Getting your period every month may not sound like a big deal. But for women who have heavy menstrual bleeding (also called menorrhagia), the monthly cycle can become a nightmare. Heavy menstrual bleeding can make it difficult to take part in a lot of activities other women take for granted. Most women who have menorrhagia find themselves virtually chained to their bathrooms, changing their pads every two hours or so — even during the night when they should be sleeping. And when the problem is very severe, it can even cause anemia, a chronic blood condition that can leave you feeling worn out, fatigued, and weak.
For years, treating heavy menstrual bleeding effectively — and for good — meant having your uterus removed. But today, there’s another option — endometrial ablation — that can put an end to heavy periods. At Solace Women’s Care, we offer the state-of-the-art Minerva endometrial ablation system to help women get back to enjoying life, every day of the month.
Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive (i.e., nonsurgical) procedure that destroys the endometrium, which is the mucous lining of the uterus. Every month during your cycle, hormonal changes cause the endometrium to thicken. During your period, the outer layer of the endometrium sloughs off and the process repeats itself during the next cycle. By destroying the endometrium, endometrial ablation can put an end to heavy periods, either by significantly reducing menstrual flow or by stopping menstruation entirely. Because the endometrium provides the “bed” for implantation of a fertile ovum, endometrial ablation is not a good option for women who plan to have children in the future.
Minerva uses a patented delivery system composed of a special silicone “array” or mesh that’s used to deliver focused heat energy to the endometrial tissue. The mesh array conforms to the interior contours of your uterus for consistent application of heat energy throughout the endometrium. Minerva uses three mechanisms to deliver heat to the endometrium — ionized argon gas, radiofrequency energy, and heated fluid — for maximum effects. The system is designed to allow your doctor to customize your treatment to your specific needs so you can feel confident you’ll get the best possible outcome.
Prior to your procedure, you’ll be given some medicine to help you relax and stay comfortable, and your cervix (the opening of your uterus) may also be numbed. General anesthesia is not necessary. Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Sejour will gently dilate your cervix to allow for insertion of the ablation device. The device is shaped like a long wand with a soft tip to make insertion more comfortable.
After the device is in place, Dr. Sejour will use the controller to release energy to heat the endometrium, a process that takes about two minutes. At the end of those two minutes, Dr. Sejour will remove the wand and your treatment will be complete.
After treatment, you’ll go to a recovery room for about an hour so you can be monitored. Once the observation time is up, you’ll be able to go home. Because you’ll receive medication to help you relax before your procedure, you’ll need to have someone else drive you home.
You might have some cramping for a few days after your procedure — about the same amount you’d have during a period. Over-the-counter pain medication can help. You’ll also probably have some vaginal discharge, and you’ll need to wear a light pad or panty liner for about two to four weeks.
Don’t let heavy menstrual bleeding take a toll on your quality of life. Solace Women’s Care can help. To find out if Minerva endometrial ablation could help you put an end to heavy periods, contact the practice to schedule an office visit today.