. Next he put me on meds for 30 days to stop the bleeding. Hah, slowed the bleeding down, but it did not stop. Bleeding is constant and cramps are worse than they ever have been. I have to call the doctor back and I do not know what to say or do. I know I don’t want another Depo shot because all it has done is make me gain weight. I know what my options are, I just don’t know what to do. I have heard nothing but bad things about the ablation, but what about a partial hysterectomy. Thoughts?
Jules, What medication were you on for 30 days? Have you tried the non-hormonal prescription medication Lysteda (tranexamic acid)? Has the cause of bleeding been determined? In other words have you been checked for fibroids or polyps? Could you have a bleeding/clotting disorder? Or is this being chalked up to the hormonal changes of perimenopause?
Both ablation and hysterectomy are destructive versus restorative. Based on my hysterectomy experience and what I’ve learned about all the short and long-term problems, I’d avoid it unless I had confirmed cancer. If you have fibroids or polyps, those can be removed without removing the uterus. And fibroids usually shrink after menopause so if that is the problem, it may just be a matter of trying to get the bleeding under control and waiting it out.
You can read all my articles here about the life long functions of the uterus and ovaries and the medically documented harms of hysterectomy and oophorectomy (ovary removal) – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
I wish you the best in getting proper treatment.
I am 60 years old with 9-10mm thickened lining in uterus. I had an eblation 8 years ago with no issues. I have no bleeding or pain, however, dr. cannot get biopsy due to scar tissue in cervix from eblation.
Since the lining thickness has increased, my dr wants to do a hysterectomy and she has concern for cancer at my age. I have been on hrt for over 9 years with progesterone, was taken off all estrogen 6 weeks ago to see if change. Still on progesterone. Would really appreciate your feedback as do not want hysterectomy, however, nervous about cancer possibility. Thank you.
Jodi, I don’t know what the lining typically looks like years after an ablation. But when it has its intended purpose of stopping or reducing flow, blood accumulates behind the scarring as part of the monthly cycle. So it would seem that it would be thicker than that of a woman who never had an ablation (and thicker than the post-menopausal 4-5mm). I don’t know if that puts you in the same risk category for hyperplasia or cancer or not.
There are women who have reported undergoing a procedure to stent the ablated / scarred cervix to allow accumulated blood to escape. This may not always work especially if the entire lining was ablated leaving nowhere for the blood to “seep out.”
The non-profit HERS Foundation may be able to guide you in getting proper care. Check out their website at http://www.hersfoundation.com for information on gyn issues and to contact them via their form or phone.
Best of luck and please keep us posted.
I had my Endometrial Ablation in 2005 I was 37 I can say it was the best thing I did for my severe heavy bleeding. I have never had any bleeding since and no pain associated. But reading all this is my clock ticking and i may still may need a hysterectomy? I wasn’t informed on long term effects from my gyno tat performed the procedure and have since moved to a different state the Drs here don’t perform EA saids it’s dangerous my sister wanted to have one for relief of her symptoms with endometriosis.
I had an ablation at 38. Was wonderful for 3 years and then all hell broke loose. Had to have to have a hysterectomy at 42.
I had ablation done at 48 years of age in 2010, now 6 years later, all of a sudden I had severe main (as bad or as worse as child labor), it hit me all of a sudden about 2 weeks ago. I had no problem until then. Went to see my gynecologist today, did an ultra sound and found that I had blood accumulating in my uterus. I was told my options are a. hormones, b. hysterectomy. I’m going to be 54 in November and I have no idea what to do. I’m hearing hysterectomy’s have horrible affects on your sex life, mood, and can lead to other health complications down the road. I’m a very health conscious person, I’m not on any medications and avoid them like the plague, I see a nutritionist (the works). Anyone have any advices on what I should do? Should I just wait this out as my close to menopause? I’m reading a lot on this and I’m completely at a loss on what my “real” options are. BTW, won’t the blood over time keep accumulating (there’s no mention of that)? If yes, I would assume that’s really bad.
Hi Tina, I my experience is very similar to yours, and when doing research I found a doctor in Rochester NY (Dr. Morris Wortman) who has worked extensively with women who are suffering the way we are. I intend to share this information with my gyn and see if doing a reoperative hysteroscopy would help relieve my painful symptoms. I hope you find this information helpful! http://www.cmdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Reoperative-Hysteroscopy-Dr-Wortman-STI-01.pdf
Sandy, Thanks for posting this link. I had read something about Dr. Wortman but can’t recall what. I will add this to my “arsenal” of medical literature. Hopefully, it will help some women.
Robin, Since you are this far out, maybe you won’t get the post ablation pelvic pain. If you don’t mind sharing, what state is it that won’t do ablations? Is it a teaching hospital / health care system that said this? I doubt it’s a state-wide mandate. But it’s good to hear that some won’t do it since it can cause more harm than good.
I had an endometrial ablation in 2013 as I was having very heavy menstrual bleeding. I was so excited because after my ablation, I never bled again. However in April 2016 I started with lower abdominal, supra pubic pain, achy, distension. Had no idea what is was.. lasted for several days, saw GYN ..she thought maybe I pulled muscle with exercise however Ibuprofen and heating pad were not helpful. They did sonogram- found “blood clot”. 5-6 wks. later it
re-occurred again… had another sonogram.. still blood clot they are calling a hematometra. Had an in-office hystoreoscopy- they were unable to advance the camera very far as she said that 90% of my uterus was fused together and it would be dangerous to try and do anything else. They did a biopsy.. but it didn’t tell them anything. This pain has continued every 5-6 wks. and worse then ever a few weeks ago. Nothing helps with the pain: Motrin or Percocet. She referred me to a surgeon as she doesn’t do surgery and now he is saying the only way to “fix” the problem is with a hysterectomy as even if they tried to re-do the ablation it would happen again. Going next week for a second opinion.. but all this bad stuff about hysterectomy scares me.. but not sure what other options I have… Any thoughts??
I’m sorry you’re suffering from post ablation syndrome. There’s a Facebook page for this (PAS / PATS) at http://www.facebook.com/PasorPats. There are also some discussions on the web about it.
The cervix can become stenotic from the ablation procedure. Some women have had success having an in-office procedure to stent the cervix and allow trapped blood to escape. Once you go into menopause, this pain should resolve since your ovaries will no longer be telling the uterine lining to build.
I also recall reading about a woman who found a “cocktail” of supplements to relieve her post ablation pain but I cannot find that information.
Hysterectomy is a destructive surgery so although it would relieve the pain from this blood being trapped, it will leave you with a new set of short and long-term problems. There is a lot of information about the harms of hysterectomy in my other articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you!
Thanks for the messages WS. I don’t think a cervical Stent would help as they were able to get past my cervix for the hystoroscopy. Wish it would be the answer.
I need help making a decision about EA. I am 46 y-o, done having children, and peri-menopausal. About 18 months ago, my periods became extremely heavy and almost constant. I only get short breaks from the bleeding and the bleeding is always heavy. I am chronically anemic and am worried about the consequences of all of the blood loss – no transfusions yet, but the doc has warned me that it might come to that. Similar to others, I know from testing that the problem is out-of-whack hormones and have questioned EA as a treatment because it really doesn’t get at the underlying problem. My issue is that I have a history of pulmonary embolism, which is a contraindication for hormone treatment and Lysteda. The doctor is also very concerned about the idea of trying the Mirena because of the hormones. So, I’ve been given two options EA or hysterectomy. My question for all of you is whether or not there is another option out there? If not, should I try the EA – given the risks? If I do the EA, is there a procedure that tends to be less risky over others (My doc does Novasure)? Do the complications from EA mentioned most frequently lead to hysterectomy? I have been really dragging my feet on making a decision but am leaning towards EA at this point. I really value your opinions given that you have or are considering the procedure. At this point, quality of life is significantly affected and I need to do something about the chronic anemia and other complications of heavy bleeding.
Sorry your going through all this 🙁 from experience though, I would skip the EA! I had one done August 2014 for my heavy periods after having a tubal done in January the same year. It was great after, light periods etc. I started having pain in April 2015, saw my regular gyno for him to tell me without doing any procedures that I had endometriosis. He told me we could do a hysterectomy but it wouldn’t solve anything. I’ve been in and out of emerge with pain since than. Finally a Dr wanted to do a MRI. The MRI should the build up of blood in my uterus and that’s when I was diagnosed with post endometrial ablation syndrome. I am finally meeting with a different gyno on Thursday since my previous one didn’t take the time to figure out what was really wrong. I am hoping to go ahead with the hysterectomy as it seems to be the only thing that will fix this. I’ve been in chronic pain for over a year,it has affected my overall health,I have no appetite and it’s put me at a unhealthy 97lbs. It’s made me depressed and have anxiety. It has even took a toll on my relationship with my fiancee. Please do all your research before even considering a EA. The negative effects over power the positive. I really hope you find some relief soon from your heavy periods, I’ve been there it’s not fun at all 🙁 good luck!
Hollie, I’m sorry you’re suffering from post ablation syndrome! It seems many women aren’t told about this before consenting to ablation. Have you considered an in-office procedure to stent your cervix to allow this retained blood to escape? Some women have found it to be effective and allow them to keep their uterus.
Please make sure you understand the LIFE LONG functions of the uterus and ovaries and the many short and long-term negative effects of hysterectomy before making this life altering decision. The prevalence of hysterectomy leads us to believe it’s a benign surgery but it’s inherently destructive.
I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and regret it every day. It’s changed everything about me (in a bad way). I’ve written a number of articles with medical citations related to the negative effects of hysterectomy. They can be found here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you in getting treatment that restores your health versus creating a whole new set of problems!
Jennifer, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this! Since this started in your mid-40’s, it may just be the hormonal changes of perimenopause. Do you know when your mother and other female relatives went through menopause? If their periods were over by their late 40’s then this could all be over soon. Of course, that’s not much consolation when you’re suffering but sometimes the “cure” can be worse than the “disease.”
Thyroid problems tend to manifest around this time in our lives too which can affect the menstrual cycle. Have you had a thyroid panel including not only TSH but Free T3, Free T4 and antibody levels?
Have work-ups been done to determine the cause of the heavy bleeding? Have fibroids and polyps been ruled out? If they are the cause, they can be removed without removing the uterus or doing an ablation. If your lining is not shedding properly (as shown by ultrasound 1 or 2 days after your period ends) a D&C would be a reasonable next step. The high rate of unnecessary hysterectomies is largely due to “lack of adequate diagnostic evaluation and failure to try alternative treatments before hysterectomy” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10674580. This may also apply to ablation which has become increasingly popular (and lucrative for the health care industry).
Since you’re anemic, I assume you’re taking supplemental iron on an empty stomach with vitamin C (to enhance absorption) and/or eating lots of iron-rich foods.
Prescription strength NSAID’s (e.g. Aleve) are usually fairly effective at reducing menstrual bleeding (by up to 49%) – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly. Can you take those or are they also contraindicated with your clotting disorder? It would seem that procedures would also be riskier with your clotting disorder. I assume you’re working with a hemotologist for these issues since they are the experts.
If you’re considering hysterectomy make sure you understand the many SHORT and LONG-term effects. And of course ablation can lead to hysterectomy. I am 10 years post-hysterectomy and regret it every day. It’s far from a benign surgery despite its prevalence. You can read my articles about hysterectomy here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you in deciding how to proceed!
Thanks for the input! I especially appreciate the pubmed references 🙂 I will have my thyroid checked. That test is the only thing on the list above that I have not done. My Mother and Grandmothers have all passed away (many years ago) so I am not sure when they went through menopause – early or late, I have no idea. I’ve had ultrasounds and been able to confirm no fibroids or polyps and have had a biopsy/D&C to rule out cancer. I am most definitely on Iron w/vitamin C and have tried NSAIDs to control bleeding. The NSAIDS do seem to provide a little help, but because of the duration of the bleeding, I find I have to give my stomach a break and can’t take them for too long. I do not have a clotting disorder or any other type of blood disorder confirmed by two rounds of genetic testing. The pulmonary embolism was caused by the Nuva Ring and I am now at higher risk of having another blood clot just because of my history. I appreciate your input – at least I know that I have had the testing or tried much of what you recommend. I’m going to put off the decision until I have my thyroid checked – is there a particular problem with the thyroid (hyper or hypo) that I should be on the look out for, if that is the issue? I’m also going to try Aleve – maybe that might work better re: my stomach over multiple doses of Ibuprofen throughout the day. Thanks again!
I was thinking clotting disorder instead of pulmonary embolism. It’s good to know you don’t have a clotting disorder. (I don’t know if you’ve read some of the articles here about clots and strokes from hormonal birth control but, sadly, they seem more common than most people realize.)
Thyroid disorders are under-diagnosed. I believe hypothyroidism is quite a bit more common than hyper. Most doctors diagnose based on TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) which is actually a pituitary hormone. But it doesn’t tell the whole story and there has been some controversy about the lab range being too broad. Some say the upper limit should be 4 while others say 3. Studies have shown that the average TSH for the general population is 1.5. This is addressed under “Thyroid Reference Interval” here – https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/articles/2013/may/tsh-harmonization. The presence of antibodies is an indicator of a thyroid problem and free T3 and free T4 levels show how much thyroid hormone is available for your body to use.
The HERS Foundation has some information on their website (home page) for “Heavy Bleeding” and they also offer consultations for a minimal fee.
Best of luck and keep us posted on what you find out.
All I can say is had this done 6 years ago (Novasure) and now I’m dealing with severe pain that hits me clear out of the blue, and have been diagnosed with hematomela as of today. Think very carefully about the procedure, weigh everything and do your homework regarding the doctor and type of procedure. Good luck and hope things are resolved for you!
So glad I found this site! I had an endometrial ablation 10 years ago for very heavy bleeding and clots. It was fabulous for 9 years- I still got my period every 4 weeks but it was very manageable. I’m 41 now and all of a sudden 6 months ago my periods started coming every 3 weeks and are horribly painful. My doctor has suggested a D&C and he wants to widen my cervix to let anything out that can’t get out (sounds like the stent I’ve read about in many of these posts). Is that a temporary fix? He said another option is to have my uterus removed. I would prefer not to go that route, but can’t deal with the debilitating pain every three weeks.
Anne, I’m sorry you’re having symptoms of post ablation syndrome but glad you at least got some benefit for 9 years.
I personally would be hesitant to do a D&C since that will create more scar tissue behind which more blood can get trapped. D&C’s can cause Asherman’s Syndrome although ablations can also cause it. Stenting your cervix to let any pooled blood escape would be a very reasonable (and probably a fairly safe) option and may be all that’s needed. Of course, at some point it may need to be repeated. But that would be better than undergoing a hysterectomy and being left with all its permanent negative effects.
Best of luck and please write back and let us know what you did and if it was effective.
Hi! I am 46 years old. I had the Novasure procedure 11/2009 and it has been great all these years up until a week ago. I had a colposcopy on 7/5/16 then a LEEP on 7/14/16. The first 5 days after the LEEP I just spotted with mild cramping then I started bleeding like I was having my period with lots of cramping and clotting soaking at least 3-4 pads a day. I went to see my doctor again on 7/25/16 and she checked and did not see that the biopsy incisions were bleeding but did coat my cervix with Monosil just in case. She really couldn’t explain why I was bleeding again. Last night I soaked a new pad so quickly I had to run to the bathroom. My question is has anyone on this board had a Novasure then a LEEP to have their periods come back again? If the bleeding still continues by 8/1 I am supposed to call back. I need some relief!!!
It’s not unusual to have bleeding years after having an ablation since hormones from the ovaries continue to tell the lining to build. It’s possible your cervix was stenotic / scarred shut from the ablation and removing part of it with the LEEP allowed the built up lining to shed. Going through 3 to 4 pads a day is not excessive although it sounds like the bleeding has gotten heavier. But considering you hadn’t had a period in close to 7 years, this may not be all that unusual. NSAID’s (such as Aleve) can reduce menstrual bleeding. Another non-hormonal option that’s usually very effective is the prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid).
I hope this bleeding slows down soon. What level of dysplasia did you have (mild, moderate, severe)? I hope the LEEP took care of it!
Thanks for your reply. After the LEEP it ended up being mild dysplasia. I was so relieved. Do you think I will bleed like this every month now?
It’s hard to say what will happen with your menstrual cycle. LEEP’s, like ablation, can also scar the cervix which can prevent blood from escaping. Only time will tell. However, this bleeding may be a “blessing in disguise” in that it may prevent you from ending up with debilitating pelvic pain that can happen many years after ablation from so much blood getting trapped in the uterus and sometimes the tubes.
Okay, thanks for your help. Puts my mind a little at ease.
Just wanted to let you know what happened the next day after I posted this just in case this may help someone searching for an answer.
My bleeding continued to get worse to where I had to leave work at 3 pm cause I had soaked through my clothes twice withing 20 minutes. After getting home I spoke with the triage nurse who told me that my doctor was not there but she would call me in the morning but suggested I go to the ER. I was having to sit on the toilet so much with the clotting I ended up going to the ER at 7 pm. They ended up doing emergency surgery because I had a bleed from one of the biopsy sites done with the LEEP procedure and my cervix was tearing away from my uterus. Since that night I have only spotted a little. I go back on the 11th for a follow up. This was an experience I never want to experience again.
Oh gosh, Amy, that sounds awful! I’m glad the problem was found and corrected. Did they just suture the area where your cervix had torn away from the body of your uterus?
Yes, from what my fiance was told. They contemplated a hysterectomy. They were really worried about all of the bleeding I did. Thanks!
So glad to hear they didn’t do a hysterectomy! That would have been “overkill”… sort of like cutting off a leg or arm because of excessive bleeding! I had a hysterectomy and it’s been BY FAR the worst thing that’s ever happened to me even though I’d completed my family many years prior.
Hopefully this bleeding episode didn’t deplete your iron. Be on the lookout for symptoms of that.
Amy, after you’ve had the chance to recover a bit, would you consider sharing your story in a blog post to be published here on Hormones Matter. I think other women would appreciate understanding the risks/consequences of LEEP more thoroughly. Your story might save a life. Please let us know. You can reach me here via this link. https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/
It is so funny you mention this. Like I posted previously I had mine done 6 years ago, no bleeding, no pain and everything was great. I did have a colonoscopy for the 1st time about 3 weeks before all of a sudden I had a severe pains in my lower abdomen that landed me in the hospital, test showed nothing with colon, gallbladder, etc.. Went to gyno today and found I had blood within my uterus, complication post EA. It is fascinating that you had problems after the colonoscopy and I had the same thing happen. Coincident? Who knows. BTW, I had Novasure.
I am 28 and had an endometrial ablation and tubal ligation done last month and now I am in chronic pain. Went to see my doctor and he told me my pain is from blood trapped in my uterus and tube. He give me pain meds and put me on hormones to try and stop my body from having a menstrual cycle. I have done research and not see anyone on hormone therapy. Seems like everyone with my problem end up with a hysterectomy.
April, I’m sorry that you’re suffering the negative effects of ablation. It’s a shame that women are not properly advised of these medically documented risks. Hopefully, you can find something to relieve this pain without resorting to hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a destructive surgery. There are a number of articles about it here on Hormones Matter. Just use the search box in the upper right hand corner to find those articles. Best of luck to you!
This article may be helpful in diagnosing and treating post-ablation syndrome – http://contemporaryobgyn.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-obgyn/content/tags/endometrial-ablation/migs-approach-fixing-failed-endometrial-ablatio?page=0,0. The article is intended for doctors so is rather lengthy and goes into the technicalities of diagnostics and treatments.
I’m looking into having an ablation due to extremely heavy periods. Based on this article, it sounds as if I should rethink it. If you don’t recommend ablation, weekday exactly do you recommend for extremely heavy periods? My issue is mechanical, not hormonal or fibroid related.
Naomi, Sorry for the delay in responding…didn’t realize I hadn’t replied. Have you considered or tried the non-hormonal prescription called Lysteda (tranexamic acid)? It’s usually very effective at reducing bleeding. It’s my understanding that paramedics keep it on hand.
I am 51 years old, scheduled for an ablation this coming Monday. I have been bleeding since May 21. Before that I hadn’t had my period from December to Mid April then every 2 weeks until May 21. Heavy clotting painful bleeding. IUD put in on June 1st came out sometime within 3 weeks after insertion. Dr. put me on birth control on 6-24. Although the bleeding is a little better, I still haven’t stopped bleeding completely and the cramping is ridiculous. Dr. told me I have fibroids which is normal for pre-menopause. I have been taking Flurbiprofen 2x per day for pain, as I am sitting here with a heating pad for my cramping! Now I am wondering if I should just have the partial hysterectomy.
Mia, You do sound miserable! From my experience and what I’ve learned about the importance of the uterus (as well as the ovaries), hysterectomy would be a drastic measure. Be sure you understand the after effects before resorting to this surgery that has a number of long-term negative effects.
Have you been offered non-hormonal prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid) to see if that will slow the bleeding? If you decide to go the surgical route, having the fibroids removed (myomectomy) would allow you to keep your uterus and it’s anatomical, skeletal, hormonal and sexual functions. Being that you are 51, it would seem that menopause is right around the corner and this may all soon be behind you. You can read all my articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck!
Hope I’m not too late..I had an ablation when I was 48 I will be 51 in Aug.. I’ve been having problems with bleeding again also terrible pain in my lower back and my thighs which I never have had before.. I start getting this God awful pain for days then I bleed for usually 2 days..but this doesn’t happen every month.. I will tell you..if I could do a do over I would definitely have a hysterectomy but I was told by my friends that have had them just go and get a complete hysterectomy. A friend said she made a mistake and had a partial. So soon I will be going in and getting this taken care of the right way. Hope all is well with you?
Roseann, I’m sorry you’re having some pain that may be caused by your ablation. I urge you to research the LIFE LONG functions of the uterus and ovaries before you decide to have this surgery. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t regret having had this horribly damaging surgery (which is proven to be so by medical studies). It’s affected EVERY ASPECT of my life. You can read all my articles here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
It’s possible that your uterus and tubes are engorged with blood that cannot escape. Since you’re 51 it seems you should be close to menopause when your lining should stop building and the pain will dissipate. In the meantime, it’s possible that a procedure to stent your cervix and allow the blood to escape may give you relief.
Best of luck to you!
I had an ablation on July 7th 2015 and have had a period every 2 weeks since the surgery. Right now as of today. I stopped bleeding for only 2 days since July 9th 2016. I wish I never heard of this surgery. It has only made my periods lighter not stopped them and I just turned 50 in May.
Kimberley, I’m sorry this procedure didn’t have the effects you were told it would. Being that you are 50, you’re probably close to menopause when you won’t have to deal with it any more. Hoping that’s the case!
Hi. I am 48 yo and had an ablation 3 years ago and still had cycles but not as bad. I hadn’t had a cycle for 3months and started with a light discharge two weeks ago, then last week a mild cycle and seemed to have pretty much stopped. I woke up early yesterday morning with some cramping and started with heavy bleeding and clots. This is what occurred 3years ago before my ablation. I have meds my GYN gave me to help stop when I have a heavy cycle and took that yesterday to get it to stop. I didn’t take any today and this evening started having bleeding again. I have read that sometimes you may need another ablation…. Of course this concerns me greatly but not sure if this is signs of menopausal too. I have an appointment on Thursday but I am just scared.
Beverly, It’s not unusual to go a number of years without bleeding after ablation and then start bleeding again. This episode may not mean that you’ll start having monthly periods again. It may be worth waiting to see what happens before rushing into another ablation especially since it probably would increase your risk for post ablation syndrome down the road.
Do you know of any class-action lawsuits with regard to NovaSure or any other uterine ablation technique? I would be interested to know if I can re-coup some of the costs of medical treatments sustained after having complications with the procedure. There have been two emergency room visits, several doctor visits, ultrasounds, and now a D&C procedure is scheduled to help alleviate my pain issues.
Karen, I’m sorry you’re suffering the after effects of ablation. When was it done? I’m not aware of any class action lawsuits but you could pursue legal action if your statute of limitations has not expired. Discovery of the harm / onset of negative effects would typically restart the statute clock but of course laws are state specific.
Best of luck to you in getting relief from these iatrogenic (doctor caused) problems. And it would be even better if you could also get financial reimbursement.
I sure would like to know the answer to the question on a law suit I had Novsure as well and I’m reading lots of complains with Novasure. Let me know what you find out.
I had an ablation about 9 years ago and haven’t had a period since. Unfortunately, about 2 years ago I began having a foul smelling discharge and some minor cramping. After several visits to my GYN, several tests with negative results, taking flagyl although tests came back negative only to end up with a yeast iinfection, I found another GYN. He too sent me for an US, tested for stds and BV but all were negative except for the US which showed a “complicated cyst”. His explanation was that my body was trying to shed the lining so that garbage smelling discharge was actually my period. He went further to say that he thought the next step for me should be a second ablation and that should eliminate the discharge. When I asked about a hysterectomy as an option, he advised against it. Do you have any info or stats on a second ablation? I really just want this disgusting, embarrassing condition/ side effect from the original ablation to go away. I’ve heard stories about women suddenly “releasing” the build up of fluid and it being horrific leading to an emergency surgery situation. I don’t want that to be my story. Any info or advice is appreciated.
Amy, I’m sorry you’re suffering negative effects of ablation. Hysterectomy is a drastic option and associated with a number of negative effects even if you keep your ovaries. So it’s refreshing to hear your new gynecologist advised against it as most are quick to do them (at least 90% are unnecessary). I certainly regret mine (done 10 years ago).
I personally would be hesitant to do another ablation for fear it may cause more problems short- and/or long-term. The cervix can become stenotic after ablation. If that is the case for you and you have a bit of this fluid buildup, your doctor may be able to stent your cervix and allow the buildup to drain out as an in-office procedure. I’ve read where women have had this done to allow blood to escape after it built up due to ablation.
Best of luck in getting this resolved!
Thanks for your reply. I see the doctor Tuesday, I will ask about the stint. I hadn’t heard of this before. Unfortunately, most of the women in my family had hystorectmies in their early thirties. ( mom and 2 sisters) I’ve always figured i would have the same but I want to exhaust all other options before I reside to that.
So glad I found this. I as well have been contemplating ablation. I am 41,done having children and suffer from extremely painful Heavy periods every 21-22 day cycles My dr made it sound like this would be a walk in the lark but did not go over all the risks.. I have endometriosis and adenomyosis . In my 20’s I had laser surgery twice because of this to conceive. This lightened my periods for about a year each time but now are much worse. And so my thought is that if I have the endo and the adenomyosis this still won’t cure it because scarring will still happen each month and I’ll still have pelvic and rectal pain. And now understanding hormones that yes still fills with blood just doesn’t shed I fear this will not work for me. This article answered those questions and I think I’ll just have to keep roughing it out and pray menopause comes early for me.
I’m 27 and just gave birth to my 3rd son March 17, 2016, on May 2nd I had a tubal ligation along with a balloon ablation. I had pictured in my mind how much better life would be without bleeding everyday (I bled the entire 6 weeks after giving birth) and how excited I was to not have 7-10 day painful and very heavy periods. Since my ablation on May 2nd I have bled every single day with the exception of 2 days. I know I’m only a month and a half out from having it done but this doesn’t seen normal! I have moderate cramping to severe pain every other day it seems and some times multiple days in a row. I’m beginning to think I am one of the unlucky few that ended up with a failed ablation but praying it it just still healing. It’s affecting my life (every day as well as with my husband) I’m about ready to say just take it all out, as bad as that sounds. I’m obviously done having kids and something has to give! I was not informed before my procedure that bleeding and cramping/pain would last this long and from all the research I’ve done, it doesn’t seem to be normal.
Tiffany, I haven’t heard of this happening this soon after the procedure either. Hopefully, it will pass! It’s a shame your doctor even offered this to you as an option since the risks are so much higher in women under age 40. Hopefully, you won’t have to resort to hysterectomy which has its own set of nasty permanent and progressive side effects.
I talked to a nurse at my OBGYN office today and they are putting me on 10 days of Provera to see if I stop bleeding because they said it’s not normal. They are giving me about a week after my last day of the medicine to see if it stops and if not I have to go in to get checked out and discuss further options. I was under the impression that this procedure was a very low risk everyday run of the mill thing when I had it done, I blame myself also for not having done in depth research about it. We will see how it goes! The nurse told me today it takes 6 months for the ablation to work properly. That just doesn’t seem right to me, but I’m no expert either.
I am so glad I found this article. I had a uterine ablation mid 2005. I was having excessive bleeding…so much so, I would bleed almost daily in some fashion, which I personally believe was increased due to infertility treatments. I was 35 and was not ready for hysterectomy, and chose ablation with a tubal sterilization knowing the short term complications and well as possible hysterectomy in the future as long term problems might arise. I never was period free, with some sort of a regular cycle that did not require much thought. About 3 ½ years ago, I began experiencing a lower left quadrant pelvic pain (always same area, so much so that I could but a tattoo X on the spot). Sometimes extreme, wake you at night, nothing will work, to dull and achy but never more than a few days at a time. I began to track, to see if it came with my cycle, but had no real pattern. I began to maybe once a year began to skip a cycle or two at a time. Went to my gyno, with the pain complaint about 2 years ago, they did a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Negative pregnancy, cyst on my right ovary, and what was described to me as a little backup of fluid and blood into my fallopian tube most likely from my ablation, said it should dissipate and to come in if it got worse. He also mentioned that it could be endometriosis or pulled muscles from a car accident I had. Since I had also sometimes had pain in that area while having a bowel movement and also during urination, I have exhausted those avenues. I have had colonoscopies, the most resent a few weeks ago, and all good. Don’t think this is a pulled muscle.
Fast forward to this month, days on end of pain, now radiating into my groin, top of thigh and into my back even upwards and across my mid pelvis, sometimes so severe pain pills do not touch it, was vomiting and waking u middle of the night crying. I ended up in ER last weekend, was given Toradol while the ran some test. They did a CT scan and when the ER Dr. came in, he said all my blood and urine test were normal, however, he said I had a cyst inside my uterus and he said that was odd and he told me to please follow up with my gyno. Google uterine cyst and you find nothing! Maybe if you throw in rare, uncommon, or unusual and you might get a result or two. Monday I called, and they already had the report…even my primary dr. called me and said they got the report form the ER and wanted me to come in (talk about something to make you cringe). I came in to my gyno the next day and I went to have an ultrasound first and mentioned what the ER dr. said and she said are you sure it wasn’t a fibroid? I said nope, it was on the discharge papers as uterine cyst. She performed the longest ultrasound I have ever had, and asked if she had done one on me before and told her yes, 2 years prior. She went to look at the past one and came back in and said, I think we are looking at the same thing but bigger and there was a second one. I could see the two spots on the screen. Talked to the doctor after all this and he said that I had a couple of blood filled cyst due to blood being trapped, one that was there 2 years ago and is now bigger and a second one. He said it is not the common, and especially not this big or long lasting. He is still not sure if this totally where my pain is coming from and said I needed to do a total hysterectomy and during this, he will take a good look around and as long as my ovaries looked good, he would leave them. He did not think it was cancerous, but would send of all tissue to be tested.
I still haven’t had a period since the beginning of May, with the exception of a one-time extremely pale pink stain on my toilet paper. Commence me looking and search on Google for anything I can on this uterine cyst, and it was not until I looked for long term side effects of ablation that I came across this. Now I wonder if all these time I spike a short term fever every once in a while or the occasional night sweats, if this has anything to do with blood being trapped in my uterus. I do not have painful intercourse, the only noticeable thing is my urine output. I leak when I sneeze, laugh, cough, or lift anything or have to sit on the toilet a while to make sure it’s empty and a couple of times during intercourse flat out urinated on my husband. I chucked this all up to my age of now 46, but now I am beginning to wonder. This article has given me a list of questions I will asked him in my pre-op appointment I want to know if it is indeed a “cyst” or a hematometra. The location of these areas, if it showed back up in my fallopian tubes, etc. Hoping to gain more knowledge.
Lori, I’m sorry you’re going through all this. It makes sense that you could have little “pools” of blood / cysts after ablation. It’s a shame that you may have no other option than to undergo another harmful surgery (hysterectomy) to resolve the pain. Hysterectomy has its own set of long-term negative effects and these are amplified if the ovaries are removed (or fail from loss of blood flow). About 55-73% of women lose ovaries during hysterectomy for no good reason. Ovary removal (or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure) is associated with many increased age-related health risks. These links are helpful – http://www.gynreform.com/citations.html
Best of luck to you in getting good treatment.
I had an ablation 6 years ago when my gynecologist took out my left ovary, because of a huge cyst. In May of this year I started having pelvic pain. It would come and go. Now I feel like I am having an on-going stomach ache in the lower region of my stomach and then at times worse pain. My female nurse practitioner sent me for an ultrasound. They found I have a Hematoma from the ablation and it is leaking fluid into my Fallopian tubes. The doctor who came in to explain the ultrasound pictures to me said it could cause some cramping. No I don’t have cramping! I am having pain! I have been referred to a gynecologist in the same office, but unable to see her until the 14th of July. Was so glad I found your article! I have been looking for information and unable to find anything that explained it in terms I understood. Unfortunately the doctors don’t see this as a big deal or that I am suffering! Yesterday I went to my primary doctor and they gave me something for the pain and explained some of what was going on. She said there are different things they can do to help, but didn’t go into detail. Maybe I need to find a different gynecologist? So worried they will do nothing to help.
Hi Jan, Here is a website from a medical practice that has some information about the complication you are experiencing: http://www.cmdrc.com/treatment-of-endometrial-ablation-failure/. I can readily imagine that would be quite painful, but unfortunately, women’s pain is often dismissed or downplayed. Please keep advocating for yourself and for proper treatment.
Update: Went in on the 28th of June to see my Gynecologist about the findings from the ultrasound I had. She told me that the Hematometra was bleeding and leaking into the my Fallopian tube where they had taken my ovary out. So it was not really going to far. She said it should not be causing me any pain and since I was going through Menopause I should not have any problems with it. What does menopause have to do with it? Did not get to ask that question as I was shocked that nothing would be done to help pain! Thank you for your listing and for the information!
When your uterine lining stops proliferating / you go into menopause, there won’t be any blood to back up into the tubes. I believe the existing blood should be re-absorbed.
Jan, I’m sorry you’re suffering these long-term effects. I recall a woman saying that she found a “cocktail” of vitamin supplements that helped her post-ablation pelvic pain but I don’t recall what all supplements were included. I know some were B vitamins.
I hope you can find something to relieve the pain without having to resort to hysterectomy.
I had my ablation done 11 years ago after years of heavy periods.It didn’t stop my periods, they were just lighter. I also had tubal ligation 20 years ago. Now aged 51, I have been in the menopause for just over a year. Theee months ago I started to bleed…..non-stop. Went to my gp, got referred urgently to a one-stop hysteroscopy clinic where I had an endometrial biopsy taken (negative) and a flexi-hysteroscopy which showed polyps. My uterus is also bulky. Last week I went in to gave the polyps removed and a d&c. The bleeding is less, but the cramps are awful four days on. My gynae said the inside of my womb looked bitty – I was still dopey from the GA so didn’t have the wherewithall to ask what she meant. My real query is this – it was my understanding that polyps shouldn’t grow after you’ve had ablation. And why would my womb look ‘bitty’? I know for a fact that this wasn’t the case when I had a hysteroscopy 6 years ago for suspected adenomyosis.
This information should be read by any lady who has had, or considering ablation. I am unbiased as to ablation or surgical hysterectomy and have had quite and experience of it. Please read, particularly if you have been prescribed Everol HRT alone whilst have undergone an ablation in case you doctor is making the same error!
I underwent an ablation in 2003 age 45. I never had heavy bleeding but suffered bad pelvic pain regularly every month A regular hysterectomy was booked. However, just before surgery I was informed about the endometrial ablation that could be done privately. It was not available on NHS at this time as the procedure was quite new. I thought I had nothing to loose and was avoiding the recovery time normal surgery would take.
Everything was fine for one year- no pain. After a year acute pelvic pain returned. I had developed hematometra. There was no alternative to avoid the pain other that a surgical hysterectomy. I was no approaching menopause and when my periods stopped the pain would go. So I put up with the pain which was very severe at time thinking not may months and |I would be pain free. Gradually this happened over the next few years. The pain would be various ie sometimes every month, every other month some months pain free until it stopped. I had also undergone at age 36 sterilization so I believe I could have suffered from post ablation tubal sterilization syndrome as the pain was some times unbearable. However, it was only pain my health was not compromised and I thought it better than recovering from surgical hysterectomy.
I then suffered from severe night sweats. My doctor prescribed Everol 50 HRT. This was great no night sweats and no pain. Life was great. After 3 years on Everol my doctor has just informed me Everol should only be prescribed in combination with progesterone. The doctor who prescribed this only noticed I had undergone a hysterectomy (where estrogen only HRT is fine as you have no uterus)he did not notice it was an ablation hysterectomy! I had to go the next day for uterine biopsy as by taking Everol alone my uterus was constantly producing a lining which considerably increases the risk of cancer!I underwent the biopsy but when you undergo a endometrial ablation the walls of the uterus close and stick together making it more or less impossible to take any cells from the uterus. I now have to undergo a biopsy under general anesthetic. They are not even sure it is possible then and a surgical hysterectomy is recommended as no one can tell whether I have any cancer cells or not!Even if cells could be taken I would have to be montitored closely for next 10 years as this is how long they believe it would take for the risk to subside.
So ladies think long and hard before undergoing an ablation. Understand all the risks going forward. The information was not available to me at the time I underwent my ablation but it is now.
Helen, I’m sorry you’ve been subjected to such poor gynecologic care – two harmful procedures followed by improper prescribing. And yes, another drawback of ablation is that it can mask endometrial hyperplasia and cancer. But I thought this was only because it changes bleeding patterns so that cannot be used as a gauge to have a biopsy. I have not seen anything in the medical literature about inaccuracies of biopsies after ablation…something you may want to research. Of course, as you stated, you never should have been prescribed estrogen without a progestin or progesterone!
To clarify, “ablation” and “hysterectomy” are two separate procedures. “Hysterectomy” is the removal of the uterus so an ablation is not an “ablation hysterectomy” or any other type of “hysterectomy.” It is an “endometrial ablation” which leaves the uterus in place. This misuse of terminology may explain why you were prescribed estrogen only.
Hopefully, the biopsy will be negative for hyperplasia and cancer. If you do end up having hyperplasia, taking a progestin may be an option versus hysterectomy.
Yes it makes biopsies near impossible as the cells of the uterus are damaged by the heat, they literally burn the lining. So can mask endometrial cancers. This is why if you need endo biopsies they are usually taken before ablation is performed!
Not only that, when ablation completely stops periods for some time especially for a year or more, it’s hard to know if episodes of bleeding are due to hyperplasia or cancer or just a regeneration of the lining. And it can be difficult to get a biopsy to know for sure.
I had my ablation 6 years ago. I have not had a period since. Lately I have noticed bloating in my stomach, some cramping and swollen, extremely sore breasts. My issues seem like not such a huge deal after reading everyone’s stories here. Should I be concerned? Should I be making an appointment with my dr? Any I information would be greatly appreciated!
Victoria, If these symptoms are cyclical they may just be indicative of hormonal changes and unrelated to “post ablation syndrome.” If they become chronic they could be related to your ablation.
That’s how all my issues started…going tomorrow to talk hysterectomy
KC – Sorry you are suffering the negative effects of ablation and are considering a hysterectomy. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and regret it. My body and everything about me has changed in ways I never could have imagined. Best of luck to you!
I’m so glad I found this. I had a tubal done 9 years ago. Three years ago after skipping a period, I had continuous heavy, VERY painful period for 6 months! Dr recommended ablation. Sounded awesome. Procedure was done with no problems. Best decision I’ve ever made. No period or symptoms for three years! Until last week. I was at work, And out of nowhere, started hurting on right side of my lower abdomen. I work in health field, And Dr I work with, suggested me do a urinalysis. Everything looked good. No signs of infection. She suggested get checked. Later that night, I went to ER and pain never stopped. Was also hurting in my lower back. I was told I had NO infection, but ultrasound showed I had cyst on right ovary. 3.3cm. Recommended me f/u with gynecologist. Five days later, I started having excruciating lower abdominal pain with pressure and back pain. Felt like I was having ONE long contraction similar to giving birth. I put up with it one more day, And had to go to ER. They done same as five days before, no infection, cyst was 3.7 cm. Then, when I asked about my uterus, I was told I have two masses that look like gestational sacs, but my pregnancy tests were negative. They just brushed that off like it was nothing and sent me home with Motrin Rx and said f/u with gynecologist. I just started my career, And at this time, not occurred insurance so no WAY of seeing my gynecologist. Three days later, today, I’m STILL in severe pain. I feel like I’m in labor. So much pressure in my uterus, back pain all the way around, And I feel like at any time, I’ll need to start.pushing. Nothing makes it better. It’s constant, excruciating pain and pressure. I have been scared to deAth it could be cancer. But after seeing this, I’m sure it’s from the ablation. Thank you for sharing. I pray I’ll get something done sooner than later!
Sorry to hear you are suffering. Having had a tubal as well as an ablation increases your risk for post ablation syndrome. I wonder if those “gestational sac” looking masses in your uterus are sacs of blood that are trapped behind your scarred / ablated lining. Some radiologists don’t have much experience with imaging ablated uteri.
I recall a woman saying that she got a bit of relief from post ablation pelvic pain by taking a “cocktail” of vitamins but I don’t recall which vitamins she took. Whether it’s from the ablation or not, I hope you can find something to relieve your pain.
I a sighing a deep sigh of relief because I read this before I had this done. I am one of those people who has been medically injured during OB/GYN procedures (infected epidural, ripped cervix during DNC) so I don’t want to mess around with this. The problem is that I am bleeding so much that I have been having iron infusions. I spent the last year getting my thyroid levels up (armour) and my adrenals calmed down and still no relief. I have had terrible side effects from birth control and even natural progesterone. I am at a loss about what to do. Does anyone have any ideas about something I might have missed, because I am only 44 and likely have more years of periods to come. Thanks in advance!
Have you had a hematology workup to see if you have a bleeding disorder. They are often ignored in women.
No I haven’t, I’ll ask about it, thanks!
I’m sorry you’ve been medically injured. I can certainly understand how that makes you leery of all things medical. I agree with Chandler that you may want to get tested for a bleeding disorder. As far as treating your heavy bleeding, have you been offered or looked into the non-hormonal prescription medication Lysteda (tranexamic acid)? Of course you would want to research before taking it but thought I’d mention it as it seems many women have never heard of it.
I had uterine ablation at 38yo, am now 52 and still consider it one of the best decisions Ive made. Never had another period – not even a light one – and my mental and physical well being improved because no longer dealt with monthly migraines, fatigue, malaise and abdominal bloating/discomfort. Based on my experience, two of my gfs went to my doc to get it done with similar results. The skill and experience of the doc performing ablation – frequently – cannot be understated.
I agree with Kira. I had an ablation in 2006 and never again had a period. I have had no pain or other complications so far.
Angela, It’s good to hear your experience has been positive this many years post-ablation. The studies indicate that is the case for the majority of women. Is there anything in particular that brought you to HormonesMatter?
I’m so glad to see some positive results. Just had my ablation on Friday,July, 29th 2016. 3 days in with minimal bleeding. On tylenol 3 for cramping. I’m a teacher so I’m hoping for results like yours before school starts in August 22.
I had a d&c done due to complications with the machine before the ablasion ans before I found this site was considering a hysterectomy leaving the cervix he said and I have a brain injury so I cant remember the reason and also have tangiential speech due to the car wreck I was in that gave me the TBI and herniated the rest of my disc’s in my back that weren’t herniated which before I had 7 not I have 18 (yes 18 I have gone iver several 3T MRIs) and I have been having worse pain I think then normal recently and tonight saw small clots and some type of gray discharge with white tissue in it and am freaking out plus niw that ive read about the cheonic pain from the ablasion I didnt get to have it makes me wonder if there are the same risks for me with the D&C as I have factor 5 liden and am on warfarin but am not up to a therapeutic level yet. Because my inr is still under 2 but after 3 months is finally 1.7 but my pain doctor wont help me because of various excuses now but the main one is my clotting disorder now that i finished physical therapy but use that loosly as they werent good at dealing with all of my issues and not intrested in dealing with them individually either but after I finiahed she said thw doctor was making any changes to anyones medicine at the moment and then nit its my blood and because we havent fixed my back oain which ive had since I was 9 and my spine slipped so I know we xant fix it so now have shoulder pain feom no where and no reason that hurts incredibly bad and I can handle pain well I just am tired of it and it literally causes me to sleep 20 hours out of the day and was for days at a t I me before the pain doc because it is mentally and physically eexhasting.i wonder if there could be clots because thats apparently what my blood does best that is causing my back pain to be even worse and since im used to it it wad just my hio and shiulder (left and out of know where hip 1st then shoulder this year sometime) the reason I hit reply to this one itger than I need to sleep so have to make myself stop reading is because our surgeries were close to each other mine after yours on the 7th of September 2016 and …if I read correctly but could be day posted. I want someone to answer what could be causing the discharge and tissue in it 3 weeks after when I barely bleed after the surgery with no need for a pad and also my tubes are burned and the women I know who have had hysterectomys havent had any problems and said it was the best thing they have done. I was told I could have my period when I normally do or starting date being d&c so the blood alone wouldnt freak me out but woukd disappoint me but its the gray not brown or black medium gray discharge in the center of the blood with the white tissue in it all if a sudden with more pain than im used to with a period and its a weekend so cant cakk the doctor and even if I coukd I doubt it will kill me and given the problems listed are not even half im not to concerned abiut if it could since thinking of being 40 and in the pain I am now is the worst thing I csn think of other than death of a family member or worse pain hiwever im nit suicidal or I wouldn’t want an answer as ti what im dealing with I rambke and I talk like I tyoe so I apologize but can someone tell me what a d&c is also be ause I didnt even know they hadnt done the surgery til the drugs wore off but I dont think im allowed to take pain meds from any doctor other than my pain doctor yet she knows I had surgery but dont think I’d be allowed to take anything if he were to calk anything in and since I was oremed and chose ti go ti school see my son and not work I dont have credits for real disability and only have medicaid so I cant was a doctors visit since a charity called me in june abiut my reaching my limit for the year and helping me with my medicine and how to make the pharmacy run it through the right was as I have 12 prescriptions at keast and have several things ive biught onkine that are herbak for inflammation and nerves I need to take because i have to try something since my doctor wont even change my anti inflammatory. Also I am 33 with a 16 year old son if that helps anyone answer my quetion and am currentky trying to find somewhere that will ket me buy a car is anyone know in Alabama because mine was totaled by someone whi didnt have permission to deive where he did back in june and that makes 2 cars totaled by two guys been in 4 wrecks but wasnt in my car with the last one and feel incredibly ignorant as I should have kearned when the out the rod in my femur …twice in 8 days after it fell out but im stopping now can someone tell me if thats normal nd just somewhere that the doctor didnt scrap all of or something if thats what it is?
Ashley, I’m sorry for all you’ve been through! If I understand you correctly, you had a D&C (scraping of the uterine lining) but not an ablation due to a malfunction of the device. Since your procedure was on or about September 7, your symptoms may be part of the healing process.
I am 36, had 3 pregnancies, was recommended to be to have the ablation. I have extremely heavy cycles, especially since my last child. My hormones are out of whack my OB said.
My question is, if my hormones are the cause of the heavy bleeding, then after the procedure…would I not still have out of whack hormones? Then what??? TIA
Alicia, You are right to question the logic of ablation. And being that you are so young, you are at higher risk of post ablation syndromeat Th which is associated with chronic pain. That is the problem with procedures…you are stuck with the bad along with the good. At least with medications, you can stop taking them if they aren’t working or you don’t like the side effects.
I had EA done just over 8 months ago, I have not stopped taking my period but it is a lot lighter and doesn’t last as long as it used too, love that part. The problem started 2 months ago, 2 days before my period started I had a stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen that came and went, then my period started and sore cramp and back ache kicked in that lasted for the 4 day of bleeding but the back ache continued for a further 3 days with pressure on my back passage stabbing pain still coming and going this lasted all month and got worse 2 days before my period then all the same symptoms as the month before. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?
I am 54 years old with a history of ovarian cysts which I have had several operations to have them removed. Since I started menstruation my peiods have been horrendously painful and extremely heavy, as I get closer to menopause, my periods have become highly irregular, but, boy oh boy, are so heavy with huge clots that I cannot even leave my home. My gynae has recommended an ablation, however I have another large cyst to be removed, the gynae has said that as the cyst has become twisted around my ovary, (all my cysts have been on the same ovary), she recommends having the ovary and cyst removed at same time as ablation with a Minera IUD inserted as well. I am in very good general health, no other problems. Has anyone else had experience of these procedures ? I would be interested to hear.
Lena, When messing with our natural bodily functions, less is more. The uterus, ovaries and tubes all work together our whole lives, not just for reproduction. Removal of any part or a procedure that disrupts their natural functions can have very serious permanent effects. Removal of even one ovary can cause the other one to shut down. Did you know that the ovaries produce hormones our whole life for good health?
Ablation, as detailed in this article, can cause chronic pelvic pain. Being that you are 54, this is less likely to happen. However, it would seem that you are close to menopause and shouldn’t need to worry about all this bleeding much longer. Maybe you can wait it out. A non-hormonal medication called Lysteda (tranexamic acid) may be an option for managing the bleeding. Even prescription strength NSAID’s can reduce flow. Of course you may still need the ovarian cyst removed but why not just have the cyst removed and keep your ovary and all your other parts as is…no procedures on them?
I regret letting my gynecologist remove parts for an ovarian cyst.
I am 50 and had the horrible bleeding too. Wore dishtowels and rags and pants with skirt on top…it was awful. Just to stand up or walk. Had low iron all the time so had difficulty breathing.
Have a blood disorder that makes it so I can’t take hormones as will cause blood clots.
I did have the ablation. Went well. They also removed a polyp while inside uterus. I was told because of polyp, I never would have stopped bleeding, so I definitely did the right thing. Not even a drop of blood since, and it’s been two months.
I also have cysts on right ovary. The doctor said she was just going to keep an eye on them…not sure what she means since next gynological appt. not for a year.. But anyway.
I am OK after ablation. Even my estrogen level has dropped, which is great as I was over estrogen levels and had lumps in breasts as side effect if that. Those are very slight now.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Stay away from the mirena. I had it done in March this year and removed a month later, kept having extreme pelvic pain like I was in labor and constant bleeding. GYNO took it out after a month and I continued to bleed for up to 5 weeks in total. Been put on tablets called primolut to stop bleeding and it finally has but still get severe pelvic pain each day. Now waiting to see what the next step is a endometrial ablation or hysterectomy. Now sure . My visit is in June
Sandra, How long have you been dealing with menstrual cycle issues? Are your cycle intervals erratic or do you just have heavy and/or prolonged bleeding? Are you in perimenopause? The non-hormonal medication Lysteda can be effective for heavy bleeding. Of course you would want to read up on it and make sure you know the risks and don’t have any contraindications if you want to give it a try.
As explained in this article, ablation can cause chronic pelvic pain in the long-run. Some women describe it as labor pains.
Hysterectomy is associated with a number of short and long-term negative effects so make sure you understand those before resorting to this irreversible major surgery. You can read all my hysterectomy articles, with their medical literature citations, here – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
Best of luck to you in getting proper treatment!
Wow! I feel compelled to reply to this post even though it’s old. I had a NovaSure ablation procedure done 1/15/2016 and felt great that evening. The normal discharge they describe for about 2 1/2 weeks and then nothing. I was on the high road to living a more simple life after having bleeding for months without stopping.
I didn’t have a cycle, spotting, discharge or anything. Fast forward to 3/21/2016 – roughly 9 weeks after surgery. I am getting the worst cramps ever – especially after urinating. I passed it off as a UTI, began to drown myself in cranberry juice and blew it off since my symptoms got better for about a day or so.
Then on Saturday 4/1/2016 I had cramps so bad that I looked up my local Urgent Care facility and went to the them the next morning as soon as they opened. They took a urine sample, no UTI and not pregnant. They gave me 3 Rx’s for pain and a referral for an ultrasound and asked me to follow up with my GYN that Monday. I went home, then got my nails done, had lunch with a friend and returned home.
While watching a movie with my husband that evening I began to cramp and took a Motrin 800. 2 hours later no relief. As a matter of fact, the pain got worse. I went to try to lay down in the hopes that would relieve the pain, no dice. It continued to get worse. I got dressed and my husband took me to the ER. While there I was given an IV and a dose of Morphine. the Morphine did nothing for the pain! All it did was make me feel relaxed/high.
I continued to complain and they gave me another dose of Morphine – again, no relief from the pain! I know this has to be completely unbelievable for you all to read, but let me tell you, it’s unbelievable to me and i went through it. I got an ultrasound which I was told looked “normal”. and I again requested more pain meds. This time they gave me a pain med cocktail of Torodol and something else that I cannot remember. This also relaxed me and did barely help with pain. I was so tired and sleepy, and by this time, midnight was approaching. I was told that I couldn’t go to sleep because I wasnt breathing deep enough and my oxygen levels were dropping, so they began to give me oxygen and had my husband wake me every 5 minutes to remind me to breathe.
My GYN was finally called in and told what was going on. He did a vaginal exam and told me to put up my index finger when it hurt where he touched. As soon as he touched my cervix I was in the worst pain ever and I wanted to jump out of that bed! I requested a 4th dose of pain meds after that and I finally began to get a small bit of pain relief, but not without the side effect of severe nausea. I was set for surgery at 2:30am to drain everything from my uterus along with a D&C.
Honestly, I talked to my Dr prior to having NovaSure and the things that could go wrong, and I knew that tissue could be missed or grow back, however, i didn’t know it could get trapped and cause excruciating and debilitating pain. I have an appointment with my GYN in 2 weeks to follow up from surgery.
At this point I am no longer fighting the idea of a hysterectomy. There is no way in hell that I would ever want to go through what I just went through again, just for the sake of a womb I will never again use. I don’t blame my GYN for what happened. It wasn’t his fault the procedure didn’t work for me. Things happen. I’m just onto the next step.
I posted here to tell what happened to me and maybe help someone else who could be going through the same thing I went through but is blowing off the symptoms like I did. If you are having those severe cramps and little/no period, PLEASE see your GYN right away! Don’t put it off.
I just went to the ER myself last night after pain I thought could be gas got worse and worse! Morphine also did nothing for me except for relax me. When it was all said and done I was told I had a PID they dosed me with antibiotics and sent me home with scripts for antibiotics and 5 mg Vicodin? Seriously!? If morphine wasn’t helping much how is 5mg of hydrocodone going to! Anyway rewind a little, I had my surgery February 10th, I leaked drained for about 6 weeks. During what I thought was a light period during my time that started March 4th. After that I had pretty bad pain. Called my dr. and they prescribed an antibiotic over the phone without seeing me. After a day or two I felt better. Until yesterday when my next period was due and I have had no bleeding yet. I thought woo hoo I think the surgery worked! Until the pain started. Anyway today was very painful with pressure and bloating as well. Then I had to pee so I sat on the toilet and out of nowhere blood just pretty much dumped out of me! I still have pain but a lot of pressure was released. I’m going to call my OBGYN tomorrow but reading all this crap online has me so scared! Why did I not see this information before I went through with the ablation! I was told I would bleed or drain for a few days after the surgery and then my period should be lighter if not gone completely!
Omg….I’m sorry for all u been through!! But your story is the same as what my daughter is going through! She’s going in Tues. For a biopsy and they wanna discuss this Ablation with her….I’m gonna tell her to fight for a hysterectomy after reading a lot of comments about it. Sounds as if they just wanna use women for guini pigs….thanks for posting
I had the novasure ablation done January 2015 and the pain has been the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life! I am finally scheduled for a TVH in two days on the 13th. After at least 5 ER trips and I couldn’t even count the trips to my obgyn’s office, multiple scans and other tests they finally said it was because I had a tubal in 1994 then ablation last year..postablation-tubal sterilization syndrome.. after repeatedly being told it was nothing to do with the ablation for months and finally changing to another gyno. The morphine had no affect on the pain and all 5 times I was admitted to the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days at a time. I would NOT recommend this procedure to anyone-ever!! I’m 46 and have had 2 children and none of that pain has compared to this! My gyno recommended this procedure instead of a hysterectomy and never once told me this could happen. I really wish I would’ve done more research before I had agreed but I just took her word for it. I truly hope this helps someone else and prevents even one case of this happening!
Ladies – I’m so sorry you all are suffering the negative effects of ablation and are considering hysterectomy. Unfortunately, it has its set of negative effects too which you can read about here on Hormones Matter.
Docs who fail to completely, meticulously ablate the uterine lining are behind many if not most of the procedures poor outcomes. My doc is strictly a gyno – no obstetrics – and has a history of performing ablations on a routine basis. When she performed mine 14 years ago she said that while 50% of all women who had ablation ceased menstruation completely post procedure her personal stats were more than 90% of her patients never again had a period. I believe the skill, frequency and experience of the doc is the single most critical factor in determining post ablation outcomes.
Hi all I’ve been told today I need ablation also at the same time as I’m 42 I need to have a swab/biopsy taken of my womb! My gynocologist assures me this is usual procedure for anyone with period probs over 40! I’m panicking thinking he’s thinking it’s something horrible (anxiety is a rubbish thing)
Angela, Do you have heavy and/or prolonged bleeding for which medication, hormonal and non-hormonal, have not been effective? Have you tried the options listed here?
Hi yes tried all and periods heavy so ablation is the next step I’m not sure but I’m from uk! Are you USA on this site
I am in the U.S. So you have tried various hormonal options (both progestin-only and combination estrogen/progestin)? Have you tried the non-hormonal prescription tranexamic acid (name brand Lysteda here in the U.S.) or even prescription strength NSAID’s?
Hopefully, if you go forward with the ablation, you will not be one of those who suffers the long-term negative effect of chronic pelvic pain. Trust me – you don’t want to end up with a hysterectomy!
Hi can’t seem to make my own post but thought I would respond to yours. I just went in for an ablation this morning aND there was complications as they perforated my uterus. I have no idea how deeply and am on antibiotics to avoid infections. I am 41yrs and was having heavy periods. Now have to heal ( not sure what that takes) and will still have to deal with heavy periods. Think twice before you get it down. Heard so many positives but didn’t work for me.
Jenn, I did not see your post earlier. Has your perforated uterus healed? Any updates on your heavy bleeding?
If I am hearing you correctly, they need to do a biopsy of the utterus, to rule out any cancerous cells. I just had one done in preparation for an ablation for fibroids and heavy bleeding . They also found polyps on my uterus as well
Help! I had a dream ablasion & was a huge fan! Had the ablasion 3.5 years ago. 8 day excruciating periods where I bled buckets every time slowly stopped completely. I was thrilled. Then 3 years later, I started spotting brown blood with mild cramps for 20 straight days. Next I had a severe UTI, that even after cured with antibiotics, bladder pain never went away. Two Urologists find nothing wrong with my bladder and both are fairly certain it’s my Uterus. Just had a Uterineoscopy. Gyno said scar tissue so thick she couldn’t see fallopian tubes or do a basic scrapping & is recommending full hysterectomy and taking out ovaries. Due to the fact that pain has been so HORRIFYINGLY SEVERE for four straight months now. I have spent 4 months curled in a ball whimpering. With no life, just suffering every minute of every Long agonizing day. I’m scared to lose my ovaries because if we lose my husband’s insurance, how can I get hormones? Please write to me and I’ll give you my phone number. Fsskbh@yahoo.com
I’m desperate. My entire lower mid-insides hurt more than I can describe and worsening. My intestines & bowel movements are bizarre, my Uterus spasms and feels belated with a hammer as does my bladder too. The top/front wall of my interior vagina & cervix also feel beaten. The pain is so incredibly intense. How can I convey this to doctors who seem to keep treating this as something that can wait foe months. I can’t sit up, I can barely get to a toilet, I’m writing this on my phone in bed & can only eat from cold cans because I can’t get to a kitchen. Somebody please help me!!,
I know this was a while ago but I wanted to check in and see how you made out? Docs do another procedure?
I had this as well, about 3 years post ablation. Began out of now where, middle of the night, excruciating pain on my left side. There was no blood flood to my left ovary for a couple days every month or so. They were only able to catch it once. All the other times by the time I got into the hospital, it has stopped. Had to have a hysterectomy, but they kept both ovaries and the pain resolved. Do everything you can to keep your ovaries. There is no need to remove your ovaries and you need them to function at whatever capacity they can for as long as they can. Otherwise, your health will decline significantly (read the stories about women who have had the ovaries removed. They are not good.).
I am sorry you are suffering these after effects of ablation! It is normal to have scar tissue in the uterus since that is the intention of ablation. Do you know if your cervix is scarred shut and if there is blood trapped in your uterus? If so, you could undergo a procedure to have your cervix stented so that the blood can escape. That may save you from having a hysterectomy which has its own set of long-term and progressive problems even if you keep your ovaries. And yes, as Chandler said, our ovaries are needed our whole lives for every aspect of health. I can personally attest to the rapid aging that ensues after they are removed. There are a number of articles on this site about the effects of hysterectomy and/or ovary removal. Please be sure to educate yourself before deciding how to proceed. Best of luck to you!
I had an endometrial ablation 2 years ago b/c of heavy menstrual bleeding that never really stopped and eventually caused severe anemia to the point I needed 2 blood transfusions. I was also getting irregular heart racing etc. At the time I was offered either Mirena, an ablation or partial hysterectomy. My surgeon did not really say that the ablation could have side effects, just that it might not stop the bleeding. At first all was well, but with in a few months I was having excruciating pain for 2-3 days to the point I couldn’t stand, barely urinate and so bloated I couldn’t wear my normal clothing. It came and went every 30 days. A doctor said I was essentially having a period but nothing was coming out! I was rx’d with percoset. My new surgeon says he no longer does ablations as they can have this effect. His advice: hysterectomy. It abated for 6 months but again I’m having this cycle of pain every 25-30 days. I’m 53. Is it reasonable to “ride it out” as my husband said. How long should it take for full menopause? Thank you.
I’m sorry you’re suffering these negative effects. Since you are 53, it would seem that it is just a matter of time until your ovaries switch over to their post-menopausal functions which should stop the uterine lining from building and causing this awful pain. But only time will tell. I have read of some supplements helping with this pain but don’t recall the details.
Hysterectomy has its own set of long-term negative effects. Some of my articles detail these effects. You can find them here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/.
I hope you can get relief without resorting to a damaging hysterectomy.
I am a 38 year old female who had a D&C and nova sure procedure done on 1-14-16. Went home same day on pain meds. The following evening 1-15-16 I began to feel bad now my body with chills and fever and just a bad overall feeling. Went to er about 7pm once taken back I told the er Doctor about my procedure and symptoms they did blood work and found that there was infection somewhere because my white count was 15 I was shivering uncontrollably and my temp was up to 102 at this point. They did blood cultures and discovered that my blood had been infected with ecoli bacteria during surgery. The doctor said if I would have waited 24 hours more I wouldn’t have made it. I was admitted and put on fluids and IV antibiotic (triple) the bacteria didn’t respond to those and my temp and heart rate and no was through the roof for the next 4 days so they switched the antibiotics to Zosyn and levaquin and after 4 more days I was told that my blood was clear. Sent home on 2 antibiotics and Trusting God. I now have PTSD and anxiety and panic attacks due to all that I endured but I thank God I’m here.
Shannon, What a nightmare! I am sorry this happened to you! It is no wonder you have PTSD. Thank you for sharing your story.
I had an endometrial resection and insertion of Mirens IUD 7 weeks ago, to remedy heavy and painful periods. I’m 39. Everything went well and a few weeks later I left the country to travel for a year abroad. As I am also regularly taking anticoagulant medication for a cardiac affection, I was told I could bleed for up to 6 weeks after the surgery. I am still bleeding after 7 weeks. Doctor said this is because I travelled, exerted myself, crossed time zones, changed climates etc., which is all true. Also, it turned out my INR level (showing how thin your blood is) got very high while travelling (anticoagulants are very difficult to dose as any change of surroundings or food influences the level in blood) and I cut down the dose of my anticoagulant meds. So this would explain the prolonged bleeding after the surgery – only that, light as this bleeding is, three times already I also had gushes of blood, very strong bleeding lasting a minute, two first time also with large blood clots. Scary and unpredictable. Though I noticed they come with strange regularity – 11 days break exactly between 1st and 2nd, and between 2nd and 3rd. Doctor says it must still be the fault of too high INR (too much anticoagulant medication) and once the level stabilises as lower, it will stop. Will it? It looks like the blood accumulates somewhere and then just pours down at one point. Will this ever end? Has anyone has such a problem?
It is definitely true that with your INR not stable, you will be prone to bleeding issues. I have not had the Mirena personally but I have been told by several different gynecologists that you can bleed irregularly for the first 3-6 months after Mirena insertion. I am not a doctor but it seems to me that it does not make a lot of sense to have a Mirena given your circumstances with needing to be on anticoagulants. Irregular bleeding is one of the most commonly reported side effects. Perhaps the ablation alone will be enough to control your period bleeding, but you won’t know that while you still have the Mirena. I hope they are monitoring the INR quite closely because having a high INR can put you at risk of bleeding in more dangerous sites, as you probably know. Please be careful.
Aleksandra, Hopefully, this will settle down as your body acclimates to the Mirena IUD and you tweak the anticoagulant. If you continue having problems, it may be worth trying Lysteda (tranexamic acid).
I am 35 and since I had my son five years ago I have been battling the same as many women on here. Constant bleeding or spotting. I have tried it all – mirena – two years of hell. It gave me joint pain, i actually was spotting for 27days out of 28, irregular heart beat, i gained loads of weight, i was moody, i had awful acne.
I have tried birth control pills – I suffered from migraines and once again after three four months I would bleed constantly.
I feel desperate as it seems EVERYTHING we do has got terrible side effects and consequences to our health. I eat healthty, I dont drink, I dont smoke. I am a healthy weight now. I take magnesium and vitamines and nothing seems to work and my life is ruined by constant and heavy bleeding. What am I supposed to do?! There are horror stories about all the options you keep suggesting here (including the lysteda) . You say dont mess with mother nature but what if mother nature messes with us?
Alexandra, So sorry you are dealing with this! Have you by any chance had endocrine and hematology work-ups? It’s possible you could have some sort of endocrine problem such as thyroid, pituitary or adrenal. Pregnancy can upset the endocrine system which of course can affect everything else. A clotting / bleeding disorder is also a possibility. Since Gynecology is a surgical specialty and these doctors tend to look at everything from a female “reproductive” organ perspective, it would be good to start with your primary care doctor who can order some basic tests and then go from there. Best of luck to you in getting answers and proper treatment!
Alexandra, I have a bleeding disorder and have taken Lysteda for the past 5 years. It helps me a lot. I have done a lot of research on the safety, and it seems like, as far as the various options are concerned, it is one of the safer ones, and usually quite effective. I have had an endometrial ablation, which did not help my bleeding, and worsened my pelvic pain. Hormonal treatments of various sorts never worked and gave me awful side effects.
I had the Endometrial Ablation in March of 2015 and so far I have had a little cramping at times along with 3-4 times a light cycle. I think I have had 1-2 cycles that were regular red blood, then the others more of brown blood (old blood) is what Im thinking?? Just want to check to see if this is possible normal?? I also has the Esurne procedure in April 2014 due to very heavy bleeding,larges blood clots and weeks at a time mynstrating. After hearing the posts Im trying not to start getting nerves. Im 39 and do n I t want to get a hysterectomy in the next few years.
Yes, brown blood is just old blood and is not concerning. Hopefully, the cramping will not get worse. Was it the Essure coils (tubal sterilization) procedure you had in April 2014? Those can cause some problems but it doesn’t sound like they are as of yet. I have never heard of having Essure for heavy bleeding and large clots. Typically, they use birth control pills, Lysteda, the Mirena IUD or ablation for heavy bleeding. Of course, you did end up having an ablation so I am assuming that the Essure procedure you had did not resolve the heavy bleeding. Hopefully, you will be one of the women who does not have the negative long-term problems from these procedures.
Hi Nicole I’ve just been told today I have to have ablation can I ask did you have to have a swab of your womb done my gynocology doc assured me as I’m over 40 now that’s it’s normal procedure?? X
First I want to say thank-you for this article. I am 34 years old and scheduled for laproscopy and ablation in 10 days and I am feeling very unsure. I was a surrogate and gave birth to twins three years ago and my cycle has been off ever since. I am
Suspicious of all the hormones I took for months for the pregnancy. My periods have continued to get closer and closer, arriving every 18 days, or 10 days or 15 days. I never go more than 20 days without a period starting and they last for 9 days. The pain is manageable (I had terrible pain in my teens from periods and couldn’t leave the house, but after I had my first son, that went away). I feel unsure doing ablation when the pain is not that bad, but the bleeding is never ending. It sounded like a solution but doing research now, I feel like it’s not. Besides hormones and ablation, what can be done? They are doing laproscopy because I have daily ovarian pain, hip pain, and pain with intercourse and they are looking for possible endometriosis. Would that cause all this bleeding? Also, would a D&C help? I didn’t know you could do that for this but after reading the comments and others who have, I wonder? After the twins were born, their placentas would not deliver and they had to manually reach up to get them and one of them broke into pieces. 6 weeks after birth, a large piece fell out. Could smaller, unseen on ultrasound, debris be causing issues and that’s why D&C? Sorry this is so long, it’s been three years and I am on my third doctor and I just feel so lost.
Annie – I am sorry for your troubles! I am glad you found this article before having the ablation. The “terrible pain” you had with your periods in your teens could have been endometriosis. And it could be back which can cause irregular bleeding as well as pain. Ablation could leave you with worse pain at least in the long run and would not resolve endo either. There is no cure for endo. Even removal of the uterus and ovaries (hysterectomy and oophorectomy) do not cure endo since it implants itself throughout the pelvis. This website may be helpful in understanding endo in case you need more info – http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/endometriosis.html. Also, have you been checked for autoimmune issues because they tend to be more common in women with endo (this is mentioned on the above website).
Is an endometriosis specialist doing your laparoscopic surgery and will he/she send tissue for biopsy? That is the only way to definitively diagnose endo. And a true endo specialist can excise the endo which may reduce symptoms. Surgeons who are not endo specialists may not be able to identify endo much less remove / excise it. There are only a handful of true endo specialists in the country. They are listed on some endo forums’ and organizations’ websites.
I assume you have tried some form of birth control to regulate the bleeding? A D&C may help that but it seems it would be only temporary if it is a hormonal problem. And too many D&C’s can cause problems too (Asherman’s Syndrome). It is not natural to scrape or ablate the uterine lining which is why D&C and ablation can leave you with permanent problems / pain. Here is some info on that – http://www.ashermans.org/home/.
My #1 suggestion is to do your OWN research on any treatment you are considering and do not do it if you are not comfortable with it. Listen to your intuition. You know the saying…”a woman’s intuition is usually right.” I wish you the best in getting care that restores your health instead of causing a whole new set of problems (and maybe not even resolving the one you have).
I’ve read this article and your articles about hysterectomy and I am more confused than ever. If ablation and hysterectomy should be avoided and various birth control pills have not controlled my heavy bleeding, what’s left as my options?? What are the “good” alternatives? The doctor wants to do ablation and if that does not work, hysterectomy. I am 43.
That is the problem, there are no good options for women. I had ablation at 38 and 3 years later a hysterectomy b/c of the scar tissue from the ablation.
Julie, I am sorry you are dealing with this. Have you been offered the non-hormonal prescription medication Lysteda (tranexamic acid)? It seems many women are not aware of this medication. You take it only during your period. According to this link, it is shown to reduce bleeding by up to 58% – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly. Is your bleeding so heavy that you are anemic or close to it? Hopefully, if this is the case, are taking a good absorbable iron and adding vitamin C to enhance absorption. Menstrual cups such as Moon Cup, Divacup, Instead and other brands can help with the nuisance factor of going through so many feminine hygiene products and having the risk of bleeding through clothing. I hope you can get this under control without altering your body.
This does seem to do the trick for many people but unfortunately I cannot take it because I can’t take ibuprofen.
Re the anemia. I’ve been anemic for a year and a half now even though I take 120 mg elemental iron a day (with Vit C). At first I was able to keep up with the bleeding and keep the levels stable but low, only sometimes dropping. But I have been bleeding every day since mid-October now and my numbers have plummeted. Canadian healthcare system won’t help you though until you’re closer to death than I am. The joy of socialized medicine.
Thank you for your response.
This medication is a couple of hundred dollars a month and you have to remember to take it before or right beginning of your cycle.
Rosie – Not sure I understand your comment. I thought it was in answer to another one on this article but I did not see another comment from you. Are you saying your doctor prescribed medication for heavy bleeding?
I have tranexamic acid that I’m only to take when the large clotting starts. But there is a risk of seizures with this medication and because I have a low seizure threshold I have to be very, very careful. Ive refused the mirena and can’t take any birth control( I also don’t need it for contraception because I’m gay, although my partner and I have a 4 year old through speed donation)
I have many other medical conditions, fibro, hypermobility syndrome, just to name a few. The I had dysfunctional uterine bleeding in 2009, the clots were the size of grapefruits. I ended up losing so much blood I hospital that I passed out and need 3 units of blood. I was given tranexamic acid then. Finally after 4 days of constant crazy bleeding it stopped, the night nefore they were going to take me down to theatre.
I had no problems again till I gave birth, lost quite a bit of blood and need more blood transfusions.
Then in July this year the large clots started again (I’ve always had a heavy flow, but it got crazy again)! I became anaemic again. And twice a month since then it’s been then same. The gynaecologist wanted me to try the mirena but I don’t want it. I decided to go for the ablation. I’m going in on the 1st of FeB, getting a bit worried now. My granny died of ovarian cancer at 46 and my mum had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed at 50 because she was high risk.
I’ve been told that because of my family history hysterectomy will probably be inevitable.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Consider doing a hematological workup before the ablation. We have a few articles on bleeding disorders in women, not as many as I would like, but these conditions are often overlooked by physicians, especially gyns. You’ll need to go to a hematologist. With the hypermobility, there’s a good chance you have a bleeding disorder. They often co-occur.
I’m having an ablation done Friday and this article is making me have second thoughts. My doctor gave me Lysteda to try, and while it seemed to help a little, it didn’t give me the results I was expecting. It also seemed to make my period last longer. I bled 10 days instead of the normal heavy 7 days. My insurance didn’t cover it well either; I end up paying $110 for it and still have most of the bottle left. I doubt I will need it now after the ablation (at least I’m hoping I won’t). I actually wanted a hysterectomy but my doctor didn’t recommend it at my age (I’m 36). From the sounds of it, I’ll eventually get one anyway if this ablation doesn’t work. I’m feeling really bummed about all of this!
I don’t know much about Lysteda. Do you maybe have to increase the dose some to get better results? Have you tried some form of birth control? As far as the ablation, if you are not comfortable with proceeding don’t do it. Being so young, you could end up being one of the ones who ends up with chronic pain down the road. And, trust me, hysterectomy has a whole list of crappy after effects. For me the destruction of my spine, hips, and figure as well as bladder and bowel issues are just as bad as the loss of my sex life and ovarian hormones that have caused rapid aging and many other horrific effects.
Jamillah…how are things going for you??
Hi im 44 and just had this procedure done on 12/23. Only because my dr said I would be fine to go back to work the next day with no complications etc. Waking up from the procedure was HELL. I was in so much pain they gave me the max of what was allowed in my IV. Only to send me home with 5 percocet and then tell me that would be fine. The next day I woke up and was in the bathroom getting ready for work and all of a sudden felt so sick and dizzy and then just passed out, thankfully my knees caught my fall before my head hit the bathtub too hard. I got up after that and procedured to get in the shower and within minutes i lost my vision, everything was totally black for about 3 min at least. I finished and though feeling week figured I could still go into the office since I would be sitting. once there my co workers did not allow me to stay and drove me home where I crawled into bed and developed a fever of 102. The next day my Dr’s office called me to say they discovered from my urine sample taken pre op that I had an infection and would need to take ” nitrofurantoin macrob” for 5 days. I explained what happened with me passing out to them and they did not seem to care they just said make sure you pick up your prescription. This christmas I was not able to go spend it with my family as i have been so weak and dizzy and not well at all. Its now 4 days since my surgery and Im still feeling weak cannot stand for very long without feeling dizzy and keep having pains in my uterus the same as I had with my menstrual cramping, sometimes so intense its like someone punches me in the stomach. I do know my Dr came out and told my husband when she did the ablation they found alot of growths in there and she described it to a cave with alot of trees. Maybe that is why my healing is taking so long? Im just wondering why she would say I would be ok for work the next day when its now been 4 and Im still not even where I think I should be. And Im wondering if they should have even done the procedure with me having an infection in the first place. Im feeling a little lost about this whole process now and worried.
Kristi – I am sorry your recovery from the ablation is going so badly. I hope you start feeling better soon!
I have had the lining of my womb burned off about a year ago to stop heavy bleeding. I am 50yrs old. I have terrible burning pain all the time but no bleeding. I was just wondering if this pain is normal
June – I am sorry you are suffering from an ablation. As the article states, it can cause pain but don’t know how many women experience burning. Hopefully, menopause will bring relief!
I had a tubal ligation, ablation and d&c on done on may 8th of this year since then I have had nothing but problems including painful intercourse, and painful abdominal pains that literally keep me from doing what I want including pain walking to and from my car at work. So Friday Dec. 4th I had a laporscopic surgery an the doctor found scar tissue adhesion’s and some endometriosis, while the doctor was removing those issues he noticed my uterus is abnormally larger than it should be and is worried blood is possibly collecting there I see him on the 21st for my post op appointment but has anyone else had this issue?
Laura – I just wanted to say that I am sorry you are suffering since having these procedures. If your uterus is engorged and cervix is scarred shut from the ablation, a possible solution would be to have a stent inserted to allow the blood to escape. I think this is a temporary in-office procedure that some women have reported having. If the blood is trapped behind your scarred lining, then I’m not sure what your options are. I recall a woman posting somewhere about a “cocktail” of vitamins and minerals she takes that has been a big help with the post-ablation pain. If I can find it, I will post it.
I stumbled on this website as I frequently check it for endometrial ablation complications–this is part of my practice.
You might wish to be aware of the following webpage since there are apparently many women who could use this information.
Dr. Wortman, this is wonderful. Too bad more physicians don’t seem to know about this; hysterectomy seems to be presented as the only option. We get fairly decent traffic on this site, with this article and those involving heavy menstrual bleeding receiving 1000s of hits every month, month in and month out. Would you be interested in writing a post for us detailing the problems w/ ablation and how to avoid hysterectomy? We can link back to your article and practice. Unfortunately, we cannot do duplicate posts, so it would have to be sufficiently different from your original. You can reach me here. http://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/
Dr. Wortman, Thank you for your comment and link. I have a few comments and questions.
If the cervix is stenotic, blood obviously cannot escape. So dilating the cervix to alleviate this makes sense. However, the hormonal actions of the ovaries will cause the lining to continue to build. If the entire lining is ablated, that would seem to increase risk of pelvic pain regardless of whether or not the cervix is stenotic. So re-ablation would make matters worse as far as pelvic pain although it may reduce or stop bleeding. Please clarify if I am misunderstanding.
It is true that the failure to remove fibroids is one cause of failed ablations. However, if the fibroids are surgically removed, then an ablation shouldn’t be needed since removing fibroids typically resolves heavy bleeding. I hear of cases where fibroids are removed and ablation done at the same time. This never made sense to me except that it is lucrative for the providers.
Your website says “One in four of these women will undergo a hysterectomy within 4 years of the procedure…. The good news is that these methods do prevent 75% of hysterectomies.”
Not sure I agree that ablation prevents 75% of hysterectomies, total or even those that are / would have been done for heavy bleeding. Ablation and hysterectomy are too often done before exhausting medical treatment which is exactly why most hysterectomies are unwarranted (and probably quite a few ablations too). That is the big problem with procedures that alter the “reproductive” system whether it be ablation, hysterectomy, tubal ligation. Women are stuck with the bad effects as well as the good.
I just wanted to make a comment I have been dealing with the same pain, it seams to start in my groan area then up to my lower stomach then around my back, I get bloated and extreme pain. I have been to the hospital a couple times, they told me there is nothing wrong with me and they send me on my way. I thought I was loosing it. I even told them at the hospital I have had a ablation done 8 years ago but that does not seam to faze the doctors. I did see my obgyn last year about the matter and he said you should be going through menopause soon so just hang in there. I was 49 now i am 50 same pain…and hoping menopause comes soon… but the reason i am writing to let other women know the signs to look for that there is actually a reason for this pain, its not in your head! I am going to go see another OBGYN in two weeks so hopefully he can help me.
Ablation has worked extremely well for me and I thought I would share my experience:
I had a tubal ligation procedure done after we decided that we were happy with our two children family and because my fearful husband did not want to have a vasectomy – I stepped up to the plate and said that I would take the more invasive procedure and have my tubes tied. No problems with this procedure for me and as I was living a normal life with our birth control option in place.
Fast forward 5 to 6 years later, I started to have heavy flooding and clotting during my monthly cycle which accelerated to my periods going for 14 – 21 days at the end where I could not go anywhere due to not being able to control the loss of blood. Personal products to manage the ongoing problem was getting out of the control cost wise and were unreliable with a 15 minute time span because of the clotting.
I started on drugs to stop the menstrual cycle but as soon as I stopped taking the drugs – the never ending period started again… my iron levels were diving and I was told that this abnormal menstrual cycle could continue until menopause. I was devastated by this as I was in my early 40s.
So after discussion with the obstetrician/gynecologist (who delivered my two children) it was decided that I was an good candidate for an ablation of the uterus.
I am a success story for ablation:
* Day Hospital Procedure – a little bit crampy in the hours afterwards
* Next day completely pain free
* No complications whatsoever – my period ceased to occur from that date onwards – what a blessing!
* 20 years on no period and no pain – no blood EVER 🙂
* 20 years of walking past the personal products section in my supermarket aisle without having to glance at them or think about them or factor them into the household budget.
Life is sweet since my ablation and while I understand that not everyone has had this perfect ending after enduring years of flooding and blood loss – I am a success story for ablation. The End.
My very best wishes to everyone that is experiencing this problem at the moment. I hope your find a solution that works for you!
Having said the above, after I had my tubal ligation and whilst I had no problem with the key-hole procedure with regards to pain or obvious complications – I did notice that my menstrual cycle did become more invasive in my life in regard to how heavy they would become some months but not every month. I do think now that there may have been a link between having my tubes tied and the increase in menstrual flow/clotting that increased over time but I did not make the direct connection back then.
I would not be surprised if the tubal ligation caused the heavy periods to increase to a very abnormal menstrual cycle over the 5-6 years leading up to having to have the ablation done to make the whole messy unmanageable cycle stop.
If I don’t get the trapped blood from ablation fixed can it be harmful to my body? Can it kill me?
Wendy – I would not think it would be harmful, pain or not.
I had a tubal litigation and a ablasion in 2010 the ablasion never worked and it was horrible my ob kept telling me to give it time then finally two years out he said I developed something else from the ablasion and basically the next step is hysterectomy I had my menstrual cycle every month but within last year it has started to be every other month and recently it has been 3 months since my last I have had cramping like I am going to start severe at times to where it is up towards my rib cage now along with lower back pain but nothing called but the ob office didn’t seem concern and can’t get me in for another month should I be concern ??
Julie – I am sorry for this poor treatment that is likely causing your pain. What is the “something else” your doctor said you developed? You need a diagnosis / answers in order to decide if hysterectomy is worth its whole set of problems. Since your periods are less frequent, maybe you are close to menopause when this pain may go away since the uterine lining stops building after menopause. How old are you?
I can’t remeber it was something he said that made the uterine wall thicker I think it began with a a I think that was a couple years ago I am only 36 and I will be turning 37 so it could be menopause then ?
I know I am very emotional too I cry easy I have gain weight just very bloaty I feel like if I do start it will be a bad one . Could it be something else ?
The uterine wall (lining) can thicken after ablation because the procedure scars the lining so blood can get trapped and build up behind it. The ovaries and uterus work together so during the reproductive years, the ovaries will tell the uterus via the hormones they produce to build the lining every month in preparation for pregnancy. If the lining and/or cervix have been scarred by ablation, the blood just keeps building behind the lining. This can happen if your periods stop altogether, become less frequent or lighter after ablation. If the cervix is scarred, having a stent inserted periodically to allow blood to escape may be helpful (it has worked for some women). Your symptoms of crying easily and gaining weight may be due to changes in ovarian hormones possibly caused by the ablation.
If you are considering hysterectomy, please read the rest of my articles here on HormonesMatter. The list is here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. A search for “hysterectomy” will give you a list of all hysterectomy related articles (search box is in the top right of the main website).
Thank you I don’t know what I just know I hate what I am going through right now
I got my tubes tied and endo ablation done back in May this year after I had my son.. I was 26 and a half.. I’ve not bleed since getting the procedure at all. Not even the slightest bit of spotting. I’ve had nothing.. I decided to get the ablation done at the same
Time I was getting my tubes tied as I wanted to increase my chance of not falling pregnant.. My surgeon told me that if I only got
My tubes tied there was a higher risk that I could still fall pregnant so that’s when I decided that I would get the ablation done aswel.. My only problem
With it so far is every now and again my belly becomes really bloated and I’ve had people come
Up and ask if am pregnant again.. I’ve put on a lot of weight aswel.. I was on the depo before I got my procedures.. I was a size 8 before I fell with my son.. Am now a 12-14.. And weigh around 11 and a half stone. The heaviest I’ve been in my life.. Before I had my son I was 9 and a half stone. Max.. My size is really starting to get to me.. I’ve tried everything to try and stop the weight gain but nothing seems to work.. I was wondering if the sterilisation has anything to do with my weight gain.. Am now 27.. Thanks
Kirsty – I am sorry you have gained so much weight. How distressing! Tubals can disrupt the body’s normal hormone production and I think ablations can too so both may be to blame. It is odd that your surgeon suggested an ablation along with the tubal as additional protection against pregnancy. Tubals are highly effective at preventing pregnancy and ablations don’t prevent pregnancy but make them much riskier for mother and baby which is why they tell women to use some form of birth control after an ablation. Some women decide to have a tubal at the same time versus using some other form of birth control.
I had the procedure done June 2015,didn’t have any problems til here recently I am bleeding again lightly everyday. It has been only 4 months again n here I go again with the same pain backs bleeding etc…thought this would fix the problem but apparently it just prolonged the problem..dnt know what else to do because I have also gained weight since the procedure. ..by the way I am 45…any suggestions anyone?
I had the ablation 2 weeks ago. I had a little cramping and spotting the first day and a little cramping the second day and no problems since so far. I barely had any pain and only had to take one ibuprofen the day of. I pray this continues.
Mine was wonderful for three years, then all hell broke loose and I had to get a hysterectomy.
I had a NovaSure and Tubal ligation done on September 2, 2015. Sunday September 27,2015 I have started to bleed and have extreme cramps! I had no bleeding after the procedure but have experienced cramps ever since. I spoke to my doctor about the pains but she didn’t seem alarmed. After eating the cramps seem to be worse. I’m taking pain meds just to get through the day, but being a hairstylist I’m constantly on my feet! Searching for help!!!
Tracy – I am sorry you are suffering. You are still early post-op so maybe this cramping will resolve. Ablations aren’t always effective to stop or reduce bleeding so your periods may continue as before. But that can be better than no bleeding or greatly reduced bleeding as that can mean that blood is trapped in your uterus which can lead to chronic pelvic pain. Someone commented on this article about supplements she takes to treat her ablation induced pelvic pain. Search through the comments and maybe give it a try if the pain continues.
I feel your pain however I am also a hairstylist. I had the procedure done just four months ago and already pain in the bleeding has returned I’m not sure what to do about it but this it is very frustrating looking for suggestions
If someone is still having a period then is that the blood that gets trapped in some women coming out? In other words, if you bleed then will you not get the trapped blood? And is there any way to remove the scar tissue? Also if a woman just waits for menopause and deals with the pain will all of the problems from the ablation then go away? Thank you
Resa – It would seem that having periods would lessen the chance of blood being trapped in the uterus but if your periods are lighter than pre-ablation or not monthly, then you could have some that is trapped behind the scarred portions of the lining. When the ovaries switch from reproductive functions to menopausal functions at which time periods end, it would seem that the pain would subside but only time will tell.
I had an endometrial ablation about seven years ago, and up until July this year, have had ZERO bleeding. Then, i had bright red blood come out. I was going through an awful amount of stress, due to my husband being really sick. My gyno did a D&C on me two weeks ago, and told me that if it continues, that i will need a hysterectomy. They were unable to get a viable sample to see if anything was terribly wrong. Sounds like after looking at this website, that my mind is made up, and i just would rather get everything out of me. I just turned 50.
I had a Nova Sure ablation in 2014. I always had a light period after. Some women do as it can be difficult to burn all the live tissue in the uterous. Even if a few small cells are left unburned. You can have a slight period. As of Dec.2015 the long, frequent periods are back. This process reoccurring gradully. Although the bleeding is not has heavy, the pain is more intense and last longer due to ablation. My bleeding is hormonal. I’m considering a hysterectomy.
Nala – I am sorry your bleeding has become heavier and you are having pain. Can you take birth control pills? There is also a non-hormonal prescription medication called Lysteda (tranexamic acid) that can be taken during your periods to reduce bleeding. NSAID’s such as Advil or Motrin are also proven to reduce bleeding. Here is a list of pharmaceutical options for treating Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB) – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly
Please make sure you understand the repercussions of hysterectomy before resorting to this drastic option. Of course it will resolve the bleeding but you will be left with permanent long-term effects due to the resulting anatomical and skeletal changes. Your sex life will likely be affected and your ovaries may fail or produce fewer hormones. Intact women’s ovaries produce hormones their whole lives which are essential to every aspect of good health. You can read my articles about hysterectomy here – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/author/ws/. Best of luck to you.
I have been reading the posts on here and wanted to share something with all of you whom are dealing with pain. Please check into systemic enzymes, namely reputable companies with an enzyme product that includes serrapetptaise and nattakinase which will hopefully help to dissolve that scar tissue in the uterus. You will need heavy doses for a few months depending on the degree of scarring and then maintenance. Also, Coenzyme Q10 (or Ubiquinol), Vit E (AC grace Company makes a great one), and fish oil (Cod Liver Oil) can help. Organic crystal sulfur is also a good daily supplement in water to take to help the tissues and help with the pain. But absolutely if you can only do 1, get systemic enzymes. I take them in the morning (8-10) on am empty stomach and again when I am home from work an hour before dinner.
Best of luck ladies. Wishing you feel better soon.
Hi Valdoria. Can you please give a little more detail on how this worked for you? What do you mean by Heavy doses? What did it do? Did you bleed after on them? how long did it take to see effects? I have had a great experience w my ablation that was over 3 years ago now w ZERO bleeding but I have gained 10 lbs and NO matter what I do or how hard i try I can’t lose a lb and I can’t figure out why. The surgery is the only thing that has changed.
I had the tubal ligation and ablation done 10 years ago due to a malfunctioning uterus. Periods were lasting 45 days and longer. We did it all, played the birth control swap game, several D&C’s. Laparoscopic exploratory surgeries.. You name it, we tried it! I feel my ablation was a success, in fact, I may have 2 days a year where my “period” spots my toilet paper. Now, having said that, I am having an issue that 3 different gynos have blown off. my breasts will become horribly tender and swollen a few days every month and I will leak green liquid from my nipples anytime they are stimulated in any way! Bathing, showering, intimacy or even my self breast exam. Just a sticky dark green fluid…. 3 Drs all had different ideas, but no one has figured out how to make it stop. Any clues? Lol
It sounds like you got good treatment as your physician followed “protocol” by trying all other options first (except maybe Lysteda) before proceeding to ablation. It is great to hear that you have had a good outcome. I am sorry to hear about the leaking breasts. Abnormal lactation can be a symptom of a pituitary disorder but it is odd that the discharge is green! Have you had your prolactin level checked?
This might not have anything at all to do with this but I wanted to throw this out there. When my daughter was young, she was sick a lot and on a lot of antibiotics. 3 ear tubes, adenoids removed, tonsils out. Before her tonsils were removed, she would get strep throat–as well as a systemic strep infection in which she would leave a green liquid from her vagina. This happened 3 times. When she had her tonsils removed, we discovered that the strep had been taking up residence in her tonsils. Since removal, she has never had another case of strep and all green liquid strep that came out of her vagina has disappeared; she never had another case. Food for thought.
Also do u still have eggs after ablation … ? So it would b possible for a surrogate if no other way
Hi I’m wondering can anyone help me . 1 had a ablation end of 2010 I was never told about not being able to have children they told me I wudnt be able to carry full time and that’s it … Now I have recently got married and me and my partner want a baby how can we do this ? Is there a way ? . I know the risks now but need to know if there’s a way. Thanks
Helemah – I am sorry your physician was not forthright with you. Some form of birth control is recommended after ablation since the scarred lining typically cannot support a growing fetus. If you are not yet in menopause, you should still have some eggs that could be harvested for in vitro fertilization and use of a surrogate.
I take medication for anxiety and depression, but with the long and heavy periods I can’t stomach the thick clots and the blood…I get really sick!
Sheila – Have you tried taking OTC or prescription medication for the anxiety and nausea you get during your period? I did not have problems with anxiety or nausea until after my hysterectomy.
I have never been on any birth control pills, but the pills I was taking gave me some kind of rash on the side of my neck that burned and itched. Also, I stand at my place of work and I noticed in my left outer thigh of my leg would start tinglin, then start burning like there was a heat pad on it with the setting set on high, then it would go numb. After stopping the pills, Norethindrone 5mg, the rash and my leg are fine now. I have had my tubes tied about 25 years. I get anxieties when I am on my period, especially at work and I actually get sick to my stomach and nauseated when I am on my period and have to go to restroom. I had to leave work this past Monday and went back Thursday.
Sheila – I am sorry you are experiencing irregular cycles. Being that you are 48 and probably in perimenopause, this is not unusual.
Stopping the birth control pill in itself will trigger bleeding especially after such a short time of taking it. You did not specify what your side effects were but a different pill formulation may work. And taking it continuously should prevent you from having a period altogether.
Another option is non-hormonal prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid) that you only take during your period. Even NSAID’s (Aleve or Motrin) can be effective at reducing flow if taken at the first sign of your period and then on a regular schedule. Here is a table of pharmaceutical options for heavy bleeding – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56545/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly.
Although ablation may permanently decrease or stop periods, you can be left with some permanent negative effects which may take at least up to 8 years to manifest.
Hysterectomy typically causes more problems than it fixes in the LONG run since the uterus has lifelong non-reproductive functions such as pelvic and skeletal integrity, sexual function, and normal hormone production (ovarian failure is fairly common after hysterectomy). Intact women’s ovaries produce hormones up to at least age 80.
I have written a number of articles here on Hormones Matter about hysterectomy. You can click on my author name (WS) beside the article title at the top of this page to get a full list of my articles.
Hi, I am 48 years and having heavy uncontrollable periods. I have been dealing with abnormal periods for over 3 years or mire. In March of 2015 I spotted for 2 days and at the end of March I started my period which started out light for 5 days, then heavy bleeding for 3 weeks. Went to see an OBGYN and she put me on a pill to stop period…had a reaction to it and was told to stop taking the pill, so I did. A couple days after stopping I started bleeding heavil, it is May 1 of 2015 and I am still bleeding. It has affected my life and my job. Went to talk to my doctor and gave me options of a Endometrium Ablation or Hysterectomy. My husband and I decided the ablation, which is going to take place on May 14th. I have done research on both procedures and ask people their opinion on the ablation and all I hear it is the best decision they have made, but started their period, but it is not that bad, and see some have had it the ablation, then later have to have a hysterectomy. Like I have said before I have delt with abnormal bleeding for a while, me personally I want a hysterectomy or if possible a partial hysterectomy. I don’t know what to do, all I want is my uncontrollable heavy bleeding to stop, more so not to have anymore periods.
Jody – Thank you for sharing your story. I am not aware of any link between ablation and ovarian cancer and could not find any studies showing one. I hope your surgeon is mistaken on the observational diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Regardless of the biopsy results, I hope your prognosis is good and I wish you the best going forward!
This is a very interesting article as well as comments that follow. I had endometrial ablation done using the balloon/hot water method August 2010. My Gynecologist informed me of the risks and complications associated with it. The heavy bleeding was occurring every 2 weeks causing me to be very anemic. I have been pleased with the results, having no periods and feeling healthy afterwards and was happy to not have to undergo an intense, invasive hysterectomy.
I had been having pain in my left side 2 days before my periods before the ablation. That became less often after the ablation but still sent me to the ER occasionally. The doctors had thought it was an ovarian cyst. Nothing was ever found on ultrasound, the latest was a year ago, until recently.
This time the pain on the left was worse and lasted more than 2 days and something told me to go to the doctor. Ultrasound reveled a mass on my RIGHT ovary. MRI and CT scans gave even more disturbing information. I recently had surgery which removed both ovaries,fallopian tubes,uterus,cervix, omentum and an abdominal fluid wash was done. I am waiting for the pathology report but the surgeons observational diagnosis is ovarian cancer stage 2a. The mass on the right ovary had vegetation onto the left ovary. I still don’t fully understand why the pain was on the left.
When I researched the causes for ovarian cancer, it didn’t make sense that I had it. So now I wonder, did the ablation procedure have a long term effect that caused the ovarian cancer? Has any research been done to check for coalition between ablation and ovarian cancer?
I had the ablation done in 2011 along with my tubes tied – as many others had said – all was good for awhile- no bleeding at all, but then after about a year I started getting pain in my right side. It was mostly just a nuisance and I lived with it – then it got worse and one night after waking in the middle of the night my husband took me to ER. Of course they found nothing. After that I went to many doctors and no one could find anything wrong. The OBGYN dr. that did my surgery wouldn’t even exam me because she said it wasn’t a female issue and she was just horrible. Later I went to another doctor who told me about the ablation syndrome and that hysterectomy was only fix. I have no intentions of having that done – so I have been trying to live with the pain. Now the pain is in my left side as well and I honestly can not function when it’s at it’s worse. I have pain more than I don’t and I just don’t know what to do – pills don’t help. I went to another dr. today and again she says a full total hysterectomy will be only fix. I do NOT want to do that – she said we could try a Lupron shot which causes your body to think it’s in menopause and see if that helps. I was for it and they have to order the shot so it’ll be a week or so til I get it but now I’m wondering if that’s a bad idea too. I’m afraid of nasty side effects. Does anyone have any suggestions or know of any other ways to get fixed and get rid of the pain? I’ve been living like this for 3 years and I just can’t keep on going – it’s just to painful – when it makes me cry because it hurts so bad, it’s bad! the doctor who did my surgery did not tell me what side effects that surgery could have – and honestly – she was the worse doctor I ever had – she was awful and I hate her for what she did to me – I know it’s my responsibility to look into procedures I have done but I’m not a doctor – she should have given me this info. If anyone has any help – please please please let me know!!! thanks!
I am sorry you are suffering from the awful side effects of ablation. It really is a travesty that women seldom get INFORMED CONSENT for gynecologic procedures. We as patients deserve to know all the risks, short- and long-term, of any treatment. And we also deserve to be told ALL of our treatment options, not just those that are more profitable for the doctors, medical device companies (e.g., Novasure, Essure), hospitals, and surgery centers.
I do not blame you for refusing a hysterectomy (or Lupron for that matter). Hysterectomy has a whole list of long-term adverse effects. I have written some articles about those effects. You can get a list / links of all my articles by clicking on my author name (WS) at the top of the page.
I have seen some posts about certain supplements that have helped some women with post-ablation pelvic pain. I don’t recall if those were replies to this article or on a different website. There is a Facebook page about Post Ablation Syndrome called “PAS or PATS.”
I hope you find something to relieve this pelvic pain!
Mike, Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, as you stated, too many women are not given all the necessary information to make an informed decision about gynecologic treatment. Women should not need to ask the “right” questions. And even when they do, too many do not get the correct answers (unbeknownst to them).
Autonomy is important but it should not be the “overriding driver of medical ethics.” The “overriding driver” SHOULD BE “first do no harm.” Unfortunately, in reality, money is the driver. And procedures are more profitable than medications. These solutions that are sold as “permanent” fixes leave women with the bad (as well as the good) irreversible effects. It is essential that women understand that their sex organs have lifelong, non-reproductive functions and any procedure that disrupts their natural functioning can cause serious, permanent problems. This information SHOULD BE coming from their gynecologists.
Dr. Marrs, I would be glad to do so! Send me an email to the account listed when I posted and I’d be glad to get in touch!
I feel sorry for all the women who have posted who did not have a thorough conversation with their gynecologist about this matter before their surgery. I have been a gynecologist for over 20 years, and I have followed endometrial ablation from the way we used to do it (manually, with a small cautery instrument, systematically cauterizing the uterine lining). I have had so many women who have come to me wanting this procedure because they heard about it and don’t want to have periods any more. There is a lot of misinformation about it, some from friends/family/internet, some from physicians (especially the incompleteness of information). What I tell my patients is this: endometrial ablation is designed to decrease the amount of heavy bleeding- it does not stop menses in most women, only 10-15% of women stop periods entirely. The research that was done showed that 92% of women who received this surgery were pleased or very pleased with how much their bleeding was decreased at two years after the procedure (incidentally, in the studies there were stricter criteria for heavy menses as in how many pads a day, size of clots, etc). If women have had a tubal ligation in the past (or if they have had an ablation and are seeing me about a tubal ligation) I discuss postablation-posttubal pain. One of the entries above mentioned about a 10% chance of hematometra, but in my experience the likelihood of postablation-posttubal pain is between 15% and 20%. If I have a patient who comes into my office wanting a hysterectomy for her bleeding, I feel she should know all of her options- including medical therapy, Mirena IUD, as well as ablation- before making up her mind. If she decides on an ablation and ends up needing a hysterectomy to treat pain from this syndrome, she will often feel at least she tried to avoid a more aggressive, major surgical procedure. In patients like this, there are many hysterectomies that are avoided. On the other hand, if the bleeding is not bad enough for her to consider a hysterectomy, and she desires an ablation, she should be aware of the likelihood of having pain bad enough that she ends up getting a hysterectomy; in these cases, these are hysterectomies that would not have been necessary.
In my opinion, the overriding driver of medical ethics is Autonomy. It is the patient’s job do decide whether the risks outweigh the benefits for her (especially when the condition is not life-threatening), and it is the physician’s job to fully inform her of the risks and the benefits, with a realistic understanding of both.
I encourage every patient to ask about the risks and benefits, as well as alternatives, of any type of treatment (especially surgical). I have never objected to any of my patients getting a second opinion, and usually when that has happened those patients have come back to me afterwards. I would be wary of any surgeon- gynecologic or otherwise- who says “you’ll be fine!” without discussing risks, what to expect, and whether you, as the patient, have a greater risk of problems than the average person, as every person is different and one person’s risks for a certain procedure may be greater than another person’s risks.
Mike, Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Would you be interested in writing a post on this topic? As a Gyn your perspective would be welcome.
I turn 27 this year and this article makes me very sad. I am on Depo-Provera and don’t want to get off it because it prevents menstruation but it is a potential contributor to some weight problems I’m having. I pine after the idea of an endrometrial ablation as an accessible choice of something I could have done voluntarily, but then I read all the risks here, plus I’ve read that it’s not typically effective in younger women. And removal of the uterus is not available, from what I know, as a voluntary surgery. And it pisses me off! I’ve read stories about some women who were born without a uterus and I must confess I am jealous.
At the same time, the article where I read this was one about the potential for the donation of a uterus so that other women who lack one either congenitally or due to a medical procedure can carry a child and give birth naturally after having IVF done. I sincerely hope this goes mainstream, and that one can voluntarily donate. A woman who wants to have a baby, her dream comes true, I get the doctors to take this thing OUT of me, everybody wins!
Patricia, I am sorry you have problems with your menstrual cycle but glad that Depo-Provera helps. I assume you tried other hormonal options before Depo? I am glad you found the information on ablation before undergoing the procedure. Unfortunately, too many women find it after they develop problems post-ablation. And hysterectomy can also sound appealing for women like you since it will end periods for good. But there are many permanent negative effects of hysterectomy. Click on my username “WS” at the top of the article and read my hysterectomy articles – Anatomical and Skeletal Changes, Impact on Pelvic Floor and Organ Function, Sexual Function, and My Hysterectomy Story. Searching for “hysterectomy” in the website’s search box (top right) will give you all the site’s articles about hysterectomy.
I wish I would have found an article like this 2 years ago when I was researching this topic. After I had my daughter 2 years ago at age 32 I started having uncontrollable periods. I would bleed heavily for 3 weeks a month and be fine for one week. For the first year I was still seeing my gyne that I had had since I was 16. All he did was switch around my birth control 3 different times and when that didn’t work told me I had to just live with the sometimes dilapidating pain and the heavy bleeding. I decided to seek out a 2nd opinion. I did my research online and found a gyne who had amazing reviews and made an appt. At my first appt I brought him a list of the BC’s my former gyne had put me on and my new gyne got pretty angry, Turns out those 3 birth controls had nothing to do with what I was going through. Because of my insurance I had to go through the BC route again. I begged him for a different route because my hormones were so out of whack I didn’t think I could take another round of different hormones. He told me he would only try one and if it didn’t work he would schedule me for a DNC. So the new BC didn’t work, I had the DNC and that didn’t work. Now I’m going on 2 years dealing with this and I’m so defeated I don’t even know what to do. He told me that the next step would be a Tubal Ligation and an Endometrial Ablation. I told him I wanted to think about it and research it but I wanted to sign the 30 day waiver so if I decided I wanted to do it we could schedule immediately after the 30 days. Did the research, thought it sounded like the right thing for me. I have 2 children and I need to be healthy to take care of them. I had it done in November 2012. After the first week I felt great. The pain was gone, the bleeding was gone. I haven’t had my period in almost 2 years. At the beginning of this year I started having pain on my left side. It wasn’t anything like I had before, and it wasn’t constant. I just figured maybe I was ovulating. Well at the beginning of this summer the pain gradually started to get worse. Only on my left side. I made an appt at the end of August and my gyne informed me that my left ovary has moved behind my uterus which is more than likely causing some of the pain, that I have a prolapsed uterus and I have over 10 thumbnail sized pockets of endometrial fluid building up in my uterus. The 2 last ones are the ones causing pain during intercourse. He tells me he wants to do the hysterectomy but wants me to wait 2 months to see if the pockets on endometrial fluid absorb back into my body. So I am scheduled for a follow up/pre op appt on Nov. 14th. I have had numerous visits to the ER for my pain. The last couple of days I am starting to have pain on the left side of my groin along with the pain on my left side and the pain on the left side of my pelvis. My research for the different pains and the surgery I have have led me here and I thought I should share my story. I really wish I would have researched deeper into that surgery instead of just sticking with the WebMD site.
Brooke, I am sorry that you have been through all this and did not get complete information from your doctor. I was given false information from my gynecologist before undergoing a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, those of us who have been harmed have to get the word out since women are not getting adequate information from their medical professionals. And we cannot even rely on most health websites since they are backed by the health care (medical / pharmaceutical) industry. I hope your surgery goes well and puts an end to the pelvic pain.
I had an ablation July 2013. The doctor said it would work no more heavy bleeding, blood clots, painful cramps and no more longer than normal periods. Well as of Feb 3 2014 everything has returned for the worse. I have made a doctors appointment for October 17. Having to deal with the problems again with extra on them. Honestly I’m afraid what the doctor may say. I don’t want an ablation again.
Heather, I am sorry that you were misled about the ablation procedure. Some women get more relief from bleeding than you. But the cessation of bleeding can be a two-edged sword since it can cause debilitating pelvic pain in the long run. This is more apt to happen if you have another ablation so I cannot blame you for not wanting that. Have you considered one of the medication options to control the bleeding (such as birth control pills, IUD, tranexamic acid Lysteda, or NSAID’s)? At least with those, you are not left with the irreversible problems of procedures.
I just wanted to share my experience 7 years ago. I had the procedure with the balloon. It went very well for me. I had violent sharp menstrual cramps for years, 6 days of very heavy flow every month beforehand. My life has changed greatly. I am not saying it’s always a success, but it helped me immensely!
Lisa, I am glad the ablation was a good choice for you. How old were you when you had the procedure? What prompted you to seek out information on this procedure 7 years post?
Sheila, I am sorry for all your suffering and how horribly you were treated by medical professionals. Maybe you could print off some of the information I cited in my post and send it to some of those doctors who treated you so badly. That will also prove to them that ablation can cause long-term harm especially pelvic pain. It could help other women get better treatment.
Since your uterus was “boggy” were you told by any of those numerous doctors that your uterus was engorged? And was it ever suggested that you have your cervix stented to allow the blood to escape? That can sometimes help with post-ablation pelvic pain. Of course, I am sure they would rather sell another highly profitable procedure (hysterectomy) than do low dollar in-office procedure.
i had to go threw alot 2006 after i had my novasure coughing up blood when i woke up nurse did not get my doctor antastialogist said shes fine went home still coughing blood up called hospital they said need to come back see if i had blood clot in lung they said i did not went back to doc and said fills like i have a uti he says i dont right side pain that never goes away fills like you are on fire like you are being poisoned everything wears me out have lay down laying on ice day night go to 4 emergency rooms one says are you pregnant i said no husband has a vactetomy have you been screwing around i say no im in pain the nexst er says are you here for the drugs i said no im in pain the other one tells me im having a panic attack does no one listening to what i tell themso all this time im having 8 ct scans done ultrasounds test after test no answers why i fill this way go to this doc he says need a colonosope test do that have tranvangal ultrasond 2011 doc pushes on uterus on almost jumped off the table im very tender and sore there im seeing other doc after this time i finally find one willing to take other people i go talk to him hes willing to see me i take my urine that has turned white with lots of settling in it to show him all this time that all the other doc that would not listen he does i tell him about novasure he says it dont take a rocket test sciencetist to figure out whats wrong he looks at my urine says its pus blood im having utis all the time when i wipe i have blood its that bad novasure would not let me bleed at all felt like my body was trying to get out but couldnot so all i can do is warn other women donot get this done my doc did several urine culture sent me to uroligist that didnt help me gyns went all the way to indianopis that doc did no test told me there is nothing wrong with your uterus im crying now does no one hear me why wont they listen im saying please forgive them dear lord they know what they did go back to my doc tell him this why i dont go to doc he gets me in to see a female gyn and i tell her i want a hystertomy she says i got go get a breast exam i do they say they found lumps in my breast the sent me to have biosey this place tells me im not in thier ppo and my insurancewont pay but half i said forget it i alreaddy have tons of bills go back to gyn she finally does hystertomy 2012 take uterus cervix one overie says i had boggy uterus it helped alittle but things still dont fill right if there is someone that wants to publish this it is fine with me i dont know if i got everything down but it has been a very hard long road i hope no one ever has to go threw this shela
I understand that messing with Mother Nature can have catastrophic outcomes.I’m posting this for the women who may be afraid after having an endometrial ablation. I had an EA approximately 9 years ago, I was 41. I have had no problems. The first year I had slight (and I mean barely there) cramps around what might have been by monthly cycle, but I never bled again. As far as I can tell, nine years later, it was a success for me. I had heavy bleeding, severe cramping, I was anemic, and even after spending three hours for three days a week, having iron dripped into my blood system, I would have a period and lose it all again. I was ALWAYS bloated and seemed to retain fluids easily.I was so weak for so many years, I felt like an old lady. One thing that has happened is I seemed to have gone through menopause faster and younger than most. By the age of 46, hormone levels were in the range of post menopause. This could have been related to another health issue I have- a spinal nerve cyst. I had surgery for it and it could not be removed because it is inside of the nerve. Or it could have been stress from leaving my 28 year abusive marriage. In any case,I feel better, I look better, I have no cramping. I found this article while searching to see what increases the risk of breast cancer in women. My aunt had a hysterectomy and, although nobody in our family has had breast cancer, she developed breast cancer and just had a double mastectomy. I just hope sharing this might alleviate some fears for some women.
Anita – I am glad to hear the ablation did not cause pelvic pain for you. Yes, it is hard to know if it contributed to your early menopause. As far as your aunt’s breast cancer, many women without a family history develop breast cancer. I am not aware of any studies showing a correlation between hysterectomy and breast cancer but since hysterectomy typically disrupts so many normal processes, there could be a link between the two. I don’t see this as something that would tend to be studied because the medical community would not want to bring attention to the harm caused by hysterectomy.
i had mine 2006 woke up coughing up blood kelp calling doc after 2 weeks went to er said may have blood clot lung was checked said i didnt started getting uti all the time side pain that felt like you were on fire on my right side i would lay on ice day night had no energy had to lay down all the time felt like a poisoning had pus blood in urine went to emergency rooms one says are you here for drugs i said no im in pain the nexst one i went to said could you be pregnant i said no husband has been fixed have you been screwing around i said no i have not the nexst one i went to told me i was having a panic attack i will never forget all i went threw and each every night i cried myself to sleep no one would listen to me my family was here watching me go threw this i kelpt going to other doctors from 2006 to 2012 its been along hard road had uti cultures that showed blood pus in urine ultrasound showed nothing bloodtest finally did a hystertomy 2012 said soggy boggy utterus helped some but still feel like thinga are not right i just want to warn other women out there do not have the novasure each time i went to doctor i said this please forgive them father they know what they did i do wonder if it does bring more tests they can do to get more money
How awful you went through all that! Not only did you suffer debilitating complications, you were treated horribly by so many doctors. How can they be so cruel?
If you have not already done so, I urge you to file a Novasure adverse event with the FDA. If enough adverse events are reported for a medical device or drug, the FDA will issue a warning or remove the product from the market. The form can be found here – http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm354560.htm. Just click on the “new consumer-friendly form” link on that webpage and it will download a PDF form.
I don’t know if this will help anyone else, but I thought I would share what has helped me with post-ablation syndrome. I had the Novasure procedure in 2011 and was told they were not able to remove all the endometrial lining. I continued to have periods, albeit somewhat lighter than before. Last year I began having incredible pain with my periods. It felt like labor, only worse. It got so bad I wanted to pass out, particularly when I went to the bathroom. I read somewhere that a woman had been able to manage the symptoms with a combination of vitamins and herbs. I was extremely skeptical, as I am by nature, but felt like I had nothing to lose. For the past several months I have been taking coenzyme q10, perfect E, and fish oil every day and have not had the debilitating pain. I still have cramps but I can manage them with ibuprofen alone, which barely touched the pain before. Anyway, I am sharing this in the hopes it may work for someone else. It took a complete month or so for the effects to kick in, and, again, I take all three every day. (It’s also helped my body overall with inflammation.) I am not a health care professional so my only evidence this works is my own experience. I was so angry with my gyno after this procedure left me debilitated two days every month, and I tell anyone considering it to read, read, read.
I am sorry that you were also misled into a harmful gynecologic procedure. 8 years after my unwarranted hysterectomy, I am STILL angry with my gynecologist. I had trusted him for 20 years so the feeling of betrayal by him and his staff is devastating, not to mention the horror of having been hysterectomized and castrated.
I am so glad to hear that you have found something to ease this post-ablation pain! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
I had an ablation about 6 years ago. I am scheduled for a hysterectomy Oct 1st as I have cyst on my right ovary and pain in lower abdomen/pelvic area. My left ovary is fine, so doc says to leave it. I’m still unsure about that at the moment. I was never told about the “long term ” effects but always thought it was “unhealthly” not to have a monthly period after they “burn” your uterus. I believe that I have scar tissue that is causing all of this pain. How do I make sure that I’m having the right thing done? My doc even told me that the hysterectomy may not solve my pain. I’m worried.
I am sorry you are suffering the long-term effects of ablation. It is a travesty that you did not get informed consent, as most women do not. This seems to also be the case for other overused and harmful gynecologic procedures, namely hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and tubal sterilization.
I also failed to listen to my intuition about my gynecologist’s recommended treatment and regret that BIG TIME. I had an unwarranted hysterectomy and it has caused a laundry list of problems. I don’t even look the same because I aged overnight and my figure has been destroyed from the loss of pelvic integrity (despite no weight gain). Please make sure you understand the anatomical, skeletal, and sexual effects of hysterectomy as well as the hormonal ones (a 40% risk of ovarian failure post-hysterectomy).
I have a number of other articles about hysterectomy here on HormonesMatter. Click on my screen name (WS) next to this article’s title and it will list my bio and articles. Please take the time to research before “consenting to” removal of your vital organ(s).
I too suffer from this post eblasion syndrome. In about 2 weeks they are going to try a DNC to see if this will relieve the pain in my lower right pelvic area as well as my back down my right leg. If that doesn’t work then they say next step is a hysterectomy. I have been reading a little online and wanted to know if any of you have heard of a salpingectomy instead of a hysterectomy? If so and if anyone has had one done does it work to relieve the pain?
I am sorry you are also suffering. I hope the DNC (D&C) relieves the pain. I have heard of a procedure to open the cervix with a stent to allow any blood trapped in the uterus to escape. Do you know if you have trapped blood? I am not sure it can be determined from an ultrasound. The only reason I ask is that a D&C is a scraping of the lining which would seem to further scar the lining and possibly make matters worse. You could seek out advice from a women’s health organization such as the HER Foundation at http://hersfoundation.com/ or National Women’s Health Network at https://www.nwhn.org/.
You can also file an adverse event report with the FDA on the device used for your ablation. This is how harmful devices get removed from the market or special warnings are added. Here is the link for consumers (versus providers) – http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/default.htm.
Please post back here and let us know how you proceed in addressing your post ablation syndrome and if it works. I hope you get relief without having to have a hysterectomy since it causes a whole other set of problems.
I had my ablation in August of 2013. It worked great for a little while, however I developed post ablation syndrome and ended up with a hysterectomy 4 weeks ago. I was made aware of post ablation syndrome before surgery, however I had no idea of the percentage of young people having hysterectomies due to this. (I’m 37). The manufacturer has a responsibility to educate more thoroughly for sure.
I am sorry that you also fell prey to harmful gynecologic procedures, namely ablation and hysterectomy. Unfortunately, informed consent seems to be especially lacking in Gynecology. There is too much money to be lost by doctors, radiologists, and hospitals by telling the truth. Thank you for sharing your story and please continue to speak out so we can educate other women. I hope your surgical recovery is going well!
I should have mentioned on my previous reply that you can file an adverse event report with the FDA on the device used for your ablation. This is how harmful devices get removed from the market or special warnings are added. Here is the link for consumers (versus providers) – http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/default.htm.
I am 37 years old and was treated with an ablation 2.5 to 3 years. I was in graduate school completing my doctor of nursing practice and becoming an adult acute care nurse practitioner. I should have focused some of my research on the procedure recommended by my. About six months ago, the cyclic pelvic pain started. The pain has managed to range from cramping for three days straight ( wishing i would bleed heavily) to holding on to a rail in a public bathroom stall with sweat dripping off my face ( wondering if the pain will ease up enough for me to walk out of the store without huntching over and holding myself).
I am so sorry for your suffering! It is a travesty that so many women are permanently damaged by gynecologic procedures such as ablation, hysterectomy, and tubal sterilization. What happened to “First do no harm” and informed consent?!
I just had the endometrial ablation (Novasure) on July 25, 2014. It has only been a week since the procedure and I have had no pain whatsoever. I have had a watery discharge since the day of the procedure but not enought to use a regular pad. A panty-liner is all I have needed. When I arrived at the office for the procedure they injected a muscle relaxer and had me take a pain pill/anti-inflammatory. I had to wait 20 minutes for the meds to start to work. Then the procedure began. At first it is similar to what happens during a biopsy, they opened the cervix and put a slender, hollow wand in my uterus. I felt a little cramp at this point but it wasn’t ongoing, very brief jab of pain. During the procedure I didn’t have pain but a lot of “pressure.” They also injected my cervix with a numbing medication. It did not pinch like a shot dose, it was just a lot of pressure. Once the Novasure device was in place and the radiowaves started, I started feeling dizzy, bloated, and really hot about 45 seconds into it. I also felt as though I couldn’t breathe. My doctor talked to me and kept me talking by asking me questions. His nurse got me some cool compresses for my forehead and back of my neck. Before he bagan he told me he wanted to go at least 1 minute to get adequate results but if I tell him to stop he will. By the time I was about to tell him to stop he said it was done. He went administered the radiowaves for a full two minutes. Immediately after he removed the device I started feeling better. He said my blood pressure had dropped during the procedure which caused the symptoms I had. He said they would have stopped the procedure if it would have dropped to a dangerous level. He had me lay in the office for about 1/2 hour and checked my blood pressure every 5-10 minutes. I walked out feeling a little giddy from the muscle relaxer they gave me. Total time in the office was one hour and 10 minutes. I think it is important to find a doctor you are comfortable with and trust. My guy talked to me at several appointments and answered any questions I had before I made my decision and he didn’t push it on me. I also think it is important to mention that the day PRIOR to the procedure I had to go in to have a laminaria inserted into the cervix. It is a piece of seaweed that looks like a twig with a string on it. After they insert it it gradually expands overnight to about 1/2″ in diameter. It hurt when they put it in (cramp) because they are opening your cervix (similar to when you have it opened for a biopsy). But think overall it was the laminaria that prevented any pain during the procedure. As for the long term effects, we will see. Now that I have found this website I will post follow up comments. Also, as a side note, I did feel sick to my stomach all week but I think it was the antibotic. My last day taking it was 7 days post procedure (yesterday) and I have felt great today (no sick feeling). I didn’t take any pain medication except on the day of the procedure (they made me take one upon arrival to the office). All in all it has been a good experience for me so far. Even if it only helps a little bit it will have been worth it. I am 46 with two children both delivered vaginally with no epidurals. My youngsest is 21 years old.
Denise – I am glad your procedure went well and hope you do not suffer short- or long-term complications.
Sorry auto correct changed some of my words.
I try to do normal activities. The pain increases and my leg feels weak. Is this I also feel a lot of pain when I wake up in the morning and have to urinate. It feels like a throbbing pain. Any feed back would be great.
Lauren – I don’t know much about the surgical recovery for ablation. Hopefully, your pain and leg weakness will resolve.
I had the endo ablation, tubal and D&C on May 9th. Today is June 2. After the surgery I woke up in recovery with horrible pain. The first couple of days following the surgery were terrible. Pain was severe. I have had no bleeding and very little discharge. I still have pain on my lower left side everyday. I also have terrible pain in the top of my left leg. Is this normal after almost 3 weeks recovery. I truly to do normal daily activities but after a little while I have to go rest. Pain increase and my leg feels weak. Please tell me what I can do. Thank you!
You poor dear women, I myself recently suffered from Post Ablation Syndrome. I ended up having to have a Hysterectomy. Please visit my page on Facebook. PAS or PATS, I am working hard to educate people on the adverse effects of Endometrial Ablation
If you would like to share your story on Hormones Matter, we’d be happy to publish it.
I came across a better link for reporting medical device problems to the FDA. Instead of the previous link I provided, use this one http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm354560.htm. It contains a new less technical “consumer-friendly” form and consumers are encouraged to report problems.
Marla – I am sorry you are suffering the ill effects of ablation. I recall a woman saying that a doctor at Tufts told her that they should not do this procedure on woman under age 50.
You said a u/s done a year or year and a half ago showed nothing. If your cervix is stenotic and all the blood that has built up in your uterus is not trapped behind the scarred lining, a procedure to stent your cervix would allow that blood to escape giving you some relief. It seems a u/s would be able to tell if there is blood to be expelled (versus blood trapped behind the scarring) but not sure about that.
It would be good if you could file a medical device (Novasure or whichever device was used) adverse event with the FDA. That is how dangerous devices get removed from the market or at least become known to the public (think TV ads for mesh lawsuits, etc.). Here is the link that explains the process to do this – http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/ReportaProblem/default.htm.
I had my ablation(Novasure, I think) at 39 in FEB 2010. The first year was great, second not so bad, third year really ROUGH, last year HORRENDOUS! I barely have bleeding but the pain is unbearable. The pain used to at least go in short bursts of 2-3 hours of pain. Now, I have pain for 24-36 hours as if I am in labor contractions constantly. The pain is from above my navel to my pelvic floor. I have had a transvaginal U/S with nothing found about a year or year and a half ago. The pain, pressure, and bloat is so bad now that I am out of commission during the worst parts. I can barely move to go to the bathroom. Speaking of bathroom, having to pee or have a bowel movement is it’s own animal. Then, being so bloated and painful that I cannot reach to wipe my buttocks area. I don’t like to eat during these times because it makes the pain worse. The last two periods left me in the bathroom sweating profusely, nauseated, and feeling like I was going to die. Have conceded to try Loestrin. I am fearful for what the next month might bring. Glad to have found this site for support. I might go to the ER next month during the exacerbation period because the pain pills the doc gave me just don’t help anymore.
Amanda – One other thing – The loss of skeletal integrity resulting from hysterectomy will only exacerbate your back issues.
Amanda – I am sorry you are suffering the adverse effects of the ablation, in your case a stenotic cervix and uterine engorgement. Some women have opted to have a stent inserted into their cervix to get an endometrial biopsy as well as allow the built up blood to escape thereby keeping their uterus and its vital functions. Women are not typically given informed consent for any of these gynecologic procedures. Unfortunately, we have to do our own research and not rely on our doctors.
The endometrial and ovarian cancer rates are quite low so there is a good chance you do not have either one. And I believe endometrial cancer is typically cured by removing just the uterus (no need to remove the ovaries). Only 2% of hysterectomies are done for cancer.
I discuss the anatomical, skeletal and endocrine effects of hysterectomy in my other articles which you can find by clicking on my username WS.
How old were you at the time of your ablation? As concluded in one of the studies cited in my article, women who have ablation before age 46 have an increased risk of hysterectomy with the risk being a whopping 40% when ablation is done before age 41.
I had my ablation in 2006. 8 years later I am facing a hysterectomy next week due to an enlarged uterus that is completely closed off ( shut) so I am not shedding my lining as I should be. I don’t know if this is a side effect from the ablation but I can tell you that my abdominal pain is at a 10 most days. I ended up in the ER weeks ago to find out about what was causing it. Thinking it was Back since I recently had a spinal fusion in the lower region. I made an appointment with an OBGYN only to find out about my closed up uterus. I was told there are two options. She can take me into surgery and force her way into them and do a D&C but then I will start having periods again or she can do a hysterectomy. Ofcouse since I have a mass and some fibroids I decided I would have a full blown hysterectomy. If they do find anything related to cancer in it, I didn’t want to have to repeat a surgery for my ovaries so just take it all at once. My biggest concern is who was this not caught last year during my exam and why this even occurred. I have researched “closing of the uterus” but I cant find anything related to it anywhere. Now I am scheduled for surgery next week and hoping the results of the pathology report are good.
Virginia – An ablation does not guarantee that you will no longer bleed. Many women continue to have periods but they are lighter and may be less frequent. If you were told that you will never bleed again, you were not given accurate information.
I had ablation in July 2013 after 2 years dealing with heavy bleeding and pills to stop the bleeding. Today 4/16/14 I notice I am spotting. And I am getting a little worried that it will happened again. What should I do call my ob/gyn tomorrow if I am still spotting?
I was sterilised in 1998 after the birth of my 2nd child. Delivery for both babies was c-section. Prior to having my children I had from the age of 16, suffered with endomeriosis which over the years was treated with surgery and various hormones. About 8 years ago I started to experience problems with both my bowel and bladder, frequent water infections and very bad constipation. After many appts with various specialist a fistula was ruled out but due to results of a barium xray, keyhole surgery was performed and adhesions removed from the affected areas. All was going well when my monthly cycle started to play up. I had been offered an oblation about 10 years ago but declined it and tried other options. After disscussion with my gp, i went ahead with the oblation and everything settled for about 6-8 months. I started spotting which started to get worse and eventually turned black and sinuey but no odour and it can go on for days. I have seen various doctors for an explanation and even tried an merina coil but nothing has worked. I get a lot of sharp pain between my pubic bone and hip and I often feel as though things are pulling. I went into hospital again yestetday for a D&C as my gp didnt think things sounded right although swabs taken have all come back clear. They took another biopsy and fitted another coil. Having read your information about the problems which can occur with the fillopian tubes mskes me ponder if this is what is causing me my pain and discomfort?? I know that I am very tired with it all and just think pethaps this is the best it is going to get.
I had an ablation due to extremely heavy periods leaving me iron deficient. I was unable to get my iron levels up even with supplements. It was eight years ago, and I have had no complications. My iron levels were back to normal in a few months. I am sorry to hear that some women have problems afterward, but personally, I could not be happier with the results.
amira – Meds to induce menopause have some serious side effects. Have you tried birth control pills to regulate your cycles? Those can typically be used until you go into menopause regardless of your age if you are not overweight, do not smoke, and do not have a clotting disorder. Of course, BCP’s can mask menopause so it’s hard to know when to stop taking them. Being that you are 51, it would seem that menopause is just around the corner.
There are also some non-hormonal meds that you take only during your period that will reduce flow. Some options are prescription strength NSAID’s or prescription Lysteda (tranexamic acid). Here’s a Pubmed Health link that lists all the pharmaceutical options for heavy bleeding and their effectiveness – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0015970/table/ch8.t1/?report=objectonly.
i’m 51,trying to avoid [any] ablation, have heavy periods that were lessened by cod liver oil,is there a [med] the Dr. can give to stop my periods or cause a normal hormone induced menopause?
Have any of you ladies researched a natural product called DIM and progesterone cream. Do it! Could make a differenceď
Hi Aimee. Although ablation is supposed to treat heavy bleeding, it doesn’t always work. So periods may be just as heavy as prior to the procedure. But you should definitely see your doctor especially with the swelling in your legs. I hope it’s nothing serious. Please post back and let us know what you find out.
I had this procedure aprixately 4 weeks ago. First watery discharge then 2 days ago I started bleeding as I would with a period. Lots if tissue black clots and painful cramps. A week ago mum legs began to swell and were extremely painful…I thought I had a blood clot in my leg. I am told by a friend that I should not be bleeding bright red blood in this amount at this point and that something is wrong. I hae an appointment with my gyn tomorrow….praying it’s normal but also upset that I went through this procedure for absolutely no relief. Does anyone know if this bleeding bright eye blood with black clots is normal so soon after this procedure?
Hi Jessica. Sorry I did not reply sooner. Have you had a chance to pursue one of the options you mentioned to see if that gives you relief before proceeding to hysterectomy and its after effects?
Hi. I had my ablation 5 years ago. The Dr. told me it would buy me time before needing a hysterectomy. I will be 40 next month. It worked beautifully for 4 1/2 years.
Now I’m in pain, and I’ve been told that my only option is the hysterectomy. Of course I could also choose to endure the monthly pain and avoid the hysterectomy. I’ve been doing that for about 5 months, but as I lie here in the fetal position wondering if I’m actually in labor, this no longer seems like a good option. I read online that there is one clinic in the USA that has a procedure to remove the scar tissue, but its in New York. I’m really far away from New York. I read in one of these posts that a stint is an option, but my doctor did not mention that. Has anyone tried that? Would birth control pills help. I hate the way birth control pills make me feel, but I’m desperate. If anyone has any tips to help with the pain, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
I am scheduled for ablation in 2 weeks after my gyno told me this would be the best solution to my irregular and excessive bleeding during periods. I will bleed heavily for 5-6 days, then light for 3-4 more days. Then 2 weeks later it repeats. I do cramp a little but not severe. A couple of my friends had the ablation done in the last 5-8 months and have had no complications or complaints. My sister in law had it done a year ago and is now having issues with her breasts and her hormones are completely out of whack. But after reading these posts and other comments on the internet, I’m just wondering if this is actually the best route for me. I hate having my periods run my life, but I’m nervous that the ablation may end of causing more issues down the road. Any suggestions?
I had an endometrial ablation last June, about 7 months ago, at the age of 46. My doctor used the “Radio frequency” method. He has also been performing this procedure since the 1970’s. Two days after this procedure, I flew to another state for an 8-day work conference. Although the discharge was annoying, I was able to perform all of my conference duties without problems. The discharge became lighter each day but did last for weeks. Today, seven months later, I have NO periods whatsoever. I do occasionally get mild cramps but nothing compared to those I experienced pre-surgery. Since I have adult mono/epstein-barr the periods every 3 weeks were compromising my immune system. I am less likely to become ill since this procedure and it feels so good to not worry about work responsibilities that clotting periods might prove problematic. I just wanted to balance some of the frightening posts with a positive one. Getting this procedure was one of the best decisions I have made. It has improved my quality of life. I do want to caution readers to make sure that you find a doctor who is experienced because from what I have read, faulty procedures are often what is causing further problems. It took me a full year of researching to make my decision. I even had my procedure scheduled a full year before I rescheduled, but cancelled after reading all of the info online. But then I finally decided to go for it. I am so glad that I did.
Janet – I don’t understand why your doctors are recommending ablation. Heavy, erratic bleeding is quite common in the years leading up to menopause due to sporadic ovulations. And polyps and fibroids can exacerbate this. How long has it been since you had the D&C with polyp removal? It would seem at your age that you are close to menopause when fibroids typically shrink and all this will be a thing of the past. Why take the risk of having this procedure that can leave you with permanent problems? And if the fibroids are causing debilitating issues, why not remove JUST the fibroids (a constructive surgery) versus having an ablation (a destructive surgery)?
I am 53 years old and have started to experience very heavy bleeding during my periods and post-menses bleeding between periods also. I had a vaginal/trans-uterine ultrasound which showed several small fibriods and a thickening of the uterine lining. I then had a D & C which revealed no evidence of hyperplasia, cancer, or any concerning pathology; but a few polyps were found and removed during the procedure. I feel very strongly that I do not want to have any form of hysterectomy if it is not needed, especially since I had HER + breast cancer with lumpectomy and radiation 3 years ago. My sister had a myomectomy at age 43 and her pathology revealed a sarcoma imbedded in one of the fibriods that had been removed, so she them had a total hysterectomy. Otherwise, there is no breast/uterine/ovarian cancer history in my family.
Both my gynecologist and PCP are recommending I have an endometrial ablation; and she uses the Novasure method.
I am hestistant that it might lead to a hysterecomy, and despite my significant perimenopausal symptoms and heavy bleeding;
I never said I wanted to end my menses. I had all of this checked out because it was abnormal for me. I can’t use HRT, I don’t want unecessary surgery, and I expect to live a healthy and active life for another 30 years or so.
What would you recommend for me?
Dawn – I am sorry that you suffered from post tubal sterilization syndrome and are now experiencing post ablation syndrome. I don’t know if you’ve read my hysterectomy story here on HormonesMatter. It has its own set of long-term risks and adverse effects.
If you think you are close to menopause, you may be able to wait it out in hopes that the pain resolves then. I guess you cannot take birth control pills any longer? I wonder if something like DIM (an over-the-counter supplement that helps metabolize estrogen) would help or even Rx Arimidex (an estrogen blocking drug).
I had a tubal in 1997. I was on birth control to control my flooding periods. I had to be taken off the BC pills so I had the endometrial ablation in 2008. I still get my period, but it was lighter. As the years have gone on it has gotten heavier, but nothing like it was before the ablation. However, the pain is ridiculous!! I can’t function some days! It’s hideous!! I’m afraid I will have to have a hysterectomy, what I was trying to avoid in the first place. I was never told that I could have these problems. I basically traded ridiculous flooding to hideous pain. I can’t function with either one!
I am sorry for those of you suffering with post-ablation pain! If scarring has caused the cervix to become stenotic, engorgement of blood in the uterus may be the cause of your pain. A simple procedure to insert a stent to allow any accumulated blood to escape may give you some relief.
It’s frustrating that gynecologists and radiologists do not acknowledge these documented adverse effects. In my opinion, these studies are old enough that they should all now be aware and inform their patients beforehand. However, that would be “biting the hand that feeds you.” And acknowledging these adverse effects after the fact causes them to lose credibility as well as open them up for formal complaints and/or malpractice.
“Adverse events” of medical devices can be reported to the FDA but I don’t know if these types of problems qualify for reporting. Here is a link urging consumers to report problems along with a link to the form to do so – http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm354560.htm.
For those of you considering hysterectomy, it has its own set of medically documented (as well as some common but not documented) short and long-term adverse effects. I urge you to click on my screen name (WS) next to the title of this article and read my other articles. Also, watch the female anatomy video at the end of the articles. Here’s a link to it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_nY1az2k00. Studies in PubMed are also a good resource for researching the adverse effects and increased health risks of hysterectomy and/or ovary removal.
I hope better days are ahead for you all. Please continue to speak out about harmful gynecologic procedures. I only hope that these damaging procedures are a thing of the past for my daughter’s generation.
Julie, I hope they can do something to help your pain. Please keep me updated. My Dr. suggested some physical therapy thinking since I have back pain as well it might help. I will be going back for my normal yearly in February and if the PT does not help (which I don’t think it will) I am going to ask for an ultrasound. I have been questioning my Dr. about this pain since the ablation and she just acts like she has never heard of this. With all the posts from women I see on different forums I just find it hard to believe that ALL Dr.s performing ablations would have at least a few patients with these same issues. I am keeping you all in my prayers.
My period started July 7th and I was still actively bleeding until the day of surgery October 28. I was passing huge blood clots and leaking through tampons and pads. Because of the blood loss I was having other medical problems (shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, etc) As soon as my doctor mentioned ablation I went into research mode. I guess I didn’t do enough. Now 6 weeks later the bleeding is back. I am passing small blood clots and in pain. If I had it to do over again I would just have the hysterectomy and save myself the time and trouble.
I had an ablation last September and am in crippling pain every month during my period. I have a large 10cm fibroid too. Pain started after ablation and I have been told that its a result of scarring due to ablation. I don’t want a hysterectomy is there an alternative? I’m 45.
Fran- your story is exactly like mine. I went for an abdominal ultrasound and an internal ultrasoud and they found that I have fluid and debris in my uterus and that the scar tissue has closed my uterus. Also, found a cyst on both ovaries which is not the cause of my pain. I am currently waiting for my doctor to call. Thursday the pain was so bad on my left side, into my back and into thtop of my thighs. I felt like I was going to get sick and was dizzy. I couldn’t sit or stand or barely could lift my legs to walk.
I am so glad to see these posts because I too had an endometrial ablation 2 years ago for heavy bleeding. I was 40 at the time. The surgery went well and the recovery was good. However, I had left side pelvic pain that never really went away, since then I have had back pain that radiates through my hips and pains down the legs. I have been back to my Dr. who did a CT scan and a colonoscopy. All came back clear. Last January she did finally tell me that I may have some scar tissue and she could do a laproscopic surgery to remove. I opted not to since my pain was not too bad. Now for the last 2 months I have had worse pain on my left side, legs, back etc. for 2 weeks of the month. The only real time I feel better is right after my period, which is just a spot of blood one day. I have scheduled another appointment to see if there is anything else I can do. I am afraid that I will have to have a hysterectomy. I would have let the Dr. think I was crazy without all of people sharing their stories.
Rhoda – I’m glad you found this site. You are right to be concerned about ablation.
I thought my article included the fact that ablation can mask endometrial hyperplasia and cancer and should not be done to treat hyperplasia. Evidently I failed to mention that. But even absent those shortcomings, ablation can cause more problems than it fixes.
Some things to consider and research:
1) What did the biopsy / pathology from the D&C show? Did it show hyperplasia and, if so, what type – simple, complex, with atypia, without atypia? Were any polyps or fibroids found? Were they removed?
2) At what point were your ultrasounds done that showed the thick lining? It’s best to do a u/s 1 or 2 days after your period ends. So it should be done 1 or 2 days after your “true” period not after the 2nd episode of bleeding.
3) Was an endometrial biopsy done after discovering the thick lining recently? What did it show?
If you do have hyperplasia or want to regulate your cycles, a vaginal progestin may avoid the migraines you got with the Provera.
A D&C can cause Asherman Syndrome so you don’t want to have that procedure unnecessarily.
I’m not sure what you meant by your ovarian cancer comment. A woman’s lifetime risk if she doesn’t have a strong family history and isn’t BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive is less than 2% (1.4% according to cancer.gov stats).
The ovaries (and uterus) work together and have non-reproductive LIFE-LONG functions. Any procedure that disrupts their normal functioning can cause permanent problems.
As health care consumers and the ones who have to live with the consequences of treatments, it’s important that we do our research before consenting to any treatment. And over-treatment can cause just as much harm as under-treatment.
I this info is helpful!
I just came from my Dr’s office after 7-8 months of irregular periods. bleeding 2x a months That has never happened before so I was really scared about it and went to my gyno and right away she says your lining is thick and that’s the 1st sign of cancer she scheduled me for a D&C that was a yr ago since then I still get 2 periods a month every other or so l tried the Provera but because I also suffer Migraines I could not repeat a 2nd course. Now a little more back stories I have never had painful or heavy prolonged bleeding. My flow is always med-low and never more then 3 days all my life this is what my periods have been. When I get the 2nd one it’s barely a period at all just enough to be annoying. That’s it, this past week on the 26th the 2nd one started at 1st the flow was low to med the day and half. But now it’s 9 days and I’m still bleeding but it’s more like a trickle. Long story I know But my question is after reading all that I have is?? Why do I need this ? I do not have heavy bleeding my lining is thick again but I’m in no pain the cramps I get are minimal they pass quickly enough. She (DR) told me I would never have to worry about getting ovarian cancer but that’s not what I read. Also I read that woman who have had C sections are not good candidate’s for this and I have had one. But she didn’t tell me that. And every article or video I see on this subject The word DESTROY and OBLITORATE freaks me out How can that remotely be good. She said I need to do this because I can’t live with 2 periods a months. But you know what Yes I can I’m not in pain the flow is in no way excessive just annoying. So what I’m really wondering is that is this just MY BODIES way of processing it’s way through Menopause ,because at one point during the yr I had no period for 4 months. What changed and why? And why is this procedure necessary
I had my ablation over 2 years ago, and I have to say, it’s the best thing I ever did! I had the mini coil implanted for very painful, heavy bleeding, but it made things worse. The doctor and specialist recommended an ablation as a last resort before hysterectomy. I was told of the complications and decided it was worth the risk. Thank goodness I did, my life has changed dramatically in that department.
Mia – Are you saying your ovaries will also be removed since you said you are concerned about the effects of having to take HRT? My ovaries were needlessly removed (as was my uterus) and although HRT is helpful, it isn’t the same as having our ovaries. Of course, even if you keep your ovaries, there’s about a 40% chance that they’ll fail due to loss of blood flow and the uterine/ovarian feedback loop. But if you are at average risk of ovarian cancer, you have a less than 2% chance of getting it. I hope your surgery goes well.
I had an ablation in 2011 and in a few weeks time I am having a hysterectomy. The ablation was fantastic for 8 months, but for the last year I have lived in extreme pain: sadly it has taken nearly a year to find out what the problem is. I have a trapped endometrium. Of course I’m nervous about the coming operation and the effects of having to take HRT at the age if 42, but I’m hopeful that I will recover well and I will feel like a new woman.